Computer Literacy Program – Class 5 – Maintenance

November 27, 2009 at 12:36 pm 1 comment

Ryan will do more thorough posts about the curriculum, the activities, and the effectiveness of the program when all the classes are complete on These are just my own personal recaps and memories.

The fifth class for the Computer Literacy Program was on “Maintenance”. The day of class, Tropical Storm Ida came through Elizabeth City and flooded our street. Schools and events were canceled across the region. And yet, we still had 11 out of our 12 students show up! (To be fair, a majority of them were already over at the house precisely because schools were canceled).

This class was a pretty busy one because we had hands-on activities throughout. We started off by checking for and installing new Windows Updates. Next we showed them how to check their hard drive for errors. Check Disk took a while (particularly for the student who had infected his system with Malware two weeks ago by visiting some no-no sites), but while they waited the kids still managed to find stuff to laugh and smile about.

Computer Literacy Program - Maintenance - Check Disk
Check Disk

Believe it or not— the defrag section was quite fun. Ryan explained it using a collection of comic books. At first, his Atomic Robo collection was dispersed among his other comic books, making it slower and harder for him to find all the issues. After “defragging” his comic book collection, all the Atomic Robo comics were together and easier to retrieve.

Computer Literacy Program - Maintenance - Fragmented Comic Books
Teaching Defrag With Comic Books

Since their laptops are so new, there is very little on the kids’ hard drives and relatively few fragmented files. But they had just enough to see the process in action.

“I see it!” One girl yelled and pointed at a section that went from red to blue.

Computer Literacy Program - Maintenance - Successful Defrag

Next up we talked about virus scanning and firewalls. As continuing education on file types and extensions, particularly the ones they should not open via email, Ryan introduced them all to a batch file. It was a FORK BOMB! The kids opened it and watch as it recursively called itself over and over and over until their computers crash. I found great amusement in watching all their reactions.

“Oh SNAP!” one boy exclaimed.

Computer Literacy Program - Maintenance - Fork Bomb!
Helpless Against the Fork Bomb

During the hands on activities in class, I’m doing a lot of bending over and squatting and pointing to help the kids out. Sometimes when one student figures something out, they lean over and deploy that knowledge to the others around them. It always makes me smile to see them helping each other.

Computer Literacy Program - Maintenance - Tyrek Helps Jacal
Helping Each Other

Don’t worry about me becoming obsolete though– I’m still plenty busy!

Entry filed under: Computer Literacy Program, Elizabeth City, Neighborhood Kids.

Computer Literacy Program – Class 4 – Software Computer Literacy Program – Class 6 – Ethics

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