Week 3 – Creating Flash Buttons

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{loadposition adposition5}Overview

This week we are going to learn to work with symbols. There are three types of symbols in Flash Movieclips, Buttons, and Graphics. Symbols are the meat and potatoes of Flash. The Nitty and the Gritty, the Starsky and the Hutch. Anyway, symbols especially Movieclips is what makes Flash such a powerful tool. There just isn’t any other web animation interactivity program that can compare. So we need to learn how to make symbols. With the button symbol you have complete creative control. The button can be a drawing, it can be text, an imported photograph (jpg), an animation, you name it. In the tutorials below, I turn the apple into a button and also I create a button from scratch. So I recommend watching all the video tutorials you can find, that will tell you about working with Movieclips, Buttons or Graphics.

Week 3 Assignment 1: Create your own Button Symbols

Create three or more buttons using your drawing tools. The buttons should be stylish and unique somehow. Watch my video tutorials below as well as the following tutorials at Lynda.com to learn more about creating buttons and movieclips:

Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training, with Todd Perkins at Lynda.com:

Section 14. Working with Button Symbols (all videos)
Section 15. Working with Movie Clips (all videos)

My Video Tutorials at my YouTube.com/DansCourses Channel:



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Turning it in:
Due date: End of Week 4

Your finished flash file should have three buttons on the stage. Your button should have an Up, Over, Down, and Hit State keyframes. Try to make at least one of your buttons function like other buttons you see on the web i.e. change color, offset, grow, dance etc. Your assignment is finished when you have sent me your Flash file with three buttons, as an atttachment to my dan.alberghetti@gmail.com email account.

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Video Tutorials from Flash CS3
These videos are done in CS3 but they are still pretty good and you can apply them to CS5 too!




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Week 2 – Drawing Vector Graphics with Flash

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This week we will learn about the Flash drawing tools. One of the nice things about Flash is that it has its own set drawing tools for creating graphics. In this way, you do not have to create all of your graphics in programs like Illustrator or Photoshop and import them into Flash. Like Adobe Illustrator, the Flash drawing tools create vector graphics which have a distinctive graphical or posterized look. Vector graphics stand in contrast to raster bitmap graphics, which are created in programs like Adobe Photoshop.

{loadposition adposition5}The pen tool is an important tool in computer drawing. It is hard to master and usually getting really good at it takes doing it all the time. The Pen Tool is also important because it is a tool that really highlights that Flash at its core is a “Vector” animation and drawing program. The tool is used to draw Bezier curves http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9zier_curve and Vector graphics. One of the main technical points about Flash is that it is a vector tool versus a bitmap tool. What is the difference between Vectors and Bitmaps(Raster)? Well one easy way to learn the difference is to experience it by drawing with tools that do each. If you are drawing with a brush or pencil in Adobe Photoshop you are working with Bitmaps(Raster images) but if you are working in Adobe Flash or Illustrator using their drawing tools you are drawing with Vectors (objects, lines, curves, fills). Vectors drawings are characterized by having anchor points, being selectable and easily scalable without distortion. Bitmaps on the other hand are characterized by pixels that don’t scale without distortion when enlarged. You can see this when zooming in on a jpg photograph. If you zoom in 600% on a photograph in Photoshop the image will begin to look like large square boxes of color, called pixelation. This situation is caused by the fact that a photograph is defined as a specific number of pixels, each with a separate color, arranged in a grid and if you try to enlarge the image the computer does not know what color to assign to the new pixels. With vector images, when you enlarge them they scale perfectly because the image is drawn by mathematical equations and algorithms.

Generally vectors are good for images that are built out of distinct lines and shapes like graphics, poster art, and line art. Images that look like drawings rather than a photographs. Photographic images on the other hand have fuzzy edges and usually no distinct lines. The usually look the best when created with a raster bitmap programs like Photoshop and saved as jpg image files.

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Vector Graphics (Geometric)

Bitmap/Raster Images (Grid of Pixels)

.swf  (flash movie)




.eps (Encapsulated Postscript)


.pdf (text, images, and vector graphics)

.png (supports transparency)

.wmf (Windows metafile)


.dxf (AutoCAD)

.bmp (bitmap file)

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Week 2 Assignment 1: Draw an apple with the pen tool

{loadposition adposition6}Draw an apple with a stem using the Pen Tools, the Subselection Tool, the Paint Bucket Tool, and the Gradient Transform Tool

        1. Watch Lynda.com video tutorials about the Flash drawing tools:
               Flash Professional CS5  Essential Training, with Todd Perkins
                  Section 2  Drawing Basic Shapes
                  Section 3  Moving Beyond Basic Shapes 
        2. Watch my YouTube.com video tutorials:

                    These videos are done with an earlier version of Flash:  apple 1apple 2, apple 3,

        3. Draw your apple in Flash -Time for you to go for it! If you want to draw something else that is great.
        4. If you need a reference download my sample files (Older files created in CS3)

Turning it in:
Save the assignment as a flash file (.fla) then zip it (.zip) and attach it to an email to dan.alberghetti@gmail.com

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Week 2 Assignment 2: Draw your own personal logo

  1. Watch video tutorials about the Flash drawing tools:
          Flash Professional CS5  Essential Training with Todd Perkins
          Section 2  Drawing Basic Shapes
          Section 3  Moving Beyond Basic Shapes
  2. Watch my video tutorial:

    This is a useful video for grabbing easy to use vector graphics

  3. Using the selection tool, the text tool, the pencil, brush and eraser tools, as well as, paint bucket and ink well tools. Create a logo for your own company or yourself. Your logo should be a creative use of text and/or graphics combined. The logo should make use of outlines (strokes), color gradients (linear or radial), and text.

Turning it in:
Save the assignment as a flash file (.fla) attach it to an email and send it to dan.alberghetti@gmail.com .


Week 2 – What is a digital image?

What is a Digital Image Overview

What is a digital image?
A digital image is called a bitmap, which is a two dimensional mapping of pixels that are themselves made of bits. This is like a large mosaic of tile pieces. The tile pieces are the pixels and the more tiles you have the more resolution you have.

What is image resolution and megapixels?
Image resolution refers to how many dots-per-inch or dpi an image has. We can also describe this analogously as ppi or pixels per square inch. If you have a higher image resolution you will be able to print in a bigger size or format. Generally, a better quality digital camera, will be capable of delivering a higher image resolution. You will see this capability promoted as a camera’s megapixels.
A megapixel refers to a million pixels. If your camera is capable of taking a photograph 1200 pixels wide and 850 pixels tall, then 1200 x 850 = 1,000,000 pixels (approximately) or 1 megapixel.

How many megapixels do I need my camera to have?
It depends on how big you want to print your images. Technically, you can print your image as big as you want, however it will only have photographic quality and detail if their are 360 dots per inch worth of resolution. Some schools of thought think you can go down to 300 dpi or even 220 dpi and maintain photographic printed quality. My experience tells me 360 dpi is photo quality. So if that is the case how many megapixels would you need to produce a fantastic 8″ x 10″ print? An 8″ x 10″ photograph needs 8″ x 360 = 2880 pixels tall and 10″ x 360 = 3600 pixels wide. 2880 x 3600 = 10,368,000 pixels which mean you would need a 10.4 megapixel camera to produce a fantastic 8″ x 10″ image. My camera is 12.3 megapixels which means I can take 8″ x 12″ at 360 dpi or a 9.5″ x 14″ at 300 dpi.

What is a pixel?

Pixel stands for picture element and it is one tiny square, a combination of color and light, on your screen. It is analogous to one color dot… except that it is a square. The color of a pixel is determined by how many bits of memory have been allotted to it. That is called the ‘bit depth’.

For additional information about pixels: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megapixel#Megapixel

What is bit depth (color depth)?
How many bits of memory are being used to color the pixels of an image are its bit depth. You have probably heard that computers are just made up of ones and zeros and that is true. A bit or binary digit has only two values one and zero. So if your image’s bit depth is a 1 bit your picture can only be two colors black and white. For instance zeros would be used represent the black pixels and ones for the white. The point is that each pixel can only have two values 1 or 0, black or white. The binary number system functions just like the decimal except that instead of counting with 10 digits (0 through 9) binary is just 1 and 0. So for instance a grayscale image can have a bit depth of 8 bits meaning each pixel has 256 diferent combinations of 0 and 1, or 2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2 = 256 values of gray. A color image can have a bit depth of 24 bits. 8 bits for red, 8 bits for green, and 8 bits for blue (RGB) that means each pixel is made up of a possible 256 values for each channel of red, green, and blue. Total combinations of 1s and 0s is 2 to the 24th power or 16,777,216 different colors. The higher the bit depth the larger the file size and the more colors that are possible. It is important to know that there are different types of image files and each format may have a different bit depth and therefore a different file size.

For additional information about bit depth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_depth

What are the image file formats (saving images)?

You can save your images in different image formats which will result in different file sizes, bit depths, and other capabilities like transparency and saving layered information. Photoshop’s native file format is a .psd file which supports layer information. When saving photographs for posting to the web JPG and PNG are the most popular formats. PNG images can support transparent backgrounds whereas JPGs cannot, but if you do not need transparency JPG images are smaller files and quicker downloads. When saving an image as a JPG you can specify the amount of compression and therefore the quality of the output image. When saving an image as a PNG file you can specify whether to include transparency or not. Here is a table outlining some of the common file formats and their features:

File Format File Extension File Size Transparency Layers Colors/Bit Depth Compression Type
Joint Photographic Experts Group .jpg,
Small Files
No No 24 bit color Lossy
Portable Network Graphics .png Small Files
Large Files
Yes No 24 bit
8 bit
Graphics Interchange Format .gif Small Files
Yes No 8 bit
256 colors
Photoshop Document .psd Very Large
File Size
Yes Yes

32 bit

Tagged Image File Format .tiff
Large File Size No No

24 bit,
48 bit

Windows Bitmap File .bmp Very Large
File Size
Yes No

32 bit

Raw Image File Format
Multiple Formats (No industry standard)
.raw, .dng,
.crw, .cr2,
.nef, .3fr,
.dcr, .k25,
Very Large
File Size
No No




Learning At Lynda.com – What Videos to Watch

These are the videos I recommend watching this week at Lynda.com. Choose the Lynda title to watch based on your version of Photoshop or maybe check out both!:

  • Photoshop CS6 for Photographers – with Chris Orwig

    Introduction – Watch all of the videos.
    1. Strategies for Success – Watch all of the videos.
    3. Color Settings and Preferences – (Optional) If you are interested in configuring your photoshop color settings then check out these videos out.
    4. The Foundations of Color Management – (Optional) If you are interested in configuring your monitor settings then check some of these videos out.
    5. Getting Started with Photoshop – Great videos for learning the Photoshop interface. Watch as many as you want.
    6. Understanding Digital Images – Watch all of these videos!

  • Photoshop CC for Photographers: Foundations – with Chris Orwig

    Introduction – Watch all of the videos.
    1. Strategies for Learning Photoshop – Watch all of the videos.
    3. Settings Up Photoshop – Color and interface configuration settings.
    4. Getting Started with Camera Raw – (Optional) If you have a nice digital SLR camera that can shoot Raw photo format you may want to check out these videos.
    6. Getting Started with Photoshop – Videos for learning the Photoshop interface. Watch as many as you want.
    6. Understanding Digital Images and Resizing – Watch all of these videos!

Week 2 Assignment 1 – How to Save a Photograph in Different Sizes and File Formats Using Photoshop
Week 2 Assignment 2 – How to Crop and Straighten an Image


A Flash Spaceship with Movieclips and Buttons – Actionscript 2 & 3


A basic tutorial on Flash interactivity. In this project you create a Flash spaceship movieclip with 3 different states: thrusting, stopped, and shields. You will write the Actionscript code for three buttons, that will move the movieclip to three different animated states.

In the video tutorials below, I demonstrate how to create this project in Flash Professional CS6. The project uses: keyframe animation, movieclips, buttons, frame labels, instance names, the gotoAndPlay() and gotoAndStop() function, and the onPress event handler.

Video Tutorials 

In part 1, I create the spaceship movieclip and the three button symbols

In part 2, I create a looping animation and write the actionscript to control the timeline playhead using Flash buttons

In part 3, I set the button activation area, create timeline keyframe animation, use frame labels
with the gotoAndPlay() function, and use the onPress event handler to create a custom button function

In part 4, I show how to convert the Flash file from Actionsctipt 2.0 to 3.0


First Generation Video Tutorials

The videos below are early tutorials that I created for this project. In the videos, I am using an older version of Flash. The videos are examples of some of my earliest attempts at creating video tutorials. Even though the project was created with Flash CS3, the scripting is still valid Actionscript 2.0 code and will work in current versions of Flash.

Watch the videos and create the project. Save your flash authoring file (.fla) and email it to my gmail account as an attachment.

Note: The tutorials above were created in Flash CS3, but can easily be created in Flash CS4 or CS5. Make sure to choose Actionscript 2.0 when creating a new file to work from.

Week 1 – Welcome to Photoshop


Hello my name is Dan Alberghetti and I love Photoshop! I have been using Photoshop since 1988. Ouch! That is a long time; still I learn new things all the time in Photoshop. My original pursuit was fine arts, but on a friend’s suggestion I started using computers and Photoshop. Years later, it is easy to see how I fell in love with computers because of Photoshop. Whether graphics or web design, hardware or software, programming or networking, it all started because of Photoshop. So beware, Photoshop might turn you into a computer nerd too.

As an artist and web designer I hope that Photography and not just Photoshop grabs a hold of you as a lifelong pursuit. We will be learning how to use Photoshop in this class. When it comes to digital imaging and manipulation there are other programs out there, but none that are quite as good as Photoshop. In this class, I will utilize video tutorials from Lynda.com, as well as my own video tutorials that are hosted at YouTube.com. I will also provide written instructions for my assignments. Every week there will be an assignment or creative project.

Class Materials

The content of this class is designed to help you learn Photoshop image manipulation from a novice to intermediate level. In order to provide a wide range of learning material we will utilize video tutorials from Lynda.com. Lynda.com is the leader in providing online, accessible learning and training materials created by professionals in the field. Each of the Photoshop titles at Lynda.com offers a different perspective on Photoshop and digital photography.

In additional to the Lynda.com titles, I write my own assignments and lessons and use my own video tutorials which are hosted online at http://youtube.com/danscourses

For this class, you should have access to a digital camera. It would be great if everyone had a nice entry level, digital SLR like a Canon EOS Rebel or a Nikon. If you have one great! If not, that is okay too as long as you have some sort of point and click digital camera. This class focuses on teaching you digital image manipulation using Photoshop, not Digital Photography in general or how to use your digital camera. For many years, I taught darkroom film photography, yes I said “film,” so you may end up learning things that will help you to take better photographs and make better images!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I use Photoshop at the college?
    Even if this is an online class there is no reason why you cannot drop into the Library or any college lab and use Photoshop.
  • I am an online student, and I can’t get to college?
    If you cannot use Photoshop at the college you should consider purchasing it. As a college student you qualify for student pricing on Adobe products like Photoshop.
  • Should I purchase Photoshop?
    Adobe is moving all of their software products to a subscription model, the Adobe Creative Cloud. I recommend purchasing Photoshop CS6 if you can find it.
  • Should I subscribe to Photoshop through the Adobe Creative Cloud?
    As a student, you qualify for a discount monthly subscription to the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can subscribe to the entire Adobe Suite of software products or just a single program like Photoshop. Either way, you should try the free 30 day trial of Adobe Creative Cloud and PhotoshopCC.
  • How can I assure that I will be successful?
    The students that attend class regularly, by logging in online weekly, even daily, will be successful. For my online classes, I recommend that students sit down and create a weekly schedule of times that they will work on class assignments.
  • How will I turn in assignments?
    Assignments will be turned in online through the college Blackboard system.
  • How will I be graded?
    I grade on a point system. Every week you will have the opportunity to earn points by doing projects. This class involves project based learning. Each week you will be asked to take photographs, import them into your computer, and edit and manipulate them with Photoshop, it’s that simple! The projects and  assignments are mostly created form my own experiences. To earn full points on a project or assignment, you will need to follow the instructions and accomplish the tasks presented to you. Beyond taking images and using Photoshop, assignment tasks may require research, creative thinking, or posting a comment or an image online. If you follow the instructions and apply yourself in a thoughtful manner I am sure you will receive full points! Ultimately your final grade is based on scale of total points earned versus total points possible.

Week 1 Overview

As soon as possible you will need to purchase your Lynda.com learning materials. To do this, you will need the course invitation code which I will email to you. the cost is going to be under $30 and will give you access to 5 amazing titles for the length of the class. By default, I will send your Lynda.com course invitations to your college email accounts. Please look out for an email from Lynda.

Online students will need access to Adobe Photoshop to do the class assignments. Note: Adobe Elements is not Adobe Photoshop. All of the assignments can easily be done with Adobe Photoshop CS5, CS5.5, CS6, CC. Most of the assignments can be done with an earlier version of Photoshop like CS2 and CS3.

Course Requirements

  1. Acquire access to Adobe Photoshop – using either a free 30 day of Adobe Creative Cloud, a computer at the college lab or library, purchasing directly from Adobe.com or creationengine.com, or purchasing a subscription to the Creative Cloud.
  2. Purchase the Lynda.com course materials – using the hyperlink invitation code sent to you by college email, you will need to purchase access to the course materials through Lynda.com directly.

Week 1 Assignment – 6 Word Memoir

    1. Create an online photo sharing account – to share your projects and images with the rest of the class. There are many popular free photo/image sharing websites like Instagram, Flickr, Photobucket, Imgur, DeviantArt, and Shutterfly. Picasa has been enveloped by Google+ web albums. If your personal photo sharing account supports it, try creating a web album or special folder for your class projects.
    2. 6 Word Memoir – I want you to introduce yourself to the class with a single Photograph and 6 word title. The photograph has to have a creative, maybe even esoteric 6 word title. First, listen to this short audio piece on NPR about 6 word memoirs . The photograph and the six word title should function together in an interesting and poetic way. In other words, the title shouldn’t just be “Me and Joe at the Beach,” but something that is maybe incongruous to the picture or opens up some other meaning that can’t be seen in the image. The assigment is complete when you have submitted a hyperlink to your Photograph with 6 Word title in Blackboard. Remember that this assignment, image and image title will be shared with the whole class.
      Technical Note:
      You need to make sure that the link to your online photograph works. Many times in the past a student will send me a link to a photograph that is locked or only viewable to the owner of the online account.
Picasa Video Tutorial

Week 1 – Flash Web Design

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I have been using Flash since 1993. Flash has been my main love in computers. The thing I like to do the most is make Flash interactive animations, websites and games. Some of the most exciting, and dynamic sites on the web are done with Flash. {loadposition adposition5}Flash is the most versatile multimedia tool on the web; it is an amazing vector animation and graphics tool as well as having an extremely powerful object oriented scripting language for programmatic interactivity. Careful though, Flash can be addicting.

We will be learning how to work with Flash in this class and to do that we will be watching online video tutorials from lynda.com as well as videos made by me. We will also be working on weekly assignments and creative projects.

Class Materials

The content of this class is designed to help you learn Flash from a novice to an intermediate level. To allow you access to a wide range of learning material we are going to be using online materials consisting of video tutorials from http://Lynda.com. Lynda.com is the leader in creating easily accessible learning and training materials from top professionals in the field. As an educator, I have the ability to to create a course bundle of 5 Lynda titles which you will be able to purchase through Lynda.com using the invitation code I will be sending you in an email. The approximate cost will be under $40 and will give you access to the 5 titles for 16 weeks. Each of the titles I will be choosing, will offer you a different of approach to Flash and animation.

In additional to the Lynda tutorial videos, I write my own assignments and lessons and use my own video tutorials which are hosted online at http://youtube.com/danscourses 

Class Schedule and Policies:

{loadposition adposition6}This class is offered either as Self Directed Learning-SDL, or Online. SDL students are required to be in the Lab – GMB133, a minimum of 2.5 hours per week you will log your hours in the lab. Here are some questions you will want answered:

  • When can I come to the Lab?
    I am in the GMB133 class/lab over 30 hours per week, for my exact lab times click on Lab/Classroom Hours.
  • Can I work in the Lab when you are not there?
    Yes, if the door is open you are welcome to come in and work. If the door is locked try coming into the lab through GMB130 the Flex Lab. The Flex Lab opens Mon-Sat at 9am and is open late Tuesday until 9pm.
  • Can I work with Flash in the lab?.
    Yes, I the newer looking HP towers against the wall all have Flash installed on them.
  • What if I am an online student, and I can’t work with Flash in the lab?
    If you are an online student you will need to work with Flash on your home computer. In order to do this you can purchase Flash either directly from Adobe.com or through an educational discount reseller like http://creationengine.com or the http://academicsuperstore.com . As a college student you can get an amazing price on Flash. You will need to provide proof that you are a student by attaching your current class schedule and to an email and sending it to them. The general public also has the ability to try Flash for free for 30 days by downloading the 30 day trial from Adobe.com  
  • When should I come to class?
    As soon as you can you should stop by the Lab in GMB133 and introduce yourself. Remember SDL students are required to be working in the lab 2.5 hours per week. It is up to you to decide exactly what your schedule will be.
  • How can I assure that I will be successful?
    The students that show up regularly, week by week, both online by logging in to DansCourses and in person by coming to the lab are the ones that will be successful. To finish this class, I recommend you sit down and create a schedule of times that you will work on the class and its assignments.

  • Is there a syllabus?
    The syllabus outlines the course, please download it and save it for your records: To be posted shortly
  • How will I turn in assignments?
    All assignments will be turned in as email attachments to dan.alberghetti@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • How will I be graded?
    I grade on a point system. Every week you will have the opportunity to earn points by doing projects. This class is about project based learning. Each week you will be asked to complete a different task in Flash, by the end of the semester you will have built a website completely in Flash. The projects will come from my own experience, alternative sources and texts that I have worked with over the years, and the curriculum provided by Lynda.com. To earn full points on a project or assignment, you will need to follow my instructions and accomplish the task presented to you as well as add your own creative process and individuality. If you follow the instructions and apply yourself in a thoughtful manner I am sure you will receive full points! Ultimately your final grade is based on scale of total points earned to total points possible. 

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Week 1 Overview

This week you will need to purchase your Lynda.com class materials. To do this, you will need the course invitation code which I will email to you. the cost is going to be $36.00 and will give you access to 5 amazing titles for the length of the class. I the email address that you would like the invitation to be sent to; for some of you, that may be your sheridan.edu email account, for others hotmail, yahoo, or gmail accounts. Please let me know which email address you would like the invitation sent to. You can do this by stopping in the lab the first week or by emailing me at dan.alberghetti@gmail.comThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

If you are an online student you will need to secure a copy of Adobe Flash to work with at home (See above: What if I am an online student, and I can’t work with Flash in the lab?). At http://creationengine.com type the word "Flash" into the search box, press search and you will find the current version and price for Flash. Make sure you specify the Windows or Apple platforms. Currently, with a college student discount is $175 http://creationengine.com/html/p.lasso?p=18059 which is a fantastic price considering the list price is $699.

Week 1: Assignment 1 – Get your materials and introduce yourself

  1. Acquire Adobe Flash, or a 30 day trial version, or at least a place where you will be able to use it like my lab in GMB133 – Sheridan College!
  2. Purchase the Lynda.com Curriculum – Contact me in person or with your email address so I can send you the Lynda.com curriculum invitation to your preferred email account.
  3. Read Why Use Flash?
  4. Watch the introductory videos about Flash and the Flash interface at Lynda.com. With your purchased Lynda.com class bundle you will have access to five titles on Flash. Even before you purchase your access Lynda allows public access to some of the videos on every titles. Just go to the lynda.com website look up the title and see which videos are available for free. This week we will introduce ourselves to Flash watch the follwing videos:
    Flash Professional CS5 Essential Training with Todd Perkins. Watch the following tutorials:
       Introduction (all videos)
       1. Getting to know Flash (all videos)
    Creating a First Website with Flash Professional CS5 with Paul Trani. Watch the following tutorials:
       Introduction (all videos)
       1. Getting started (all videos)
  5. Create a user account for yourself at this website, verify your account through your email, login on this site and go to the Forum and post an introduction, telling us a little about yourself.

    Week 1: Assignment 2 – Create a Flash Banner Ad

    Click here to go to "Create a Banner Ad with Flash"

    Due Date: Due at the end of Week 2.
    Zip your Flash file and post it to the Forum
    under: Flash Banner Ad

    Please feel free to get creative with the assignment or use a different banner size orientation.

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    Welcome to Linux Fundamentals

    Introducing Linux

    This class is going to introduce you to working with the Linux operating system. If you are a networking student then it is to your advantage to know how to use Linux. Linux is an operating system with both enterprise commercial, and freely downloadable and installable distributions. The Linux operating system uses open source software licensed under the GNU Free Software Foundation. By using Linux you take advantage of a community of programmers dedicated to the distribution and availability of freely accessible and distributable software. Linux is the preferred operating system for running servers, including Apache web servers, BIND DNS servers, and running one of many network monitoring applications. Linux is an excellent alternative to Windows due to its stability and the worldwide community of developers freely contributing software development. In this class we will be working with Debian based systems like Ubuntu and Mint, Fedora, and the CentOS Linux distribution. Students may choose to work with other distributions as well.

    Class Materials

    The content of this class maps to the Comp TIA Linux+ certification exam. The curriculum used in the class is TestOut.com’s Linux+ Powered by LPI curriculum. You can purchase the software directly from the TestOut.com website. First, go to http://www.testout.com and create a user account, next go to http://www.testout.com/home/student-resources/student-purchasing , enter the promotion code (which I will provide you with), then click on “Linux+ Powered by LPI” LX0-101 and LX0-102 under the CompTIA Products area. This webpage describes the curriculum: http://www.testout.com/home/it-certification-training/labsim-certification-training/Linux-. With the promotional code, the student discount priceis $89. You can get the promotional code for the discount pricing from your instructor or if you have a legitimate .edu email account and you are a current student you can contact TestOut.com directly and request the discounted price. When you purchase your curriculum make sure to list your college and the name of your instructor.

    Additional reading materials, tutorial videos, and class lab assignments will be given on a weekly basis here at danscourses.com. My video tutorials are organized in a YouTube playlist here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8A83A276F0D85E70 .

    Class Schedule and Policies

    • Where can I find the class syllabus?
      The syllabus is located in Blackboard or you can download it here and save it for your records: syllabus
    • How do I turn in assignments?
      All assignments will be turned in using the college Blackboard system or as an email attachment. Contact your instructor for which method will be used.
    • What will I be graded on?
      I grade on a point system. You will be graded on the following items:
      1) LabSim chapter assignments
      2) Weekly Lab Assignments (non-LabSim)
      3) Attendance
      4) Final Exam

      LabSim Chapter Assignments – Every week I will assign a chapter or portion of the LabSim Curriculum for you to accomplish. For you to earn the points you will need to:

      • Watch the videos and demonstrations – I can tell if you have only watched the video for 30 seconds and clicked away. LabSim records the amount of time and how many visits you spend on the different sections. As your instructor I will have access to your user interaction and scorses within the curriculum. LabSim has a button that allows to print a transcript of the videos this is very usefulfor review, studying, and to save for your records!
      • Read the Lesson Documents – LabSim will provide you with documents. Read them and print them out for your records (You only have access to this product for a limited time … one year I believe)
      • Accomplish the Interactive Lab Simulations – You can take and retake the simulations as many times as necessary. It often takes more than one attempt to complete a lab successfully. You will not be graded down for retaking!
      • Pass the Chapter Exams – Some of the chapters will have a multiple choice end of chapter exam for you to take and pass. You can take and retake the chapter exams as many times as necessary. It often takes more than one attempt to pass a chapter exam. You will not be graded down for retaking the exams!As you make your way through the LabSim curriculum your progress is recorded. I will give you credit (points) for passing through the different chapters. If I see that you spent little to no time, or skipped a particular section, I will take away points.

      Weekly Lab Assignments (non-LabSim) – Every week I will give a hands-on lab assignment based on either the TestOut LabSim curriculum, my own experiences and experimentations, or other additional material. To earn full points for a lab, you will need to follow the instructions, complete the lab, and submit documented proof of lab completion. The lab may require you to do additional research, write a short paper, or participate in an online discussion by submitting a post to a comment board or forum.

    Week 1 Overview

    First, you need to purchase the Linux+ curriculum from LabSim Testout (see class materials above). You will need to create a TestOut user account, put in your promotion code, purchase your activation license, and enter your activation code to unlock the curriculum. Once the curriculum is unlocked you can start the Week 1 LabSim Assignment below.

    Second, for the week 1 lab assignment you will need install Linux both in the classroom and on your home computer system. I will give more information about how I would like you to go about this in class. You will also find more information about the lab assignment under Week 1 Lab – Installing Linux (see below).

    Week 1 LabSim Assignment (due Sunday)

    Complete all of section 0.0 – Introduction

    • 0.1.1 Instructor Introduction
    • 0.1.2 Linux+ Certification Overview
    • 0.1.3 Linux Operating System Introduction

    Complete all of section 2.0 – Installation and Localization

    • 2.1 Installation Design
    • 2.2 Linux Installation
    • 2.3 Localization

      The LabSim curriculum will consist of materials to read, videos demonstrations to watch, and interactive simulations to accomplish. At the end of some of the chapter subsections there are multiple choice exams. All of these tasks to be accomplished can be retaken and you will find yourself redoing some of them more than once or even twice. This is not a bad thing. I will be able to chart your progress through TestOut.

    Week 1 Lab – Installing Linux (due Sunday)

    In order to practice using Linux and work on lab assignments, you will need to have access to Linux both in the classroom and at home. Here are the choices for installing Linux at home, in my suggested order of preference.

    1. Install Linux in a virtual machine on your Windows or Apple computer using VMware or Virtualbox (If you are new to Linux this is the method I recommend)
    2. Install Linux on an old computer.
    3. Install Linux alongside Windows or OSX in a dual boot scenario.
    4. Install Linux on a USB thumb drive or Live CD (need a CD or thumb drive 4 to 8 Gigabytes recommended)

    Click here to go to Installing Linux in a Virtual Machine (Mint 14.1)

    Click here to go to Install Linux Mint 14.1  (Spring 2013)

    Click here to go to Install Ubuntu 11.10 (Spring 2012)

    Click here to go to Install Fedora 16 (Spring 2012)

    Turning it in:
    Depending on your particular instructor, submit a screenshot of your Linux installation by Blackboard or as an email attachment. In the class environment it is preferable to install Linux as a virtual machine using VMware or Virtualbox. Using virtual machines makes it is easy to jump back and forth between different Linux distributions as well as create custom designed installs for specific purposes.