Coursework – Big M Cinemas

Introduction My assignment was to design a full web-page advertisement for a cinema. It should be attractive and easy to update and timings change. My extension was to create a web booking system/User documentation. I had a choice of six other categories in the Big M Cinemas coursework but chose this one because its what I thought I could achieve best at. The giving time for my project was nine weeks to do the primary task, extension and report. I had a choice of which software I used and how I did the project (there was no software restrictions).

When designing my web page, I need to make sure that I am only doing the task I intended to do. Have a simple background but choose a font type that will clash with the page to make it easier to read. Try to have the same layout on all pages to save time and it’s easier. My project is set out with the report (this) at the beginning and after that the web site with the booking system at the end. Each individual page of the web site and booking system has the HTML code after it in order not to get confused. Applications An application is an item of software that is used to perform a specific function.

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Examples of these are database creation, management, spreadsheet creation and management or word processing. When creating my web-based system I needed to find out what the best software package and hardware were the best to use. When doing this I had to test/compare/contrast different products so I could tell which would work best, not necessarily one. When I decided my project, I needed to make a list of all the commands I needed the package to operate. For example, inserting a hyperlink. I needed to decide whether the program was user friendly, meaning was it easy to operate/perform tasks.

Can I get the program to do what I want? Is the program robust, can it cope with errors in data while it is running? Software When starting my project I chose to use Microsoft Publisher 98 for the website with a link to html for my booking system. When designing the web-based system I could have used Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or many more. I needed these applications to be easy to use, change and alter. It should be easy to access different pages on the site. Inserting hyperlinks to websites and files should be easy to use. There is a Wizard in each of these Microsoft programs and are both as good as each other.

The reason I chose to use Publisher was because it had the best Wizard to use when creating a website. Microsoft Publisher Microsoft Publisher is designed to build professional looking pages. You can create newsletters, newspapers, leaflets and posters plus more. The pages are built up of frames, text frames containing text and image frames containing images. Microsoft Publisher is Microsoft Publisher 98 was the easiest to use when creating my web page because of the Wizard. This part of the program gave step-by-step tutorials on how to use Publisher and the different styles/themes of websites that can be used.

There are different layouts you can choose that change easier than Microsoft Word. It allowed you to work on the page instead of writing the source in html using all the codes. There was an easy menu option to adapt to (i. e. Inserting text or picture boxes). Microsoft Publisher 98 wasn’t very efficient when creating an online booking system. I couldn’t find a way of creating it even when trying to use the Wizard help option (f1). Going by my research, the Wizard has created a questionnaire, request and booking form for the newer Microsoft Publisher 2000 version that we aren’t able to access.

Even if I did manage to create a booking system on publisher, it wouldn’t have the quality that HTML has. HTML HTML is the most common code used when creating a website worldwide along with java. There are web-designing programs like Dream Weaver but HTML is a free source. Interest in and use of the World Wide Web has been expanding at a phenomenal rate. As the Web grows, so did its vehicle of communication. In addition to this official work on HTML, the browsers have been making their own additions to HTML. HTML can produce text, pictures, graphs, layouts, links, presentations and more.

All of these options can be formatted/edited. I used this to create a booking system to go with my website. HTML I thought was a lot more professional and took greater skill. Some of the advantages are that you can design exactly what you want instead of other layouts. You can design in a lot more detail. There is a disadvantage though and that is that the HTML code will be hard to learn most things apart from basics without time consuming effort. The code is in the American language that means some words will be spelt differently (i. e. Colour=color).

My online booking system took much longer than it would to use a Microsoft Wizard. Hardware Input Devices An input device is any hardware, which is used to enter data into the computer system. My keyboard is the most common input device which I used. I used a QWERTY keyboard which is the most common type of keyboard. The name comes from the first six letters on the keyboard. They are based on the design of the first typewriters. Each key is connected to a switch, which closes when the key is pressed. This sends a signal to the CPU based on the characters ASCII code.

There is another type of keyboard that is called a Concept keyboard. They are faster but more limited. They are normally found in shops and restaurants. Each switch has a symbol/word on it representing a piece of data stored in the computer like the price. The second most popular piece of hardware I used was the mouse. There are two or three buttons. When a cursor is over an icon, menu item or edge of a picture the mouse button can be clicked/double clicked to give the computer a command. Can also be held down to drag something over the screen.

There is a ball under the mouse that moves across a flat surface. Sensors measure the movements of the balls in two directions and from this the computer can measure the distance travelled. This is used to move the cursor on the screen. There is other types of mouse like a: – Tracker ball, which works in the same way as a mouse, but the ball is moved by hand so it takes up less space. This is a fiddly method that is not that accurate or quick. Touch sensitive pad, which look like small screens. You move your finger across the pad, which moves the cursor.

They use less space than a mouse but they are easily damaged and not very reliable. Little pimples work by putting your finger on them and pushing them in the direction you want the cursor to move. They are very small and not very precise/accurate. Output Devices An output device is any hardware used to communicate the result of data processing carried out by the CPU (Central Processing Unit). The most common output device I used was a VDU (Visual Display Unit) also more commonly known as a monitor. They are used when visual information is needed but permanent isn’t.

The two ways in which monitors differ are size and resolution. Size is measured in inches across the diagonal of the screen. Most PCs have 17inches and laptops have 12 inches. Resolution changes by the number of pixels/dots, which make up the viewed image on the screen. The main sizes are (high-1024×768), (medium-800×600) and (low-640×480). The resolution on most laptops is 800×600. The two main types of monitor are: – LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display), which are used in laptops and some desktops. This is the monitor, which I used for my project. CRTs (Cathode Ray Tubes), which are used in PCs.

These are the same ones as used in TVs and came be damaging to the eyes when in long use. Another main output device is a printer. This is used to produce a permanent hard copy of the information on paper. There are three types of printers: – Dot-Matrix Printers also called impact printers, which are the cheapest to buy and operate. This mainly used in tills by the cashiers of shops. The print head is a matrix of pins consisting of 9 or 24 arranged in a vertical line or block. Each character is formed using a set pattern of some of the pins. The ribbon is a long strip of material with ink on one side.

The print head pins push the ribbon on the paper to create a series of dots. The advantages are that it is cheap to buy and operate. The disadvantages are that it is very slow, low resolution and very noisy. An Ink-Jet Printer costs less than a laser printer but better quality than a Dot Matrix. This the most common type used by home users. The main component is the print head. This has lots of tiny nozzles or spouts through which small jets of ink are sprayed on to the paper. The advantages are good resolution-300 to 600, which means you can print good quality documents, and often in colour.

Disadvantages are its can be slow when printing in colour, often less than four pages per minute. It can be expensive to run-the cartridges cost more per page than laser printer cartridges. Thirdly the Laser Printer that is also called the page printers because the data to be printed is sent to the printer in complete pages, one at a time. This printer is the type of printer output device that I used. They work in the same way as photocopiers. There are four main parts, which are the electrostatic rotating drum that has a negative electrical charge.

The laser reflects on to the drum a mirror image of the page to be printed. Where the page hits the drum the negative charge is removed. When the drum passes over the toner cartridge the ink is attracted to the negatively charged areas of the drum. The ink is then transferred on to the printer paper. The fuser unit heats the paper to fuse the ink onto it. The advantages of a laser printer are very high resolution like 600 dots per inch or more meaning they can print high quality documents. They are also very fast by managing to print over 10 pages per minute and also very quiet.

The disadvantages though are they are still quite expensive. There are lots of complex parts inside which are expensive to repair. You can’t use continuous or multi-part stationary. How the CPU controls input and output hardware This shows how the information from the input hardware devices transmits information into the Central Processing Unit (CPU). The Central Processing Unit then processes the given information, organises it and then transmits it to the output devices that present/display it. The Control Unit The control unit (CU) coordinates the work of the whole computer system.

It controls the hardware attached to the system by making sure that the command given to the program are activated. It controls the input and output of data, so all the signals go to the right place at the right time and also controls the flow of the data with the CPU. The Arithmetic and Logical Unit This is where the computer processes data by either manipulating it or acting upon it. The Arithmetic part does calculations. The Logic part makes decisions. Immediate Access Store The (IAS) holds any data and programs needed by the computer when they are being used.

The CPU reads data and programs kept on the backing storage that is stored temporarily in the IASs memory. The Advantages and Disadvantages of using IT There are different times when to use ICT and when not to. For example when you want to write the same letter to more than one person, it would be ideal to use ICT to do a mail merge on Microsoft Word. If you want to keep permanent records UN damaged then ICT will be the best way. When not to use ICT will be when you just want to make notes, quick drafts or diagrams. When you are not creating anything permanently, just deciding different ideas.

The Advantages A computer based filing database system takes up a lot less space than a paper based filing system. Searching for records is a lot easier and quicker. More than one person at a time can access the data if it is a network connection PC. The data is saved/stays in the computers memory and it won’t get lost or miss filed. There a fewer staff needed to look after the computer system. Reports can be generated very quickly often by an automated processing routine. The Disadvantages Setting up a computer system is very expensive.

Big systems in large organisations such as the NHS cost millions of pounds. Computer systems need to people to maintain and use them. Training costs can be high and the money is wasted if that person leaves. Computer systems are not perfect, if there is a system failure or a power cut, then the important data may get lost or corrupted. It can be easy to copy files and so remove confidential information from the system. The system needs to be kept secure from unauthorised users and hackers. Data Validation and Verification Data Validation Data validation checks the data is the correct type.

The computer can perform validation automatically while the data is being entered. There are four main data validation techniques: – Range check – This makes sure that the data is within the specified range for example a percentage is 0% – 100%. Presence check – This makes sure that important information has been entered for example when a person orders an item online they need to enter their name, address and credit card number or without these it wont allow it to function. Check digit – This checks that numerical data has been entered accurately.

Data type check – This will check to make sure that text has been entered where needed and not numbers for example. Data Verification This is different compared to validation because this is making sure the data that has been input is the same as the original data. There are two main verification techniques: – Proof-reading – is when a person reads the data that has been entered onto the system and compares with the original, any incorrectly entered data will be edited. Double entry – is when the data is entered by twice by two people. The computer then compares the two versions and any found errors are then corrected.

Problems with data validation are that it only checks that it is the right type and not whether it is accurate or not. Any problems with the verification program could mean other possible mistakes. Problems with data verification are that double entry is time consuming and can be very expensive. Proof reading is also expensive and doesn’t allow for computer error. Analysis In my project, I found the hardest thing was trying to create a booking system. That one page took me four weeks, as I had to type the HTML code, edit it and re edit it. Publisher was much easier to adapt to.

There is nothing that I would change to my project as I feel I have done mine the best possible way. One of my problems was trying to insert a calendar on the site. When I did it I couldn’t proportion it correctly. The text wasn’t as visible as I would have liked unless I proportioned it to the whole page. In the end I chose to abandon the calendar. None of the layouts suited my task so I had re design/alter the way they had done it. I did a different background and colour scheme. When using HTML it was hard remembering to use the American language to write it in instead of English.

I did like the way that Publisher toolbar menus were easy to use and understand, for example inserting hyperlinks was much easier than in HTML due to the excellent Microsoft Wizard. I chose Publisher as it actually had a web site creating program unlike Microsoft Word. I thought that this project was good and the way I did it. Next time I do my project I would write out long texts areas in Microsoft Word because it is easier to do alignment, format and spell check the text. I would still use Microsoft Publisher if it was accessible otherwise HTML. I would also try to be more creative next time for example like adding Java features.