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Chitu Okoli

DESC 384 Assignments Fall 2009


DESC 384: Business Data Communications
Homework Assignments


Due date
Assignment Necessary reading
 Monday September 28

Read Mini-case III, Accurate Accounting (p. 69). Answer the following questions:

  1. What are the characteristics of e-mail that enable it to be easily used to communicate between different organizations?
  2. What are the characteristics of instant messaging that complicate or frustrate easy communication between different organizations?
  3. According to the your responses for the first two questions, compare video conferencing with e-mail and instant messaging.
  4. In your response, name and identify the leading e-mail, instant messaging and video conferencing solutions. Distinguish between solutions for individuals and solutions for corporations (give two examples of each).
  5. Based on your analysis, recommend the best solution for Accurate Accounting. If you feel it is best for them not to use videoconferencing, that's OK, as long as you make a good argument.

Submit your answer on not more than two pages of printed paper at the beginning of class.

 Chapter 2
Wednesday October 14 (e-mail by 11:59 pm)
  • 10th edition of textbook: Exercise 5-3 from Chapter 5 (page 185). Reference is to Figure 5.13 (not 5.14, which is a typo in the book).
  • 9th editon of textbook: Exercise 5-5 from Chapter 5 (page 187).

Answer both (a) and (b) in detail, but (c) only in general. Note that (c) is not the same question as (a) or (b).

Note the following clarification:

  • "Configuration tables" refers to the kind of information found in figure 5.14 (figure 5.13 in 9th edition). Other than this information, the client computer does not know any addresses.
Chapter 5
Wednesday December 2 (e-mail by 11:59 pm)

Suppose you have three friends who share an apartment in downtown Montréal, and each of them has a computer. Your friends want to get Internet access that all three of them can share. Assuming that they have access to a regular phone line, DSL, and cable TV, what would you recommend if your friends want to spend:

  • no more than $10 per month per person, and maximum of $50 per person for setup?
  • no more than $20 per month per person, and maximum of $100 per person for setup?
  • any price for the highest possible speed for residential customers?

All costs must include taxes and any "hidden" fees. Be sure to list the pros and cons of each option you recommend, apart from cost. For each recommendation, specify real services available in Montreal, and calculate current prices for setup and monthly fees. "Setup" includes any setup fees assessed by the provider, plus the cost of routers, switches, or modems, if necessary for your selected option.

Two more questions:

  • If you have Internet access at home, what service do you use?
  • After this exercise, are you thinking of switching to something else?
Chapter 10
Wednesday December 15 (e-mail by 11:59 pm)

Find a news story about one of the following network-based security problems that occurred in the last seven months (that is, any time after May 1, 2009) anywhere in the world: hacker/cracker, network-based fraud, virus/worm/trojan horse, or DoS. Do the following:

  1. Briefly but clearly summarize the security problem.
  2. Who were the victims? Were the perpetrators identified? If so, who were they?
  3. Approximately how much money and time did this problem cost the victims?
  4. What security hole was exploited? ("Security hole" means an oversight, breakdown or laxity in security that was taken advantage of.) How can this problem be resolved?
  5. What risk is there for similar incidents in the future, both for the current victims and regarding other potential victims?
Chapter 11
5:00 pm Friday
December 11
Term project due Chapters 1-13


Bonus assignments

For this class, you will have two optional bonus assignment opportunities. You may do one or both of them. The score from the bonus assignments will replace the lowest score for one of your regular assignments. Submit them to me by e-mail at any time before the final exam day: 11:59 pm on Monday December 21, 2009.

Every Breath You Take: Concordia Data Security Conference

On November 4, 2009, Concordia sponsored "Every Breath You Take" as part of its President's Conference Series. Because this conference has much bearing on students of business data communications, you can get extra credit for attending one of the sessions and writing a report on it:

  • Either attend one of the live conference sessions, or watch a video of a session at the online archive of the conference. You can pick any one session of your choice.
  • Write a report of between 500 to 1,000 words that does the following:

    • Summarize the content of the video presentation in detail.
    • Describe the primary implications of the message for individuals.
    • Describe the primary implications of the message for individuals.
    • Highlight one or more significant new things you learnt from the presentation, and explain what effects, if any, these might make on how you conduct yourself in the digital world.

Wikipedia article development

Wikipedia is the world's largest reference source, and is a valuable source of knowledge for everyone in the world connected to the Internet. This assignment gives you the opportunity to participate in its development. The assignment is to pick any "stub" article in the topic of computer networking, and develop it in a business-oriented direction. For this assignment, you must add at least 250 words beyond the initial article that you started with. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Read the Wikipedia contributor tutorial.
  2. Setup a Wikipedia account.
  3. Read the WikiProject Computer Networking Page.
  4. Select a topic from the list of stub articles on computer networking. You may choose any topic at all from this list. (Note that the list sends you to the talk/discussion pages; to actually edit articles, you need to go to the article page.)
  5. Research the topic using any sources available. You must keep track of your sources, since citing sources is very important in Wikipedia.
  6. Write the article. I will grade the article based on your following the following principles:

    1. Clearly describe the technology from a technical perspective.
    2. Explain the justification for the technology; that is, why do businesses and users need this particular networking technology? What technologies is it similar to, and what are the basic differences?
    3. As much as possible, follow the guidelines from the WikiProject Computer Networking page.
    4. I do not expect a perfect article by any means, since I know that all the stub articles are very technical. In general, the final quality that would give you 10/10 would be the kind of article at the "start class" quality, as long as it meets the requirements I specified above.
  7. To submit, e-mail me the link to the article along with your Wikipedia user ID, so that I can follow your exact contribution.

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