The E Skills Module Computer Science Essay

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This is a report of essential skills for computing course. It divided into six chapters and an appendix. To begin with, chapter one will brief introduces the use of the systems and applications covered in the Eskills module which are Windows, UNIX, Linux, LaTeX Microsoft Office and OpenOffice. Next, will compare some features of Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc that including the "Fill" operation, cell functions and two types of cell addressing. At the meantime, analyze differences between Microsoft Word and LaTeX, especially headings, tables and equations in chapter two and three. In Addition, explain Unicode UTF8 and the benefits of having UTF8. Furthermore, reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of using Unix Commands and Scripts over the use of GUIs and Applications. Finally, define plagiarism and explain how it can be avoided. In appendix attached the lab practical exercises which are include both the solution and an explanation of solution.

The Eskills module

Eskills module is abbreviation of essential skill module. That is basic covered three operation systems and three office suite applications. The three operating systems are including Windows, UNIX and Linux. The three applications are Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, and LaTeX.


Microsoft Windows systems have the largest number of users in the world, because it might has high compatibility with most operating systems. The first Windows operating system, Microsoft Windows 1.X was released in 1985 and it improved and replaces the previous system, Microsoft Dos. Microsoft Windows has a colorful graphical interface and it also support for mouse and keyboard functions. The computing platform constitute by icons of desktop and task bar. The task bar shows running programs that including "Start" menu of all programs, time and typing language bar. Then the icons on desktop are a quick way to open the program, which including "My Computer", "My Documents", "Recycle Bin", etc. In addition, the main operation of running Windows programs is by mouse and keyboard control. Left-click mouse is select command, double-click the left mouse button is running the command. Right-click is a pop-up menu.


UNIX is powerful operating systems, widely used in both servers and workstations. First version was proposed by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy in 1969 at Bell Labs. As time passes by, UNIX has got more mature technique, safer on security, and strong database, but recent year, it no more popular than Windows and Linux.


Linux created by Linus Torvalds in 1991. It a free Unix-type operating system which is means Linux has got some characteristics of UNIX. The source code for Linux is complete freely available to everyone. As the result, many people think compare with UNIX and Microsoft Windows, develop Linux can cost lower even free, has high security, and more reliability than other OS.

1.4 Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office is office software. The first version was Microsoft Office 3.0, it released by Microsoft Windows Company in August 1992. For 3.0, it basic contains Word (a word processor), Excel (a spreadsheet program) and PowerPoint (a presentation program).

1.5 OpenOffice

OpenOffice is a cross-platform office software suite, it can running on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X (X11), and Solaris operating systems. OpenOffice is free software, anyone can download and use. Many designs of them are similar to Microsoft Office, but the majority of formats, such as mathematical functions are so different. It includes six of office suites as follows, OpenOffice Writer, OpenOffice Impress, OpenOffice Calc, OpenOffice Base, OpenOffice Draw and OpenOffice Math.

1.6 LaTeX

LaTeX is a typesetting programming, develop by American computer scientists, Leslie Lamport. The idea of this programming wants to be useful for user, even the user has knowledge less about layout. LaTeX can be provides many useful functions that help user in just a couple of days, or even few hours can done the layout of document. Especially, produce complex tables and typing mathematical formulas.

Microsoft Excel and OpenOffice Calc

Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software, can help user to do statistics, analyze data and output the charts easily, etc. Its basic function is to record the data, calculation and analysis. In fact, it can be a professional statistical processing as well. On the other hand, OpenOffice Cale also do the similar job as Excel but there still got a little difference on functions and characteristics between them.

2.1 The "Fill" operation

This is a function can help user more easily to built more data, for example, label, date, months and years.

To begin with, type a number in a cell and go edit choose fill then use Left-click mouse to select the cell and pull any positions (right, left, up, and down) it will shows a lot same cell with same number, but if you keep press ctrl key after you select that cell and do "Fill" in again it showing series of number but sort out by decline. In Cale, user do not need to press ctrl key it already sort out dates in decline way, for example, Monday to Friday. Otherwise, user can setting the types by choose different functions between Linear, Growth, Date, AutoFill and Increment.

2.2 Selection of cells for inclusion in a function

Write a function in a cell is want to do count, calculate and analyze statistics data when user have numerous data. But in this part Excel and Calc are nearly the same, no any significant difference. Both of them have the Function List window, which displays all functions that can be inserted into document it is very useful for new user.

2.3 Absolute and relative cell addressing

In Excel and Calc, the default is relative cell addressing, that if user choose the absolute cell addressing just plus $ in front of the position, it should be sort by the English letter then number, so that A1 said the cell in first column first row. A $ 1, said relative cell addressing is column A, but row 1 are absolute cell addressing. $ A $ 1, said column A and row 1 is the absolute cell addressing.

Microsoft Word and Latex

Both of Microsoft Word and Latex are office software. Help people do the word processors and typesetting.

3.1 Headings

In Word, the menu on the top of window will easily help user to use most functions which include Headings of course, there have around 18 types can use. However, not similar to LaTex. When user want to typesetting headings, they might need check the commend for different types of heading, such as, Introduces in report should use "\chapter", in book use "\part" and so on.

3.2 Tables

For inserts a table into the document in Word is very easy, user can go Insert click Table, and will have many types of table for use or drag to select the number of rows and columns to include in the table, and then click in the last cell. User can draw it by themselves with operate a small pen and eraser, too. Compare with LaTex that more challenge and differcult to use table, but user can use software, Excel2LaTeX. This tool helps LaTex to produce table. When user use it just open the file Excel2LaTeX.xla in Excel. Then user will have an additional menu item in 'Tools' menu and a new Toolbar with one button on it. If plan to use the program frequently you can save it in your adding directory and add it with tools/add-in. This way it will be loaded whenever Excel is opened.


LaTex allows user choose the icons of math function if the module is not so difficult. But if it too complicated user still need to check how to write the right command for correct fonts. However, in Word, have a menu almost cover all the math equations can be quick to write.


In the field of computer science, Unicode is a standard code contains over ten different kinds of languages and more than 100,000 characters let website more readable. Unicode is based on the standards of Universal Character Set, and also publish Unicode booklets to the public. It accepts work on extensible Markup Language (XML), Java language, and the most of operating systems.

4.1 What is Unicode UTF-8

UTF is mean Unicode Transformation Format, 8 is 8 bits Universal Character Set so it is a variable-width encoding form for Unicode. It is also able to represent any character in the Unicode standard, yet is backwards compatible with American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII).

4.2 The benefits of having UTF-8

UTF-8 is reasonably compact in terms of the number of bytes used and the only that user encoding XML can use without require an indication of the encoding. UTF-8 is also significantly less efficient in processing than the other encoding forms. However, it is really only at a small size disadvantages when used for East Asian implementations such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, which use Han ideographs or Hangul syllables requiring three-byte code unit sequences in UTF-8.


Command Line Interface (CLI) is a interface does not usual support mouse, so it should use keyboard typing command, then when computer receives the command it will running programming, because this reason, some people call it, character user interface (CUI). Along with the development of computing, new one shows up. The computer screen display some icons, buttons and other graphics to represent different purposes of the actions, that is Graphical User Interface (GUI), user can use a mouse or touch pad to select and running it, such as Windows systems .

5.1 The advantages and disadvantages of using CLI and GUI

Generally, the command line interface is not so friendly to user, although it free. Because user should remember operation commands, but besides this its benefits still got a lots. If users can remember most of the commands that will be faster and save more resources of computer system than graphical user interface do. On the other hand, the GUI got its benefits that convenient for user not need to memorize a large number of commands any more, it replace typing command to use selection menus, buttons, and icons etc. To sum up, the advantages of GUI as follows, easy to understand, human readable, and support various devices so on. Nowadays, the graphical user interface operating system usually retains the optional for use line interface.

Define Plagiarism

In unversity courses, we using ideas of other people frequently, we discuss it in class, read it in textbooks, hear it in lectures, and refer them into our own writing or coursework. Therefore, it is very important that we regard this issue. Carroll (2002, p.9) piont out that "Plagiarism is passing off someone else's work, whether intentionally or unintentionally, as your own for your own benefit. " Therefore, plagiarism is using ideas and words of others without clearly showing the source of that information.

How it can be avoided

According to The UK office of academic Ombudsman in University of Kentucky (2007), says that has few tips for avoiding plagiarism as follows.

When students print out the material from the internet, every time make sure you have full sources. If students read books and journal articles, you have to take time to note sources of page which you used.

When students copy and paste material from internet and books which you can highlight them in another colors. After you finished whole report you can check there are too many direct quotations sentences of other article.

Do not think you can borrow some magical number of words or sentences without accused of plagiarism.

Do not pretend ideas which you are not sure.

Do not copy material and sentence and indicate footnote in the end. You should note in the first of sentences.

Students use material verbatim you should use quotation marks and note the sources.

Before you submit report to an instructor you should check it again. Make sure you note every sources and quotation marks include graphs, tables, figures, formulas and other visual representations.


Let me summarize the main points that have been made in this report. Although, Microsoft has got the largest percentage of customer in the world, but most user still unsatisfied it. Because, the new version released, user should buy and update it that might cost a lot. Therefore, that become a reason to cheer up Linux, people more like this operating system not only complete free but also got the open source code that allow anyone can debug let system improve. As same as Microsoft Word and Openoffice, when the software not too many different, user will definitely choose free one. Furthermore, the UTF-8 code is powerful code, it can cover the most language in the world also can reduce the "Mojibake" encoding. This means that, UTF-8 becoming the most popular encoding when people built websites or write e-mail. Finally, most cases of plagiarism arise from misuse of resources, so the introduction of the World Wide Web has made plagiarism even easier. It availability of a lot information online helped plagiarism. Technology has made large amounts of data available in just some clicks. Forasmuch, people should pay more attention on copy and paste functions because those allow students to easily create a document from various webs and it has existed as an academic menace.