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Computer Systems Design  

Introductory CompTIA A+ Certification Prep Course
3.5 Credits

Course Overview
A+ Certification topics and concepts are imperative for not only those looking to get into the IT industry but also those working with robotics and all related industrial automation. System fabrication, building to enclosure limitations, operating system installation, open source hardware/software, Windows, Linux, RF, cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth are all apart of our daily routine in the robotic/automation environment and the A+ Certification topics perfectly match up with all of this (excluding enclosure fabrication). When looking for individuals with the skills necessary to hire or be a part of a new tech team, A+ certification is a great way to assess their competency and dedication.

CompTIA A+ Certification Website

This is the same IT course we started teaching nearly 20 years ago, but with a new twist. Since moving so strongly into the robotic and manufacturing industry, we've modified this course to include enclosure fabrication as well. As we're always focused on the integration of technologies, this allows us to also demonstrate 3d engineering design, additive manufacturing, CNC machining and other basic shop tools. When designing automated systems, it almost never works out that we can simple throw in a full-sized computer case, so having skills in fabrication as well as computing becomes almost mandatory. Be it a standard ATX mother board, Mini-ITX, Raspberry Pi, or small microcontroller board, there's always going to be code or operating systems to load, and and some cramped place you need to put everything. This is our focus.

Course Prerequisites and Expectations
This is an entry level course but some basic computer and shops skills would be beneficial. As for student expectations, we will have homework and quizzes that will need to be completed to pass the course. Those of you that are funded by outside sources will want to keep that in mind before registering, as most institutions will require you to pay back the funds if you do not pass. Having said that, as long as you show up for class and stay engaged, passing should not be too difficult. An A+ Certification textbook is included with the course and we will cover all the topics, but understand that it is not expected that you pass the A+ certification to pass the class. Technical certifications of this type are not passed in a class but rather an offsite testing center that provides secure, monitored exam delivery. This is not a "boot camp" course and many hours of study outside of class are usually necessary to pass those exams.

** Current Computer Build Information **
The system we'll be designing in class will be a Mini-ITX style. This is a small board around 7 inches (180mm) square. Materials are purchased prior to class so please be aware of this.

Topics covered:
Computer Hardware
  • Understanding the different PC parts
  • Researching PC components
  • Building a PC
  • Preparing hard drives for use
  • Loading an Operating System (Windows and Linux)
  • Dual Booting
Operating Systems
  • Windows Operating systems overview
  • Windows configuration tasks
  • User Accounts
  • Email setup
  • Maintenance
  • System Restore
  • Command Line Basics

  • Linux Operating System Overview
  • Linux configuration tasks
  • User Accounts
  • Software Installation
  • Command Line Basics
  • IP addressing
  • Naming PCs
  • Finding resources on a network
  • Servers and server-like situations
  • Home routers
Design and Fabrication
  • Computer Aided Design (CATIA, FreeCAD, Solidworks)
  • Creating tool paths for CNC
  • CNC machine operation
  • 3D Printer operation
  • Hand Tools (Screwdrivers, hammers, pliers, cutters)
  • Power Tools (Hand drills, drill press, die grinder, belt sander, Dremel tools)
  • De-burring parts
  • Sanding and Polishing various materials
  • Tapping Threads
  • Basic Measurement (Tape Measure, scale)
  • Metric Measurement and Conversions
  • Basic Precision Measuring Tools (Calipers, Micrometers)
  • Advanced Precision Measuring Tools (123 Blocks, Depths Gauge, Angle Measurement, Parallels)
  • Basic Mathematics (Addition, Subtraction, Fractions, Decimals)
  • Tolerance design for fit and function

Mailing List Signup - Get notified of upcoming classes!

To Register:
  • Click "add to cart
  • Create an account
  • Make payment online (Boeing people say PO or Check and write in "Boeing"
  • Complete a credit registration form. E-mail form to or fax 425-267-5749

  • Call The BTC (425-640-1840) and give them the number of the class you wish to register for

Contact Damian Cianci at if you have any questions.

The Business Training Center of Edmonds Community College has been "off-campus" in the heart of the community providing practical industry focused education for over 17 years.


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