Technology Rediscovery

Digital portal for Eric and/or Xander Darsow's courses and projects. (C) Copyright Notice: The text and images on this site are governed by its content license. Generally stated, this site's content including images, text, and computer code MAY BE be used for all purposes, including personal, organizational, and commercial, without payment or attribution to the author or this website. The few content items covered under other licenses are noted as such. Links to external content are noted with this icon: and are subject to their respective licenses.


Light and circuit board

CIT 100: Computer Fundamentals and applications (Fall 2017)

Section NC35 (Day): CCAC North
Tue/Thu 1:00-3:30 pm | Rm 1140

Section WH71 (Evening): CCAC West Hills
Tue 6-9:10 pm | Rm S2113

Introductory course in computer technology designed for students who are not pursuing an information systems/computer degree or certificate. We explore essential topics in hardware, software, and office productivity applications (word processing, presentation, databases, and spreadsheets) to prepare students for knocking out tasks in a variety of fields.

Course syllabus and schedule plus many other goodies will appear here on Labor day! Stay tuned.

Course syllabus (all sections)

Course Calendar and class session links

Course Notice Box:

No need to buy any books before the first class session! Come as you are.

back to top

eric darsow

Contact Eric and/or Xander Darsow


Office Location:
Faculty Offices, 2nd floor, Room 2036, North Campus, Community College of Allegheny County | 8701 Perry Highway | Pittsburgh, PA 15237-5353

Weekly Schedule


* 10-1130 am: CIT 115 (West Hills)
* 1140-155 am: Java (West Hills)
* 2-3 pm: Office Hours (West Hills)


* 930-1130 am: Java (North)
* 1130-100 pm: Office Hours (North)
* 100-230 pm: CIT 100 (North)
* 500-600 pm: Office Hours (West)
* 600-910 pm: CIT 100 (West)


* 10-1130 am: CIT 115 (West Hills)
* 1140-155 am: Java (West Hills)
* 2-3 pm: Office Hours (West Hills)

* 5-6 pm: Office Hours (North)
* 6-10 pm: Java North


* 930-1130 am: Java (North)
* 1130-100 pm: Office Hours (North)
* 100-230 pm: CIT 100 (North)

Office hours locations:

North: Check the classroom 1140 first, then my office: 2036
West: Check S2113 first, then the adjunct cubicles (ask the reg. desk for directions)

Lab and Shop (for Tech Red. Classes)

Tech Rediscovery Lab & Shop:
2209 S Braddock Ave | Pittsburgh, PA 15218
(Easy parking on the side streets uphill from Braddock Ave)


Phones are fantastic! Very efficient and relationally rich, you should consider calling me instead of emailing in almost all cases. Check my schedule above to determine the best time to call. (I'm very diligent with voicemails.)

Shop/Lab: 412.894.3020 (Preferred - leave VM)
CCAC Office: 412.369.4123 (VM = Bad idea)
Mobile: 412.923.9907 (Limited use, no voicemail or texts, please)

Electronic Mail

Due to generally excessive email volumes, please use the phone for first contact, important, or complicated matters:

Junk Mail:

back to top

keyboard in twilight

CIT 115: Introduction to Information Technology (Fall 2017)

CIT115-WH31 (Day): CCAC West Hills
Mon/Wed 10:00 -11:30am | Rm S2113

Designed for students pursuing certificates or degrees in the computer information systems (CIT) department, CIT 115 explores the foundation technologies that make our digital data age hum and blink.

Course Syllabus


The Java Markup Approach (JMA) practice guide and examples

Dell Computer Assembly instructions<

IBM Machine inner parts directory listing---for students more familiar with building computers.

Session 3 Class Session Guide

Human Computer Modeling activity overview

Famous People person tracker spreadsheet

Famous People picture database

Course Notice Box:

No need to buy any books before the first class session! Come as you are.

back to top


CIT 604: Spreadsheets! (Fall 2017)

Section Z31N (Online): 9 OCT 17 - 3 NOV 17 | CCAC College-wide

A one-month "crash course" in spreadsheet design, use, and display. Covering essential skills for any professional today, CIT 604 will equip students with powerful data processing skills transferable to virtually all fields and professions.

Registration InfoThe Community College of Allegheny County is a public, open-enrollment institution which means there is a place for you at CCAC!

Course Notice Box:

Internet connection required :)

back to top

java code

CIT 111: Introduction to Programming - Java (Fall 2017)

CIT111-NC01 (Day): CCAC North
Tue/Thu 9:30-11:30 am | Rm 1140

CIT111-NC71 (Evening): CCAC North
Wed 6:00-10:10 pm | Rm 1140

CIT111-WH32 (Day): CCAC West Hills
Mon/Wed 11:50 am-1:50 pm | Rm S2113

Immerse yourself in Java - a beautiful and versatile computer programming language that, if mastered, can support learning in all manner of other computer languages. We learn the fundamentals through building neat little tools in Java and asking the computer very nicely to do as it is told.

Course Syllabus - Fall 2017

Course Schedule and session links

Course Github repository

Java Code Markup and Highlighting Guide

System diagramming guide

Myers Briggs and Carl Jung four-letter personality test>

Handy Java Resources

Essential Java Skills

back to top

Community College of Allegheny County

CCAC Links and resources

The Community College of Allegheny County is a public, open-enrollment institution which means there is a place for you at CCAC!

Academic programs at North Campus

Academic programs at the West Hills Center

Information Technology Service Desk

Career, academic, and personal counseling

Free tutoring services info, schedule, and locations

Career, academic, and personal counseling

Disability Services

back to top

flushing toilet

Home Improvement 101 (TR-101)

Zoom through many of the major topics in home repair, drawing on the hard-earned wisdom of the student and instructor. With hands-on practice, familiarize yourself with fasteners, material types, sheetrock basics, electricity, plumbing, and working with contractors.

Section: OSHER Lifelong Learning Summer 2017 | 19 May - 23 Jun 2017 | F 3:15-5:15pm | OSHER classroom, CMU Hunt Library (Completed)

Course Philosophy and Schedule

Anchor Station learning guides

Plumbing Diagrams Directory Listing

Plumbing Station Guides

OSHER Lifelong Learning Homepage

back to top


Put a shelf on it (TR-102)

Most homes suffer from a very disagreeable condition: a lack of sufficient optimized storage space. A good shelf goes a long way in addressing this condition. This course is focused on developing the conceptual knowledge to plan a shelving system and the construction skills necessary to implement that plan in your home.

Course offerings to begin in Spring 2018--Check back soon

back to top

light on rack

Creative Space Design (TR-201

Everybody can use a workshop! Carpenter? That's easy: layout tables, work benches, saw tables, and space 'em out. Artist? Find a wall--build an easel. Writer? Can we make a desk into a workshop? But where does the desk go? How high does it sit? What resources are needed close to the writing area? Do you move around when you write? Have you ever tried writing upside down?

We explore these kinds of questions in this course, and create plans to structure a creative space that aligns to your creative process. Since we do this in a group, we can cross-pollinate and make some really cool work spaces!

Course offerings to begin in Spring 2018--Check back soon

back to top


Electricity: Fundamentals and tinkering (TR-301)

In the digital age, we often overlook the fundamental behavior of the engine behind all of those ones and zeros: electricity! We'll internalize the concepts of circuit structure, voltage, current, resistance, ground faults, insulation, and various electric gadgets such as motors, LEDs, gears, pumps, and more.

Course offerings to begin in Spring 2018--Check back soon

back to top


Co-building: On-site home repair (TR-410)

My experience teaching Home Improvement 101 (TR-101) was seemingly obvious: one quickly hits a ceiling when learning about home repair in the basement of a commercial building, such as CMU's Hunt Library. This course is an on-site one and follows any of the home-focused Technology Rediscovery courses offered. Join one of these intro courses and then we can create a section of this course (TR-410) in which we actually implement a home improvement or fix-it project on site. I can bring necessary tools and we can find other students who have similar learning interests and create a nice, small hands-on course.

Call Xander to discuss more!

back to top


This cell has been left blank intentionally (for "design aesthetic")

back to top

burnign calculus textbook

Documentation Misc

Writing about various stuff

"Working to put food on the table" - An Ethnography of a South African nonprofit | Fieldwork 2007-08 (PDF)

Inclusivity, Technology, and Pittsburgh's Quest to be the “Most Livable City In America” Final paper written for graduate school course studying technology markets where I evaluate Mayor Bill Peduto's Revitalization Roadmap from the perspective of social equity and so-called "inclusive growth."

APR 2017 CV Sterile summary of project, education, and work experience.


Technology Rediscoveries

"Making the old new and the new obsolete"

About two years ago I tried to wipe my technology slate pretty darn clean. I removed all computers from my house, left the flip phone at work when possible, and started from there. Typewriters turn out to be very meaningful, low-distraction writing tools. Telephone books, believe it or not, are very handy to have since they don't need to verify my location or connect to a digital network to help me out. The list will go on and on.

If you have an clue about which major film the typed line above is referencing, please call the shop and let's talk.

A much more perceptive piece of art than I think we could have ever imagined.

back to top

faculty Lounge

Teaching resources and ideas

My work as a teacher today has been built bit by bit through interactions with my own teachers over the years. These links are shared with others in the spirit of non-competitive education: we can all benefit from better teaching anywhere, in any field, so let's share. All this content is licensed under this site's copyright agreement which essentially places everything here into the "Creative Commons", much like open source software code.

If you have resources to share with other teachers in this spirit, please call Xander and talk about it. We can post it!

Mapping module curriculum guide and teaching reflections (PDF | 30-pages | 10.2mb) (Cross listed from the YES research section)

Student outcomes matrix and proposed content extension (PDF | 7-pages | 90kb)

Data Fluency for Organizations - Key Principles | Dec 2016 (PDF)

College and Career Readiness (high school course) unit plan, unit schedule, lesson objectives, and a sample lesson plan. Prepared for Achievement First Charter Schools, 2014.

back to top

code enforcement

Municipal code enforcement database system

The Turtle Creek Valley Council of Governments has partnered with Technology Rediscovery to implement a code enforcement database application plan designed in the Fall of 2016. The project is mid-way into beta design and has a scheduled beta testing phase a the end of 2016

Turtle Creek COG website

Project tools and technologies (external links)

Ubuntu Operating System (Linux)

Glassfish Server (Java)

The basics: HTML and CSS

Java ServerFaces

Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) 7

PostgreSQL - Industry leading open source relational database

Digital Ocean Cloud VPS Hosting

back to top

in-process workbench project

Carpentry & House Projects

Roof Garden Transport System (RGTS): Funicular 1 construction profile and specifications. Feb 2017. A somewhat exhaustive construction profile for this project including a bunch of diagrams, photos, and technical design notes.

(Coming soon!) High School Restlessness: Constructing the Liahona

(Coming soon!) Not just environmentally friendly: Gray water capture and pumping system

back to top

Motherboard closeup

Technology & Electronics

Project report: Linux network design and implementation, CentOS server configuration, network security | Fall 2015 (PDF)Full project description complete with network diagram, configuration guides, and learning process reflections.

back to top

yes \

YES Summer Research Program: Lead exposure in Lincoln-Lemington

Pittsburgh, PA (In Session)

Directed by the East-Liberty Nonprofit organization: Youth Enrichment Services (YES), students in the summer research program investigate the extent of lead exposure (great wikipedia article) in the Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood and organize community action to reduce exposure. This section features content relevant to the mapping task team which Eric advises weekly.

Mapping module curriculum guide and teaching reflections (PDF | 30-pages | 10.2mb)Discussion of mapping-related skills taught and activities implemented during 40 hours of student sessions during July and August 2017 including: suggested lesson content, student work, reflections, and tool profiles.

Student outcomes matrix and proposed content extension (PDF | 7-pages | 90kb) Students developed skills in the following domains: academic research, field data gathering and analysis, and geospatial information tools. Each domain is broken down into knowledge and skill areas with a record of achievements and future learning suggestions.

Quick "1-Pager": High School summer community action research program -- Mapping component (PDF 453kb)Brief glance at the skills developed by the mapping team working on the larger lead(Pb) research program. Includes screen shots of final map products and lessons learned.

Summer research program overview (Published by YES; PDF)

External Resource Links

QGIS-Powerful, open source (free) mapping software
Carto Online Mapping Tool
Western PA Regional Data Center

back to top

CIT 111: Introduction to Programming – Java

CCAC - Spring 2017 - North Campus (Completed)

Course Syllabus

Course Schedule and class session links

Handy Java Resources

Explore the Java Jungle

Java HW Guide

Final Project Links

Mason (Profile) Greg (Code)
Ivan (Profile) Tyrell (Code)
Matt (Profile) John (Code)
Sarah (Profile) Jesse (Code)
Shadan (Profile) Rob (Code)
Tyler (Profile) Derek (Code)

back to top

LND 201: Geographic Information Systems

CCAC - Spring 2017 - West Hills Center (Completed)

Course Syllabus

Course Schedule and class session links

Great student work artifacts

Final Project Guidelines

ESRI Online - For building a story on ArcGIS online

back to top

Last Updated: September 2017 | (c) 2017 - Site's "Copyleft" content use license.