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Robert Morris College

CI-310 : Final Exam

CI-310 Information Systems Applications, 3 credits Admin/ General
Wednesday evenings, 6:00 - 8:50 pm Hale 306 Schedule
Instructor: Ed Quigley 724.774.2088
Dept. Head: Dave Wood, Ph.D. 412.262.2788 Links


You must answer questions One and Two. You must also answer any two other questions.
You may not re-submit a question that you responded to in the midterm.
Submit your four responses (typed, stapled, etc) on 12/13/00 at 6:00 pm.
No extensions; No overdue exams will be accepted (hence the name, final exam).

Question One: (MANDATORY) Read Vannevar Bush's 1945 article As We May Think, at, which describes his vision of something a lot like the Internet. Comparing the Memex to the web, what was Bush wrong about? What was he right about? What parts of his vision are still not realized by the web?

Question Two: (MANDATORY) Explain both Metcalfe's Law and Moore's Law. Look them up somewhere besides the handout (attached). Identify the reference you used to look them up. What are the implications of Metcalfe's Law as more people begin to use the Internet?

Question Three: Recently, the media has carried many stories about the "popping of the dot-com bubble", the failure of many web based businesses. Since these are businesses that closely resemble the thrust of this course, the current trend is worrisome. Of course, the text did tell us the two reasons most businesses fail: time latency and cash reserves. Describe the recent failure of any two web companies, (ex:,, describe the reasons for their failures, and comment on the degree to which these examples bear out the textbook's position on reasons for failures.

Question Four: Describe the Traditional Systems Lifecycle used in building information systems. Also, describe the newer trend toward rapid prototyping. Describe the situations in which each approach may be more appropriate.

Question Five: List the 5 types of information provided by datamining. Describe each.

Question Six. Give a detailed definition of what a Spreadsheet is, and what a Database is. What does each do? What is the main risk in spreadsheets? What is the main risk in databases?

Question Seven: The Management Challenge of Info Systems
In each chapter we have reviewed current trends of info systems and the management challenges (and opportunities) presented by each. What is the greatest challenge that managers and businesses face when dealing with information systems?

Question Eight: The Universal Client.
What does it mean when we say that the web browser is now a "universal client"?
What are the software implications of the universal client?
What are the business implications of this concept?

Question Nine. The textbook identifies four main competitive strategies for companies seeking competitive advantage. Choose any major software package seeking widespread success in the business software market. Identify which competitive strategy they are using, identify the strategy their main competitor is using, and explain your personal prediction of which will succeed.

Question Ten. A long time ago in an economy far, far away, a business investing in technology might purchase a single mainframe which returned certain benefits. Not too long ago, businesses invested in personal computers, which also returned certain benefits. The contemporary business technology investment is in networks, integrated databases, and the Web. What new benefits derive from this new type of investment that were not achieved in the earlier investments? Give examples.

Question Eleven. Businesses are now seeking and tracking more information on customers than ever before. What types of information are they keeping? What benefits do they hope to achieve? What type of information systems (hardware and software) do they use in this effort?