Office: 7357 Computer Sciences
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday at 2-3pm, and by appointment (i.e. send email)
Office: 1308 Computer Sciences
Office Hours: Monday and Wednesday at 3-4pm
Office Phone: 262-6602
You can also pick up everything of yours outside of my door.
This course assumes familiarity with basic computer organization (e.g., processors, memory, and I/O devices as covered in cs354) and data structures (e.g., stacks and hash tables). You will need to be able to program in C (or C++) to perform the assignments in the course. If you don't have much experience in either language, don't worry, we will spend some time covering background, but of course, learning on your own is important and valuable (in this class and in real life).
The mailing list for the course is
Any mail sent to this list will be sent to the entire course. The log of email is available at
The mailing list for project questions is
Any mail sent to this list will go to the professor and TA. During project times, it may be wise to peruse the mail log, which can be found
A short overview of the C programming environment is now available too in
You will be able to use either C or C++ on the system programming assignments in the class. You may choose whichever you prefer. For those of you who want to learn C++, you might want to check out the notes and exercises for the self-paced course
C++ for Java Programmers.
The best C book in the world is
Kernighan and Ritchie's
The C Programming Language.
Also useful is
Expert C Programming
Peter Van der Linden.
The classic C++ book is the one called
The C++ Programming Language
but this is not terribly good for beginners. I found
Advanced C++ Programming Styles and Idioms
James O. Coplien
to be a reasonable text on how to use the language. This basic
might also be useful. Finally, if you are interested in mastering the Unix programming environment, a book most people have on their shelves is
Advanced Programming in the UNIX Environment
by the late, great
W. Richard Stevens.
may be useful for online Solaris documentation.
Some other useful C++ links can be found
New Unix users and novice Unix users new to the CSL Unix facilities are encouraged to attend an orientation session as early in the semester as possible. You may also purchase a copy of
(An Introductory Manual to the Unix Operating System and the Computer Sciences Department's Instructional Computing Environment) at the DoIT Tech Store (first floor of the Computer Sciences and Statistics Building).
The projects are a fundamental part of this course. Although the first assignment will be relatively easy, the remaining projects each require a significant amount of time, so
do not procrastinate!
It is likely things will take longer than you expect. Do not wait until the day before the assignment is due to start. These assignments should be
started well over a week
before they are due. All information necessary to complete the assignments will be available from the class web page.
If you plan to perform software or hardware development after graduation, you will need to know how to work well within a group. Therefore, for all projects after the first assignment, we suggest that you form
groups of two students.
Team members will all receive the same grade on the programming assignments.
All of the assignments will be in C/C++ and not Java. We assume that you have enough programming background that learning the basics of a new language (if it is indeed new to you) will not be difficult. However, we will try to provide some additional material for those of you who need it.
For the projects, you will be graded on how well your implementation works. For these assignments, we will test your program on a suite of input sets while you are present. Your grade will be based on how many of the tests your application passes and how well you are able to answer our questions; we will only briefly examine your code to ensure that you followed the specifications of the assignment. For the other projects, you will be graded on your design, functionality, and documentation. For these assignments, you will need to develop input sets that convince us that your application has the desired behavior. Your grade will be based on how well you describe your implementation and document its functionality. Each assignment will be worth the same number of points, although some will be easier than others.
Questions about projects should be sent to
Those queries (and responses) are archived at
Intro to C and Systems Programming
Building your own Pipe
Scheduling and Memory Management
Exam 1 distribution
is also available.
There will be two exams to test your knowledge. The exams will be closed book, and will cover material from class and the textbook. They will be (roughly) equally weighted.
will be held Thursday, March 14,
a single page "cheat sheet" (8.5 by 11 inches) is allowed, and you can use both sides; exams are otherwise
to find out your grades so far in the class.
|Jan 22||Intro||Chapter 1|
|Jan 24||Processes||Chapter 2|
|Jan 29||Class cancelled|
|Feb 7||Synchronization (cont)||Project 1 Due|
|Feb 12||Classic Problems/Monitors and Messaging|
|Feb 14||Deadlock||Chapter 3 (skim)||Project 2 Out|
|Feb 19||CPU Scheduling||Chapter 2.5|
|Feb 21||Advanced Topics||See notes|
|Feb 26||Memory Allocation||Chapter 4|
|Feb 28||Memory Management|
|Mar 7||More Segments/Pages||Project 2 Due|
|Mar 14||Midterm Exam|
|Mar 19||Virtual Memory|
|Mar 21||Virtual Memory||Project 3 Out|
|Mar 26||Spring Break|
|Mar 28||Spring Break|
|Apr 2||Virtual Memory (Finish)|
|Apr 4||I/O, Disks||Chapter 5|
|Apr 9||RAID||(see paper)|
|Apr 11||File Systems||Chapter 6|
|Apr 16||File Allocation|
|Apr 18||FFS||Project 3 Due/Project 4 Out|
|Apr 23||Beyond FFS|
|Apr 25||Security||Chapter 9|
|May 2||Case Studies and Advanced Topics||Chapter 12|
|May 9||(cont)||Project 4 Due|