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Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Fall 2014, All Sections

Click here to see a PREVIEW of important rules.

This is an undergraduate course on computer operating systems. In addition to exploring concepts such as synchronization, virtual memory, processes, file systems and virtualization, students will develop elements of a fairly complete operating system during the course of the semester.

 
General Information
Instructor Bill Cheng (click to see office hours)
E-mail: <bill.cheng@usc.edu>.  (Please do not send HTML-only e-mails. They will not be read.)
  DEN Section (29945D+29946D) PM Section (30243D) TT Section (30203D)
Time MW 10:00am - 11:20am (NEW)  MW 12:25pm - 1:45pm (NEW)  TuTh 9:30am - 10:50am 
Location OHE 122  SLH 102  SLH 102 
TA Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Tue 3:30pm - 5:30pm in HED 103
Hao Xu, E-mail: <hxu1@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Tue 2:00pm - 3:00pm in LVL 3Z
Michael Chien-Chun Hung, E-mail: <chienchun.hung@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Wed 4:00pm - 6:00pm in LVL 3Z
Course Producer (none) Jeng-tsung Tsai, E-mail: <jengtsut@usc.edu>
Office Hours: Thu 3:30pm - 5:30pm in LVL 3V
(none)
Grader Xin Zhang, E-mail: <zhan413@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Zhe Xie, E-mail: <zhexie@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Aditya Vijay, E-mail: <avijay@usc.edu>.
(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam during class time, Wed, 10/29/2014 (firm) during class time, Wed, 10/29/2014 (firm) during class time, Thu, 10/30/2014 (firm)
Final Exam 8am-10am, Mon, 12/15/2014 (firm). 11am-1pm, Fri, 12/12/2014 (firm). 11am-1pm, Thu, 12/11/2014 (firm).
 
Class Resources
Description   :   textbooks, topics covered, grading policies, additional resources, etc.
Lectures   :   lectures slides (in PDF format).
Projects   :   programming assignments (please also see important information about the class projects below.)
Participation   :   rules about roll calls.
Newsgroup   :   Google Group for discussing course materials and programming assignments. You are required to be a member of this group. (This group is by invitation only.) Please note that this Google Group currently does not exist. It will be created after the first lecture.
 
News
(in reversed chronological order)
  • 12/4/2014: The final exam will be closed book, closed notes, and closed everything (and no "cheat sheet"). Also, no calculators, cell phones, or any electronic gadgets are allowed. Please bring a photo ID. Your ID will be collected at the beginning of the exam and will be returned to you when you turn in your exam. There will be assigned seating.

    The final exam will cover everything from slide 12 of Lecture 14 on 10/8,9/2014 to the last slide of Lecture 30 on 12/3,4/2014, MINUS anything in Ch 1 (in lectures 15 and 16).

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the exam, please see the Exams section of the course description web page. Regarding regrade policy, please see the Regrade section of the course description web page.

    Please note that if you are asked to run the Stride Scheduling algorithm, to get any credit, you must run the one described in Lecture 30 (and not in Lecture 29 or from the textbook).

    Here is a quick summary of the topics (not all topics covered may be listed):

    • Ch 3 - Basic Concepts
      • shared libraries
    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • devices
      • virtual machines, microkernels
    • Ch 5 - Processor Management
      • threads implementations
      • interrupts
      • scheduling
    • Ch 6 - File Systems
      • the basics of file systems
      • crash resiliency
      • directories and naming
      • RAID, flash memory, case studies
    • Ch 7 - Memory Management
      • virtual memory
      • OS issues
    • Kernel assignments 2 & 3

  • 11/9/2014: The office hour for this coming Tuesday (11/11/2014) will only be half an hour long (i.e., from noon to 12:30pm). Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 10/16/2014: The midterm exam will be closed book, closed notes, and closed everything (and no "cheat sheet"). Also, no calculators, cell phones, or any electronic gadgets are allowed. Please bring a photo ID. Your ID will be collected at the beginning of the exam and will be returned to you when you turn in your exam. There will be assigned seating.

    The midterm exam will cover everything from the beginning of the semester to the end of Lecture 16 on 10/16/2014, MINUS Chapter 5.

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the midterm, please see the Exams section of the course description web page. Regarding regrade policy, please see the Regrade section of the course description web page.

    Here is a quick summary of the topics (not all topics covered may be listed):

    • Ch 1 - Introduction
      • introduction
      • a simple OS
      • files
    • Ch 2 - Multithreaded Programming
      • thread creation, termination, synchronization
      • thread safety, deviations
    • Ch 3 - Basic Concepts
      • context switching, I/O
      • dynamic storage allocation
      • static linking and loading
      • booting
    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • a simple system
    • Warmup assignments 1 & 2
      • specs
      • FAQs
    • Kernel assignment 1
      • spec
      • FAQ

  • 9/23/2014: Computer tech support joke...
    Customer: I have a huge problem. A friend has placed a screen saver on my computer, but every time I move the mouse, it disappears.

  • 9/16/2014: Ernst & Young, one of the major accounting firm in the country will be recruiting on campus this week. They sent me an announcement to be forwarded to my classes. Please take a look at the requirements if you are interested. (Please note that I'm not affiliated with them.)

  • 9/8/2014: I have a doctor's appointment today and I have to leave campus right after class. So, I have to cancel office hours today. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 9/8/2014: If you have started to work on warmup 2 already, there are a couple of changes that I have made over the weekend and you must change your code to conform to these changes. In the old spec, you were asked to print 6 output lines for a packet that is served by the server. This has been changed to 7 output lines. The new requirements are summarized here:
    • that you need to split the "p1 leaves Q2, time in Q2 = 0.216ms, begin service at S" line into two lines (each with its own timestamps)
    • that you change the "p1 begins service at S" line to include additional information about the requested service time
    • I've also added a "Bad commandline" section in the grading guidelines (very similar to that of warmup 1's grading guidelines)

  • 8/28/2014: For today's office hour (12-1pm), I am sitting right outside outside of RTH (on the south side of RTH, i.e., between RTH and EEB). If you come out of the RTH Cafe, go right and look for me, sitting in the shade.

  • 8/27/2014: I was informed by DEN that the lecture videos are now available to all students enrolled in any section of CS 402. Please do the following:
    • Go to http://courses.uscden.net
    • If you have not accessed Desire2Learn, click on "Forgot Your Password"
    • Please note that your user name is your entire USC email address (including "@usc.edu")
    • After you click submit you will receive additional instructions
  • 8/27/2014: For today's office hour (2-3pm), I am sitting in the courtyard between RTH and EEB (on the south side of RTH and north side of EEB, closer to EEB). If you come out of the RTH Cafe, go straight towards EEB and look for me (I'm sitting in the shade on the right).

  • 8/26/2014: For today's office hour (12-1pm), I am sitting right outside outside of RTH (on the south side of RTH, i.e., between RTH and EEB). If you come out of the RTH Cafe, go right and look for me, sitting in the shade.

  • 8/25/2014: I am on the balcony right outside of RTH 206 (on the 2nd floor) for office hour today (2-3pm).

  • 8/24/2014:
    • The SAL building remodeling is not finished. So, I don't have an office I can use yet! Until I have an office where I can hold regular office hours, I will announce where I will hold my office hour right here on this web page at the beginning of every office hour! (I'm planning on holding office hours somewhere around the RTH Cafe.) Sorry about the inconvenience.

    • I'm working on giving all CS 402 students access to DEN lecture videos. I'm hoping that this will all get resolved by the end of the first week of classes.

  • 8/11/2014:
    • In case you did not hear the user ID and password for accessing protected area of this web site during the first lecture, please visit the request access page after semester starts and submit the requested information. (You do not have to be registered for the course to get the password. You just need to have an USC e-mail address.)

    • Please do not send request to join the class Google Group until 8/25/2014.

    • Although CSCI 402 is an undergraduate course, these sections are for graduate students only. If you are an ungraduate student, please check with your adviser to see which Operating System class you need to take.

    • Please make sure you attend the section for which you are registered. Click here to see a PREVIEW of important rules. (It would be best if you are familiar with these rules before you register for a particular section of this class. If you are registered in the wrong section, it's best if you switch to the right section NOW because I will not change any of the important rules.)

    • Watch this area for important announcements.
 
Prerequisites
Please note that the instructor has never and will never sign anything that says that you can waive any of the prerequisites below for a Masters student: CSCI 201L or CSCI 455x; EE 357 or EE 352L
 
Important Information about Programming Assignments
The programming assignments of this class will be very demanding. You will be required to write C code. Since C is a proper subset of C++, knowing C++ well would give you enough background. However, some of the things that available in C++, such as strings and streams, are not be available in C. So, you need to know how to do things such as manipulating null-terminated array of characters (using functions such as strchr, strrchr, strlen, strcmp, strncpy, etc.) and performing console and file I/O (using functions such as printf/snprintf, fread/fwrite, read/write, fgets, etc.) in C. No other programming language will be accepted. We will not teach C in this class. You are expected to pick up C on your own if you are not familiar with it.

You should also get familiar with the Unix development environment (vi/pico/emacs, cc/gcc, make, etc.) You are expected to know how to use Unix. If you are not familiar with Unix, please read Unix for the Beginning Mage, a tutorial written by Joe Topjian. The kernel programming assignments must run on Ubuntu 12.04. Therefore, you should install Ubuntu 12.04 on your laptop or desktop, if you have one. If you do not have a personal laptop or desktop that runs Windows or Mac OS X, please contact the instructor as soon as possible.

If a student signs up late for this class or could not be present at the beginning of the semester, he/she is still required to turn all projects and homeworks on time or he/she will receive a score of 0 for these assignments. No exceptions!

 

[Last updated Fri Dec 12 2014]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]