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Operating Systems - CSCI 402, Spring 2013, MW Section

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
Time   :   MW 12:00pm - 1:50pm 
Location : MHP 106
Instructor   :   Bill Cheng (for office hours, please see instructor's web page), E-mail: <bill.cheng@usc.edu>.   (Please do not send HTML-only e-mails. They will not be read.)
TA   :   Sung-Han Lin, E-mail: <sunghan@usc.edu>, Office Hours: Tue 2:00pm - 4:00pm in SAL 219
Course Producer   :   Ashish Ramakrishna Reddy, E-mail: <ashishra@usc.edu>, Help Desk Hours: Wed 3:00pm - 5:00pm in SAL 219
Grader   :   Ankit Jain, E-mail: <jain698@usc.edu>(The grader will hold office hours the week after the announcement of each assignment's grades.)
Midterm Exam   :   during class time, Mon, 3/11/2013 (NEW)
Final Exam   :   11am-1pm, Fri, 5/10/2013 (firm).
 
Class Resources
Description   :   textbooks, topics covered, grading policies, additional resources, etc.
Lectures   :   lectures slides (in PDF format).
Projects   :   (please also see important information about the class projects below.)
Homeworks   :   (not graded)
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.)
 
News
(in reversed chronological order)
  • 5/1/2013: 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 midterm exam will cover everything from the first slide of Lecture 13 on 3/4/2013 till the last slide of Lecture 27 on 5/1/2013.

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

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

    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • 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
    • Ch 9 - Networking
      • networking protocols
      • remote procedure call
    • Ch 10 - Distributed File Systems
      • distributed file systems, consistencies, NFSv2
      • CIFS, DFS, NFSv4


  • 2/27/2013: 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 till the end of Lecture 12 on 2/27/2013.

    Regarding what types of questions will be on the midterm, please see the Exams 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
    • Ch 2 - Multithreaded Programming
      • thread creation, termination, synchronization
      • thread safety, deviations
    • Ch 3 - Basic Concepts
      • context switching, I/O, dynamic storage allocation
      • linking, loading, booting
    • Ch 4 - Operating-System Design
      • a simple system

  • 2/14/2013: Office hour today is canceled. Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 1/24/2013: Office hour today is cut short (from 2pm to 2:15pm). Sorry about the inconvenience.

  • 1/10/2013:
    • To get your user ID and password for accessing protected area of this web site, please visit the request access page after the 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 after Lecture 1 on 1/7/2013.

    • There are two other sections of CSCI 402:

      • One also offered by me on TuTh 11:00am-12:20pm. Although it is very similar to our section, you are not permitted to take exams from this other section, do group projects with students from this other section, or join this other section's class Google Group. I will try my best to keep the lectures of our section identical to this other section. However, the lecture schedule will be different since we have two holidays and this other section does not. The programming assignments of our section will be identical to this other section.

      • Another section is offered by Prof. Theodore Faber on TuTh 9:30am-10:50am. There are substantial differences between our section and this other section. If you are an ungraduate student, you are required to enroll in Prof. Faber's section of CSCI 402.

      Please make sure you attend the section for which you are registered.

    • 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.) The kernel programming assignments must run on Ubuntu 11.10. Therefore, you should install Ubuntu 11.10 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.

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 Wed May 01 2013]    [Please see copyright regarding copying.]