It was about two years ago that I decided that I would like to create my own operating system but I lacked and still do the skills to be able to program in anything other than HTML and very basic BASIC. I started off using the built-in capabilities of our Atari 800XL to learn BASIC along with a book borrowed from the local library until I was I then was told about Micro$oft QBASIC, so I started to learn that.
You should be a proficient programmer and have a working knowledge of basic algorithms and data structures. The prerequisites for this class are Computer Science 503 (Advanced Programming I).
The course is divided into four three-week sections, with each section covering a major part of an operating system. See the syllabus for details.
The class meets in Bey Hall 227 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:50 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Class will start one-half hour later (at 4:30 p.m.) on Wednesday, 10 October, due to the Founder's Day Convocation. There will be no classes on Wednesday, 21 November, due to Thanksgiving.
There will be four programming assignments, one for each three-week section; see the project description for details.
There are no mid-term or final exams; for those that need them, mid-term grades will be computed as the straight, unweighted average of the test and programming assignment grades completed by the mid-term.
The final grade is a straight, unweighted average of the seven highest test scores and programming assignment grades; that is, there are seven grades total - the lowest grade is dropped - and each remaining grade constitutes one-seventh of your final grade.
I use the usual grade ranges:
The final grades.
This is a programming course, and you will be writing C++ programs. It is probably a good idea to have on hand a book about C++ programming. If you're going to buy a book, I recommend the C++ Primer, third edition, by Lippman and Lajoie (Addison-Wesley, 1998). The department uses C++ How to Program by Deitel and Deitel (Prentice Hall, 1998) in its programming classes, and you'll be o.k. if you have or can borrow a copy to use.
Mail relevant to the class will be stored in a hyper-mail archive. If your message is of general interest to the class, I'll store it, suitably stripped of identification and along with my answer, in the archive.
My attendance policy applies only to lecture attendance; it does not apply to other kinds of attendance which may be required for the course. Repeated failures to meet the attendance expectations set for tests, meetings, projects, labs or other forms of course work will have a bad influence on your grade.
First, the only complaint that matters is that something got marked wrong when it was actually right. When you come to complain, be prepared to present, in explicit detail, what it is you did and why you think it's right.
Second, complaints about a particular test or assignment are only valid until the next test or assignment is due; after that point the book is permanently closed on all previous test or assignment grades.
A late assignment is penalized five points a day for each day it's late. I use a 24-hour clock running from midnight to midnight to measure days; note this means that an assignment handed in the day after it's due is penalized ten points: five for the day it was due and five for the next day.
A make-up test must be scheduled to be taken by the date of the test following the missed test (or the final exam if you miss the last test). If a missed test is not made up by the time of the next test, you get a zero for the missed test.
There will be only one make up given per missed test. If more than one person misses the same test, those people will have to coordinate among themselves to pick a mutually agreeable date for the make up.
Other operating system courses.
Operating system projects and research.
An OS web ring.
Not for computers only: a pre-emptive, multitasking, open-source operating system for LEGO Mindstorms (and it supports POSIX semaphores too).
OS News, a web site with os news and opinions, and an example of how USA Today would cover operating systems if USA Today covered operating systems.
A FAQ on building your own operating system. It appears to be Linux and PC-centric, but it'll give you some idea of what you're missing when writing to a simulator.
A couple of real-time kernels, one based on POSIX threads, and the other using C++.
The ER and KeyK OSs from U. Penn.
And let us not forget the dearly departed: OS/2, VMS, multics, and the Be OS.
And let us welcome the newcomers: V2, the Gemini nucleus, the NewOS, and AtheOS.
And let us know how they all stand, each to the others.
This page last modified on 18 December 2001.