WPI Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Computer Science Department

Operating Systems I

CS 3013 C-Term 1998


Course Information

Professor: Mark Claypool
email: claypool@cs.wpi.edu
office hours: T 10-11, Th 10-11 and 1:30-2:30, F 3:30-4:30
place: Fuller Labs, room 236
phone: x5622

Teaching Assistant: Anuja Gokhale
email: anuja@cs.wpi.edu
office hours: M 2-4, W 10-11, F 11-12
place: Fuller Labs, room 243
phone: x5117

Email aliases:
TA + Prof: cs3013_ta@cs.wpi.edu
class: cs3013@cs.wpi.edu

More detailed information can be found here, including: time and place, purpose, prerequisites, books, grading, cheating, and computer systems and labs.

Topics and Timeline

Here is the list of topics covered in this course. They will be mapped to chapters from the text as the course progresses.

You might check out the assignment timeline to help you plan for doing homeworks, projects and exams.


Slides from the in-class lectures will be available shortly after they are presented, depending upon how things go.

Most of the slides:

Virtual Memory:

Parallel Systems and Threads:

Microsoft Windows NT:


There will be 6 short homework assignments. Homeworks are to be turned in individually. Discussion of problems among students is encouraged, but when it comes to ultimately solving the problem, your answers must be your own.

Homework and due-dates will be placed here as they are defined. Here is what we have so far:


The projects are the programming assignments you will have for the course. I encourage you to work in groups of two for the projects. I'd prefer to limit the groups to only 2, but if you really want a larger group, come talk to me. Working in groups will give you valuable ``real-world'' experience as well as provide you with a ``built-in'' source for help. Do remember, however, that all exams will be taken alone. Make sure each group member understands the programs completely!

The projects and due-dates will be placed here as they are defined:

With the exception of project 0, you will need to turn in your assignments on-line. Check here for information on how to turn in your assignments.


In this section are any code samples discusses in class, practice exams or any other demonstration-type class materials.

Here is a topic outline for the first exam. You might try the first practice exam to help you prepare (with solution!).

Here is a topic outline (with reading list) for the second exam. Here is the second practice exam to help you prepare (with solution!).

Here is a topic outline (with reading list) for the third exam. There is a small third practice exam (with a solution).

Here are the code samples for the simple operating system we have been looking at:

Here are the Unix code samples we've used in demos:

Here is a nifty perl script that will help you clean up shared memory, message queue and semaphore system resources (see project 2 for more information):

Here are some samples showing the use of software signals:

Here are some samples of using the wrappers for semaphores and shared memory as in Project 2:

Here's how you use the "env" argument to main():

Here is the simple "Bite Me" client-server example that shows the use of the socket wrappers used in Project 3:

Here is the simple "Up Yours" client-server example that shows the use of threads as in Project 4. They use the same socket libraries as the client-server sample above:

Here are the demos that have separate add and subtract threads that access a global variable:

OS Hotlinks


Linux is a completely free Unix operating system. Linux runs primarily on 386/486/Pentium PC's but has been ported to various other architectures. If you like Unix, want to learn more about system administration and have access to a PC, I recommend checking it out. Read a short info sheet or a more detailed info sheet for more information.

I, Cringely

A weekly column by Robert X. Cringely that provides a humorous but profound look at the world of Information Technology.
"What makes Cringely such an interesting writer is the way he combines a solid understanding of technology, the ability to explain it simply, and an irreverence for those who, at the highest levels, hawk it" IEEE Spectrum, May 1997.


Your text book mentions the Nachos System in the Appendix (pages 699-714). Although this system is too advanced for an intro course on operating systems, keen students may like to look further into the Nachos software.

Some useful course material (e.g. slides, notes, Java simulations, etc.) includes:

You can also have a look at the Yahoo! Operating Systems pages and related WWW pages:

Or perhaps you would like to know more about some of the companies involved in Operating Systems:

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Mark L. Claypool (claypool@cs.wpi.edu)