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COMP9242 Informal Survey 1997
School of Computer Science & Engineering
University of New South Wales
Advanced Operating Systems
Informal Student Feedback 1997
The following is a verbatim (except for slightly fixing up some
non-English) transcript of feedback from studens enrolled in COMP9242 in
Session 2 of 1997. There is a total of 26 replies (of 40 students
- This approach to teaching with a much greater emphasis on a
``hands-on'' approach I found to be a lot more interesting and
rewarding as I would actually see the theory learned in class being
applied with is something no other subject offers. Definitively a much
better approach at this higher level.
- I agree. Found L4 stuff + project very interesting, as we got to
apply it, and it was current research. Other stuff was slightly
boring. Slight crossover with other subjects (caching/TLBs, logical
clocks). Overall, most interesting subject I've ever done.
- I found the hands-on approach very rewarding & motivating,
but found the lecture material not always relevant to the project and
therefore not as interesting.
- find /home/cs9242/public_html -t -d -exec 'chmod 755
Cool subject, with better docs L4
would speak for itself making project nicer & freeing lectures for
more cool topics: networked file systems, security etc. Make ASysT Lab 24hr (caffeine optional)
& show more code in lectures.
- The L4 lecture notes should be merged with the
Manual to make this volume more comprehensive. The DECstations are
cool, but the monitors are blurry.
- I found it hard to get into the project,
because of the lack of documentation. Partitioning the project
into milestones helps to get along.
- I think the stuff covered in the lectures
was sometimes apart from the project stuff, so that the project mainly
ran independently. But in essence the ``hands-on'' approach is a
very good one especially from the point of view that lectures like
this not all the times just cover the theoretical stuff. However, more assistance during the milestones would be
- My main complaint is that the lab is not 24hrs available. (Or at least more machines.)
And the painful experience of trying to find things from the L4 manual. A few more examples on L4
IPC would help a lot.
I found that the project drew about 80% of my lab
time each week. I had to sacrifice other subjects for it.
- More UNIX boxes, thanks :)
- Just wondering what kind of questions are going to be put for the
- Put the lecture notes earlier in stead of 5 mins before
Compiling too slow.
- All of the above + maybe a set ``text''
for reference or aid in the explanation of lecture notes.
- Give more tutorial.
- This subject is good!
- (Appendix to two above) a brief but detailed introduction before each milestone
- Good for improving ability on C, completing knowledge on OS, but
- A bit more time for completing assignments would be great
- More care when supplying files (i.e. Makefile
- L4 manual needs to be filled out. Rather than just a collection
of cut & pasted charts & tables, make a user manual
- Perhaps a little more of an idea of our
milestone should look (we, i.e. my group, found our OS very
different from others, when what the others did was simpler)
- Learnt a lot from doing the assignment - quite rewarding and
satisfying (when it worked!)
- More reference materials elaborating lecture
- Milestones need to be more properly
defined. Sometimes don't know what needs or needn't be done.
- Overall, an excellent subject with lots of interesting
material. The issues and teething problems with the lab I am sure will
be resolved. More detailed documentation for L4
would have assisted students to a significant extent.
- Learned a lot from COMP9242! It's a good subject
- Well prepared lecture material. Well designed project. Well
maintained subject web page (FAQ helps a lot!) Assignments too hard
compared with other subjects.
- The scarsity of L4 documentation was a known problem
before. We now have an L4 User Manual which should
help, and free up lecture time for other interesting stuff.
- This is not only a subject on how to write an OS on
top of L4 (although that is probably the most fun part of it). It is
meant to cover other advanced issues as well.
- This is an advanced subject, and I
intentionally did not give to specific instructions on how to
implement the milestones. The idea is that students should find out by
themselves (e.g. study the literature) how to solve things. I was
always happy to answer questions. Students learn much more that
In the future we will require a minimum of 65 in OS to
qualify for this subject to make sure that all students can cope.
- There is no suitable text book. I have supplied
lots of literature references in the lecture notes (52 to be precise!)
- Late posted lecture notes are almost unavoidable
for a new subject. Next time will be better.
- I am not aware of significant errors with
Makefiles (or others). For some students it was high time they learned
- The DECstations are old and slow; they were
an interim solution and have been replaced in the meantime.
- Additional machines were put in, and,
according to lab occupancies, that should really be sufficient. 24hr
access is probably not feasible for a lab supporting only a single