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22 votes

Introducing file systems to students who really don't understand

The problems Hierarchies are not obvious First let me point out that a hierarchy is not the most obvious or best structure for storing files. It is still based on library categorization systems, where ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
14 votes

Good example of what isn't a system call?

The simple breakdown is: Anything that performs input/output involes a series of system calls. Anything that's purely computational doesn't involve system calls. Both of these statements have ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
10 votes

Introducing file systems to students who really don't understand

Its actually harder than just finding a modern user-interface which exposes a directory structure. The whole concept of a directory structure is just a convenience - there is nothing 'physical' which ...
Sean Houlihane's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

Why is the critical-section problem always presented with code in infinite loops?

One reason infinite loops are used could be so the problem can't be solved by letting one thread complete the code before the other thread starts it. With infinite loops, no thread ever completes the ...
Ellen Spertus's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Teaching an absolute beginners class Operating Systems with Rust

Trying to learn many things at once: A language, an operating system, creating command line tools, compilation, etc. goes against cognitive load theory. That is why so many students fail. Keep it ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
8 votes

What is a file?

I would approach this pragmatically, beginning with the metaphor that kicked it off. I would tell the students something like this: Imagine that it's 1925, and you're working at a giant company like ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.7k
6 votes

What is a file?

The question is actually quite deep. For instance, I'm sure you've heard the phrase "everything is a file," that is associated with a design of Unix operating system. So, the answer could be puzzling "...
Aksakal almost surely binary's user avatar
6 votes

Introducing file systems to students who really don't understand

Make sure you are having your students "spelunk" in the file system and have them draw some of the tree structure. Often, this visualization helps them see the way the FS works, more clearly. We ...
ncmathsadist's user avatar
  • 2,339
6 votes

How to teach operating systems development nowadays?

Implementing a whole OS may not be the best approach if you want your students to learn operating system concepts. This is specially true if your students are not proficient in C and Assembly, since ...
igordsm's user avatar
  • 680
5 votes

What is a file?

I think in this case a short answer is better than a long one, which is harder, but I might give it a shot: A file is a list of bytes and an identifier [location]. Make sure to explain that there ...
Helena's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes

Why is the critical-section problem always presented with code in infinite loops?

"processes that run and enter critical sections ... where the code is not in an infinite loop" Processes are generally components of a reactive system (like an OS) that are designed to be non-...
Moti's user avatar
  • 111
4 votes
Accepted

Teaching information security to students without basic IT knowledge

I don't see any particular problems with your syllabus. However, I do see two challenges that you will need to overcome. Depending on other factors in your context these may be easy or hard. But there ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 36.4k
4 votes

What is a file?

"File" is an abstraction. Even worse, we use it for different abstractions. Well, suppose I copy a file to this site, and you download it. Would you say it is the same file? What do you mean by same?...
Michel Billaud's user avatar
4 votes

How to teach operating systems development nowadays?

You might consider using MIT's xv6 which they describe as "xv6 is a reimplementation of Dennis Ritchie's and Ken Thompson's Unix Version 6 (v6). xv6 loosely follows the structure and style of v6, but ...
dlu's user avatar
  • 499
4 votes

Operating System Concepts by Silberschatz and Galvin, how much down the edition timeline can I go to safely understand the core-concept

I don't know this book in particular, but I do know Computer Science text books in general, and offer this advice: Consider the title: Operating System Concepts. It is about basic and fundamental ...
Brian Tompsett - 汤莱恩's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

System Security related study material suggestions

It's a great field to explore! Operating Systems, Three Easy Pieces is a way to continue your exploration of OS, and is free online. The Shellcoder's Handbook has been recommended to me before, ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.7k
3 votes

How to teach operating systems development nowadays?

First I would recommend to start by using an operating system, such as Gnu (Debian etc), but any Unix will do. Most people have not used an OS: Most people just run applications, but don't interact ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
3 votes

How to teach operating systems development nowadays?

There are two standard texts that have stood the test of time. Both are fairly deep: XINU shows how to build an OS that externally resembles UNIX, but isn't (XINU = Xinu Is Not Unix), using a ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 36.4k
2 votes

What is a file?

Nothing wrong with citing all the "dictionary" definitions found on the Internet. I'd add that a file tends to be the lowest level of abstraction of a container or boundary around data that the ...
Tommy131313's user avatar
2 votes

What is a file?

Was in a conference the other day and someone was showing intercept security... A .exe file started with MZ. Why? Those are the initials of the man who created the first DOS executable file format. ...
Scott Rowe's user avatar
2 votes

Teaching information security to students without basic IT knowledge

You may have to rethink the curriculum design at a higher level ( involving other staff ). Do you kick people off the course, loosing revenue. Do you teach extra lessons to get them up to entry ...
ctrl-alt-delor's user avatar
2 votes

Books and courses to learn Operating Systems Fundamentals?

The "dinosaur book" is Operating System Concepts by Abraham Silberschatz. It is good and has a recent edition, but it isn't cheap. Another classic book is Modern Operating Systems by Andrew ...
Buffy's user avatar
  • 36.4k
2 votes
Accepted

Which OS is best if I want to play around with exploits?

That's a really good book that I use with my students! The book comes with a CD that has an image that you can run in Oracle VirtualBox. You'll also find all of the book examples preloaded there, and ...
Ben I.'s user avatar
  • 33.7k
2 votes

What is a file?

As is the case with most simplified explanation, I have glossed over some more advanced specific details that don't factor into the basics on file systems. File content At its most basic level, a file ...
Flater's user avatar
  • 1,361
1 vote

What is a file?

A file is a metaphor, representing a mental model that would be familiar to office workers who were the initial users of computing systems. Different users in a different context require different ...
Maui Mind Academy's user avatar
1 vote

What is a file?

I'd actually answer this question from an Intro student from more of the HCI perspective, because they likely have more experience using a computer than understanding how the computer works. @...
Kevin Buffardi's user avatar
1 vote

What is a file?

A slightly different but insightful take on this :- On UNIX systems everything is a file. A file of data is a datafile but a directory (folder) is also a file. A device is a file (found in the /dev ...
Jon Guiton's user avatar

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