Survey ID1125
TitleCOMP3231/9201/3891 05s1
Fill Ratio92% (161/175)
# Filled161
# Suspended0
# Not Filled14
(required) indicates required field
Please provide us with as much constructive feedback as you can. We do read these surveys and act on the information you provide. Thanks for your input.
1. Quick Evaluation
1. Give a high rating if you have a good opinion of something (e.g. interesting, useful, well-structured, etc.). Give a low rating if you have a bad opinion of something (e.g. too slow, confusing, disorganised, etc.)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Excellent Satisfactory Poor N/F
Lecturer: Kevin Elphinstone 76 (47%) 67 (42%) 16 (10%) (1%) (1%) 0 (0%)
Lecturer: Charles Gray 22 (14%) 63 (39%) 57 (35%) (2%) (1%) 14 (9%)
General OS lectures 34 (21%) 79 (49%) 38 (24%) (5%) (1%) 1 (1%)
Consultations 12 (7%) 37 (23%) 85 (53%) 10 (6%) (0%) 17 (11%)
Your tutor 42 (26%) 53 (33%) 46 (29%) 12 (7%) (3%) 3 (2%)
Tutorials 33 (20%) 60 (37%) 56 (35%) (5%) (2%) 1 (1%)
Asst1: Restaurant 23 (14%) 67 (42%) 63 (39%) (4%) (1%) 0 (0%)
Asst2: Syscalls 20 (12%) 54 (34%) 52 (32%) 26 (16%) (6%) 0 (0%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory 25 (16%) 42 (26%) 50 (31%) 34 (21%) (6%) 1 (1%)
Textbook 34 (21%) 51 (32%) 56 (35%) 13 (8%) (1%) 5 (3%)
OS/161 In general 24 (15%) 54 (34%) 57 (35%) 20 (12%) (3%) 1 (1%)
C Language 35 (22%) 54 (34%) 54 (34%) 15 (9%) (2%) 0 (0%)
Computing resources 22 (14%) 56 (35%) 63 (39%) 12 (7%) (4%) 1 (1%)
Course web page 27 (17%) 73 (45%) 50 (31%) (6%) (1%) 0 (0%)
Message Board 34 (21%) 70 (43%) 38 (24%) 15 (9%) (1%) 2 (1%)
Help with technical questions 21 (13%) 57 (35%) 60 (37%) 12 (7%) (4%) 5 (3%)
Lecture slides 29 (18%) 83 (52%) 40 (25%) (4%) (1%) 0 (0%)
COMP3231/3891/9201 overall 32 (20%) 78 (48%) 41 (25%) (5%) (1%) 0 (0%)
2. General
2. Please rate which of the following factors influenced your decision to enrol in this course
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Major Minor No N/F
Interest in operating systems as a field of study 63 (39%) 59 (37%) 36 (22%) 3 (2%)
Chance to get hands dirty with low-level code 48 (30%) 58 (36%) 50 (31%) 5 (3%)
Jobs propects for OS hackers 26 (16%) 61 (38%) 70 (43%) 4 (2%)
Would llike to do OS research 16 (10%) 67 (42%) 74 (46%) 4 (2%)
Course is core for me 72 (45%) 21 (13%) 67 (42%) 1 (1%)
Friends told me it was good 29 (18%) 41 (25%) 87 (54%) 4 (2%)
Chance to do challenging programming assignments 49 (30%) 62 (39%) 47 (29%) 3 (2%)
3. Any other factor that influenced your decision?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (60 comments)
4. Would you recommend this course to another student such as yourself?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 115 (71%) chart
No 45 (28%) chart
N/F 1 (1%)
5. Please provide feedback on the kind of material covered
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Too much OK Too little N/F
High-level OS issus (5%) 24 (15%) 120 (75%) (3%) (1%) 3 (2%)
Low-level (implementation) issues 11 (7%) 31 (19%) 91 (57%) 24 (15%) (1%) 2 (1%)
Unix/Linux 10 (6%) 16 (10%) 108 (67%) 19 (12%) (4%) 1 (1%)
Windows NT (0%) (4%) 70 (43%) 45 (28%) 36 (22%) 3 (2%)
OS/161 Internals 14 (9%) 30 (19%) 91 (57%) 19 (12%) (3%) 2 (1%)
Other Systems (1%) (4%) 84 (52%) 43 (27%) 24 (15%) 2 (1%)
6. What were the best things about this course?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (124 comments)
7. What were the worst things about this course?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (121 comments)
8. How does the workload in this course compare to workloads in other ...
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Similar Much
COMP courses (0%) (4%) 28 (17%) 60 (37%) 63 (39%) 3 (2%)
INFS courses (1%) (4%) 30 (19%) 21 (13%) 80 (50%) 21 (13%)
Courses in general (0%) (4%) 26 (16%) 50 (31%) 73 (45%) 5 (3%)
9. Did you get the impression that the staff (lecturer, tutors, consultants) tried their best to answer your questions and help you? Please tick N/A if you did not attend lecture, consults, tutes)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Neutral Strongly
Lectures 70 (43%) 46 (29%) 32 (20%) (2%) (2%) (2%) 3 (2%)
Tutorials 59 (37%) 50 (31%) 28 (17%) (4%) (6%) (4%) 3 (2%)
Consultations 22 (14%) 16 (10%) 37 (23%) (2%) (1%) 76 (47%) 5 (3%)
10. How does the quality/value of this course compare to other....
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
the best
Average Among
the worst
Year 3 COMP courses 50 (31%) 49 (30%) 42 (26%) 11 (7%) (3%) 4 (2%)
COMP courses in general 50 (31%) 50 (31%) 43 (27%) 10 (6%) (4%) 2 (1%)
Courses in general 45 (28%) 53 (33%) 45 (28%) (4%) (4%) 5 (3%)
11. Do you think it would be better if the course used Java-based assignments?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 41 (25%) chart
No 116 (72%) chart
N/F 4 (2%)
12. Would it be preferable if more of the pre-requisite courses used C?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 105 (65%) chart
No 52 (32%) chart
N/F 4 (2%)
13. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Is COMP2011/9024 and COMP2021/9022 (the official pre-requisites) a suitable preparation?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (109 comments)
3. Content/Syllabus
14. What topics caused you the most difficulty? You can select more than one item
Question type : Multiple answer -- Check Box
System calls 46 (29%)
Processes 18 (11%)
Threads 34 (21%)
Low-level implementations issues 66 (41%)
Synchonisation and concurrency 36 (22%)
Deadlock 24 (15%)
Memory Management and Virtual Memory 90 (56%)
File Systems 48 (30%)
I/O Management 30 (19%)
Scheduling 35 (22%)
Multiprocessor Systems 51 (32%)
Security 25 (16%)
15. Which material do you think you will be most useful to you in the future?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (110 comments)
16. What material related to operating systems, but not currently in the course, would you like to have seen covered?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (77 comments)
17. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (83 comments)
4. Lectures
18. Is the current mode of lecture delivery, using computer-projected slides, effective?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 147 (91%) chart
No 11 (7%) chart
N/F 3 (2%)
19. Was the subject material (lecture notes, information on the subject web page, textbook, tutorials, manuals, etc.) sufficient to follow the course?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Always 35 (22%) chart
Most of the time 88 (55%) chart
Sometimes 27 (17%) chart
Rarely (4%) chart
Never (1%) chart
N/F 4 (2%)
20. Did the explanations in the lecture help you to understand the subject material? (please choose N/A if you generally did not attend lectures)
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Always 34 (21%) chart
Most of the time 75 (47%) chart
Sometimes 38 (24%) chart
Rarely (2%) chart
Never (0%) chart
N/A (3%) chart
N/F 5 (3%)
21. If you have not been attending lectures, what factors influenced your decision not to attend?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (56 comments)
22. Any suggestions for improving lectures?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (87 comments)
23. If you used other textbooks other than Tannenbaum (e.g. Silberschatz, Stallings), how do you think they compare to each other? Which gives the best explanations, which has the best structure, etc....
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (40 comments)
5. Tutorials
24. The aim of the tutorials is to help you understand the subject material better. Please convey how they performed in this role
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Strongly Agree Neutral Strongly Disagree N/A N/F
The tutorials helped me understand the material 46 (29%) 64 (40%) 26 (16%) (5%) (3%) (6%) 3 (2%)
The questions were appropriately timed 18 (11%) 59 (37%) 48 (30%) 20 (12%) (1%) 11 (7%) 3 (2%)
The questions were of appropriate difficulty 18 (11%) 72 (45%) 49 (30%) (4%) (1%) 11 (7%) 4 (2%)
The questions should have increased difficulty (6%) 22 (14%) 66 (41%) 24 (15%) 26 (16%) 11 (7%) 3 (2%)
The number of questions was appropriate 16 (10%) 50 (31%) 66 (41%) 10 (6%) (2%) 11 (7%) 4 (2%)
The number of questions should be expanded (4%) 20 (12%) 68 (42%) 37 (23%) 13 (8%) 12 (7%) 4 (2%)
I always prepared for the tutorials (5%) 23 (14%) 58 (36%) 43 (27%) 14 (9%) 12 (7%) 3 (2%)
Preparation beforehand improved my understanding of the material 26 (16%) 63 (39%) 41 (25%) (5%) (2%) 17 (11%) 3 (2%)
Class participation is important for understanding the material 39 (24%) 48 (30%) 40 (25%) 14 (9%) (5%) (6%) 3 (2%)
25. Please rate how effective your tutor was. Check N/A if you did not deal with the particular tutor.
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Excellent OK Poor N/A N/F
Tutor A 12 (7%) 13 (8%) 17 (11%) (1%) (1%) 90 (56%) 25 (16%)
Tutor B (2%) (5%) 19 (12%) (5%) (1%) 93 (58%) 27 (17%)
Tutor C (5%) 13 (8%) 16 (10%) (1%) (1%) 97 (60%) 24 (15%)
Tutor D 14 (9%) (6%) 12 (7%) (1%) (1%) 95 (59%) 28 (17%)
Tutor E (4%) 12 (7%) 12 (7%) (2%) (2%) 95 (59%) 29 (18%)
26. Any suggestions for improving tutorials?

Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (64 comments)
6. Assignments
27. Please rate the level of difficulty of the assignments
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Too easy Just right Too difficult N/F
Asst1: Restaurant (4%) 28 (17%) 96 (60%) 24 (15%) (1%) 5 (3%)
Asst2: Syscalls (0%) (1%) 51 (32%) 69 (43%) 34 (21%) 5 (3%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (0%) (1%) 33 (20%) 46 (29%) 75 (47%) 5 (3%)
28. How well was each assignment specified (taking into account a significant part of the assignments is understanding the environment you solution must work within)?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Very clearly OK Confusing N/F
Asst1: Restaurant 31 (19%) 33 (20%) 65 (40%) 26 (16%) (2%) 3 (2%)
Asst2: Syscalls (6%) 29 (18%) 50 (31%) 40 (25%) 30 (19%) 3 (2%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory 10 (6%) 22 (14%) 44 (27%) 41 (25%) 39 (24%) 5 (3%)
29. Did the supporting material (manuals, notes, comments in code) provide sufficient information for solving the assignment?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Very much Somewhat Not at all N/F
Asst1: Restaurant 23 (14%) 40 (25%) 72 (45%) 17 (11%) (2%) 5 (3%)
Asst2: Syscalls 13 (8%) 35 (22%) 50 (31%) 41 (25%) 18 (11%) 4 (2%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory 11 (7%) 28 (17%) 52 (32%) 43 (27%) 23 (14%) 4 (2%)
30. Rate which factors (if applicable to you) contributed to the assignments being difficult in your eyes
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Major Minor No N/A N/F
Topics are conceptually difficult 22 (14%) 40 (25%) 55 (34%) 10 (6%) 24 (15%) (3%) 5 (3%)
Implementation is difficult 62 (39%) 39 (24%) 33 (20%) (6%) 11 (7%) (2%) 4 (2%)
Lack of familiarity with C 18 (11%) 21 (13%) 46 (29%) 16 (10%) 50 (31%) (2%) 6 (4%)
Lack of experience with a large code base 50 (31%) 52 (32%) 25 (16%) 10 (6%) 16 (10%) (2%) 4 (2%)
Lack of experience debugging C 32 (20%) 36 (22%) 36 (22%) 20 (12%) 27 (17%) (3%) 5 (3%)
Lack of previous low-level programming 26 (16%) 41 (25%) 38 (24%) 21 (13%) 26 (16%) (3%) 4 (2%)
31. The aim of the assignment work was for you to develop practical skills with the concepts covered in lectures.
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Not really Somewhat Very much N/F
Did the assignment work help with this? 10 (6%) 16 (10%) 55 (34%) 44 (27%) 32 (20%) 4 (2%)
32. Do you have any specific comments about OS/161
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (62 comments)
33. Please indicate whether you (dis)agree with the following statements about the use of CVS to manage the assignment code base.
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Strongly Agree Neutral Strongly Disagree N/A N/F
CVS greatly helps in developing a collaborative assignment solution 26 (16%) 25 (16%) 62 (39%) 29 (18%) 10 (6%) (4%) 3 (2%)
CVS is relatively simple to learn to use 13 (8%) 48 (30%) 49 (30%) 27 (17%) 15 (9%) (3%) 4 (2%)
CVS just gets in the way and should be not be used 12 (7%) 24 (15%) 51 (32%) 37 (23%) 28 (17%) (3%) 4 (2%)
CVS is reliable with no real hiccups in use 10 (6%) 32 (20%) 67 (42%) 27 (17%) 16 (10%) (3%) 4 (2%)
CVS was useful to transport code between UNSW and home 11 (7%) 13 (8%) 49 (30%) 25 (16%) 22 (14%) 38 (24%) 3 (2%)
34. Please indicate whether you (dis)agree with the following statements regarding group assignment work.
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Strongly Agree Neutral Strongly Disagree N/F
Group work is a better than working as an individual 45 (28%) 27 (17%) 49 (30%) 15 (9%) 22 (14%) 3 (2%)
Groups reduce the assignment workload 34 (21%) 30 (19%) 44 (27%) 21 (13%) 29 (18%) 3 (2%)
Groups should be optional, but every submission is marked the same 20 (12%) 29 (18%) 60 (37%) 23 (14%) 26 (16%) 3 (2%)
Groups are unfair as inevitably one member does all the work 31 (19%) 44 (27%) 53 (33%) 21 (13%) (6%) 3 (2%)
Larger groups would be better 24 (15%) 24 (15%) 35 (22%) 27 (17%) 48 (30%) 3 (2%)
Having a partner to help understand the assignment really helps 47 (29%) 39 (24%) 50 (31%) (5%) 14 (9%) 3 (2%)
35. What do you think of the advanced assignments?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Great Idea! 19 (12%) chart
29 (18%) chart
Don't care 83 (52%) chart
(2%) chart
Abolish! 20 (12%) chart
N/F 6 (4%)
36. Any suggestions for improving the assignments?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (82 comments)
7. COMP3891 Extended Operating Systems
Skip this section if you did not do COMP3891 Extended Operating Systems.
37. How would you rate extended OS as a whole?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Excellent (6%) chart
(2%) chart
Average (2%) chart
(0%) chart
Poor (1%) chart
N/A 12 (7%) chart
N/F 131 (81%)
38. What were the strong points of COMP3891?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (12 comments)
39. What were the weak points of COMP3891?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (9 comments)
40. Any suggestions for improving COMP3891 Extended OS?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (7 comments)
8. Miscellaneous
41. What do you think of the message board?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
  Great idea OK Abolish N/A N/F
The message board in general 70 (43%) 22 (14%) 50 (31%) (2%) (2%) (1%) 9 (6%)
42. Should we give feedback and answer questions via the message board instead of using email to class account?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Definitely 53 (33%) chart
27 (17%) chart
Indiferent 42 (26%) chart
11 (7%) chart
No way 19 (12%) chart
N/F 9 (6%)
43. We always look for evidence of cheating in assigments and try or best to catch and penalise cheaters. Please tell us what you think about the treatment of cheaters in the course.
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Too soft 11 (7%) chart
10 (6%) chart
Just right 114 (71%) chart
12 (7%) chart
Too harsh (1%) chart
N/F 12 (7%)
44. Any other comments/suggestions that might help us to improve the course in the future?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (48 comments)
45. What do you think your final result will be for the course?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
HD 10 (6%) chart
DN 30 (19%) chart
CR 47 (29%) chart
PS 36 (22%) chart
FL 18 (11%) chart
No Idea 12 (7%) chart
N/F 8 (5%)

Back to Summary
3. Any other factor that influenced your decision?
1: All the No's in qs 2 would now be Majors~:P
2: Compulsary course
3: Couldn't decide what other course to take, so I just took this one.
4: Course (overall) said to be challenging
5: Curiosity in OS design. Really didn't know what I was getting into
6: Did a small course in OS before.
7: Done almost all the other Computing subjects
8: Everybody said it was challengin, so I wanted to see how hard it was.
9: Felt it to be neccessary for any coding job
10: Friends were all doing it
11: General interest in OS
12: Had the impression that doing OS would make my resume look better
13: I think I have to learn OS if I am a computer science student.
14: I thought it was more about computer/human interaction.
15: Just basically want to know more about the field
16: Learning how to build/design large systems
17: Minor
18: No
19: No
20: No
21: No
22: No
23: No
24: None
25: OS is a good subject to have under your belt
26: OS is fundamental component in computing world
27: OS knowledge is essential for all low level applications
28: Relates to my other courses which I study
29: The lecturer is good
30: Think it forms basis for understanding framework that we write applications upon. Will help optimise coding of apps.
31: Useful
32: Useful background information for any sort of programming
33: Useful knowledge for software/system development
34: Well known for its difficult and challenging nature
35: ability to go on to opensource kernel hacking
36: friends doing it as core, some as electives (elective for me as well)
37: good base knowledge
38: had took embedded sys (3221) and comp arch (3211) in recent sessions
39: i just wanted to know why windows suck so badly
40: interest
41: knowing all the low level interactions of software and hardware
42: no
43: no
44: no
45: no
46: no
47: no
48: no
49: no
50: no
51: no
52: not really.
53: nothing
54: nothing
55: nothing really
56: peer pressure
57: seemed least boring of available options
58: sound interesing
59: there's no othre factor
60: verification of L4 with NICTA FM group
6. What were the best things about this course?
1: - Interesting lectures - Extended Tutorial Topics - Challenging assignments
2: Assignments
3: Assignments were challenging and prove to make students understand
4: Asst0
5: Challenge course
6: Challenging Assignments, C Programming, Course Contents
7: Challenging assignment
8: Challenging assignments, relaxed teaching style, comprehensive lectures
9: Coding. Really low level, dirty, bit-wise manipulation coding. Working within another's framework and team coding was cool too. Did some male-bonding with team member over late-night coding and more than a couple of pots of coffee.
10: Complexity and challenging nature of course. Interesting content.
11: Covering General Ideas and concepts about OS
12: Entertaining and engaging lectures
13: Finally getting some understanding of what actually sits between applications and hardware. I enjoyed the assignments due to their challenging nature BUT...
14: First 'real' programming course. Not writing a game of life, or other useless program.
15: Gain knowledage of the interface between software and hardware.
16: Gain some ideas about how OS works
17: Gaining a knowledge of what goes on within an operating system, especially an insight into why it seems OS's tend to have so many problems.
18: Gaining background knowledge, learning how things worked.
19: Get in touch with kernel codes and low level codes. And know more about hardware.
20: Get many experiences on computer system aspecs.
21: Get to learn a lot
22: Get to learn more about operating system as well as its components in OS.
23: Getting to play around with the internels of a simplified OS
24: Getting you hands dirty with lower level abstruction
25: Good lecture material and a lecturer who added value to attending class.
26: Good lectures given.
27: Got to work on code which was not mine, tackle real OS problems which are still prevalent today
28: High level OS issues.
29: How everything could be related to real life issues and the fact that such a hard course could be understandable
30: I can have some knowledge of the core of software
31: I can learn something about low level code, and get more understanding about the intermedia between hardware and software.
32: I learnt a lot.
33: I leart a lot. Really a lot, and even though the course is pretty hard and demanding, i find it really satisfying.
34: I loved that now I've got this whole-system view of computers :D ...also getting my hands dirty with low level OS code was totally cool.
35: I think the lecture slides were good, and the lectures could have been good if Kevin spoke slower
36: Interesting Information about OS, including current OS development in the market explained by lecturer
37: Interesting lecture. Lecturer not just going through lecture notes.
38: Interesting lectures.
39: Interesting material and satifying assignments. Very well taught in lectures and tutes.
40: Interesting, fairly difficult programming assignments. Understanding how the OS works has helped in my general understanding of programming and how user level apps interact with the low level code.
41: It got me interested in the lower level side to my computer and it's OS.
42: It was interesting, and you got experience actually writing OS code, which really helped me to understand the content, although it took a while to understand the supplied os/161 code.
43: Kevin, and the feeling that he is always there to answer your [dumb]questions
44: Learn from Assigment
45: Learn many concepts
46: Learn the things in OS where we never think of before
47: Learning about the internals of an operating system - writing partial code to implement our own operating system - found that pretty rewarding.
48: Learning clever methods of how to get stuff to work better... like all the little things under the bonnet you take for granted need a lot of smart tricks to get working at an efficient level
49: Learning how operating systems work, and moving out of user programming and into kernel programming
50: Lecture notes and tutorials were helpful
51: Lecturer are great , well structure lecture. Good presentation and clarifying
52: Lecturer tried to keep it interesting
53: Lectures
54: Lectures and Tutorials were very helpful to understanding the material
55: Lectures were fantastic. Lots of preparation and very well delivered.
56: Lectures were well presented, and were associated with lecture slides weekly.
57: Looking at how the kernel works.
58: Low Level Programming Experience. Kevin's Lectures & Consults
59: Low level code _Practical_ Clear specifications (THANK YOU!!!)
60: Low-level issues of OS.
61: Not many assignments
62: Notes are structured and refrenced back to the book
63: OS/161 was a convenient learning environment.
64: Presents solid background of general OS systems
65: Pricnple of a basic OS
66: Principle of OP
67: Really useful course.
68: Seeing how large systems are built, cool algorithms, low level code.
69: Subject matter was both deep enough and broad enough to remain interesting
70: The Lectures and tutes
71: The assignments and the ability to get stuck into real code and tackle challenging problems. This is what makes this such an excellent course.
72: The assignments gave good insight into the operation of an os.
73: The content was very interesting, and good support from lecturer and tutors
74: The extended lectures The flexibility of lectures
75: The extended lectures, the great depth of content.
76: The feeling of "wow I might pass OS"
77: The lecturer
78: The lecturer Well prepared lecture slides The tutor
79: The lecturer conveyed the concepts in a clear and concise manner
80: The lectures are the best. The theories are clearly explained and even if not properly understood during the lecture, we could turn to the forums for a further explaination.
81: The lectures were very interesting and the content of the course really appeals to me
82: The lectures, although done at a fast pace, were still informative. Kevin seemed to know what he was talking about in all the lectures and also when he was asked questions - which isn't always the case in some courses.
83: The topics covered are very interesting and relevant.
84: The tutorials were good
85: The tutorials, and the issues related to hacking.
86: This course teaches a lot of OS issues.
87: To really know something about "COMPUTERS"
88: Very good detailed introductory course into OS
89: When assignments worked! I was actually surprised to find that I was quite interested in many of the os issues, I usually don't enjoy low level things, but things like semaphores and concurrency problems are quite cool. Also, I liked the comments in os161 - "I think I'll just die now" :)
90: actually buinding up an OS, feels pretty good
91: assignments - hacking on semi-real kernel
92: attending the lectures, very interesting. tutorial isn't bad either, the tutor is one smart guy
93: can't state out what is the best but i enjoyed this course even though i don't have enough time to finish everything well.
94: challenge....
95: chanllenging assignments, good lectures
96: get to know how some basic stuff works inside the os
97: get to know what an OS does and how it works
98: good coverage
99: got challenges to C programming, and got many good practices
100: how the OS works and its inner structures
101: interesting material. Dr Elfinstone presents well. Good assignments
102: interesting, learn a lot from this course
103: learn a lot in assignments
104: learn programming with a large source base
105: learn what is OS
106: lecture is pretty good!
107: lecturer
108: lecturer was interesting in presenting notes
109: lecturer-- good presentation skills and show of knowledge
110: lectures
111: lectures
112: letcure time tables
113: n/a
114: notes
115: text book
116: the assignments
117: the assignments made u read the lectures and book
118: the first assignment
119: the lecturer and the forum really helps
120: the lecturer structured the course and lectures very well The lecture notes/slides were brilliant- summarised the textbook very well The lecturer spoke clearly and made the lectures more interesting
121: the understanding of OS at the end of the course.
122: to use os in our normal life
123: tutes were good and related to the lecture material well.
124: tutorial
7. What were the worst things about this course?
1: - Lecture slides never posted on the website early - Very difficult to get started on assignments..too much time taken in understanding what was required in the assignments
2: 2 hour lectures are annoying, would prefer 3x1 hour lectures, but realise this may be impossible/hard.
3: A bit difficult but good challange
4: Also assigment,not easy.
5: Applying the theory to assignments, and understnding OS/161
6: As always, another uni course trying to cover too much material in too little time. The 3-4 weeks you gave us for assignments was fine but remember that when you take into account the 3-4 other courses we might be doing the effective time is only around 1.5 weeks.
7: Assignment is hard.
8: Assignment marking schemas are not available and assignments are marked so late that you have no chance to avoid making similar mistakes in next assignment(s). I also found the manual marking a bit unfair, maybe it's my problem but I've got worst practical component marks ever (74.2 while it was always above 90)
9: Assignment specifications. Automarking often test things that were never mentioned or emphasized.
10: Assignments
11: Assignments I think there should be more explanations on the os/161 coding
12: Assignments - usually a bit clueless as to how to start and where to start looking
13: Assignments . . extended OS guy in my tute answers all the questions, whilst the rest of class have no idea whats going on
14: Assignments a little difficult at times and hard to get a good handle on.
15: Assignments are too HARD. No ideas how to do it, how to debug the software.
16: Assignments are too difficult which should require more time and references to do
17: Assignments are too hard... (except asst0 and restaurant one)
18: Assignments done in groups
19: Assignments somewhat very difficult
20: Assignments were time consuming
21: Assignments were very difficult.
22: Assignments were very time consuming and difficult, although it was clear that there has been a large improvement on this compared with the past.
23: Asst2 and Asst3 and time needed for the course and short amount of time to do them taking into account work load of other subjects.
24: Cant think of any!!
25: Course is too broad, should make more concentrated.
26: Coverage of Real Life Operating Systems. I wanted to learn few distinguishing features about different operating systems but that was not covered in great detail.
27: Doing assignment 3: virtual memory
28: For the assignment, I couldnt figure out how to test as we went along. We had to basically finish the assignment, then test and debug the whole thing.
29: Group work on the assignments. My partner did very little for assn1&2, and i was forced to do most of the work myself. He did do a lot in assn3, but none of it made sense, and so i had to try and work with code that was useless.
30: High workload sometimes a drawback
31: I think there's too little resource about OS 161. Say, if you type "OS161" in google, there are less than 10 available pages, which means the only way we can learn OS161 well is the lectures and tutorials, excluded self-study.
32: It is hard for me to get a high mark:(
33: It's hell hard and the assignments are crazy even if you spend heaps of time on it.
34: Kevin talks way too fast, makes it hard to understand on the spot as he moves on too quickly. Also one thing that is much much much worse than Kevin's talking speed is the fact that the lecture slides aint up before the lecture as personally i prefer to write down notes next to the relevant slide printout during lecture for studying purposes.
35: Lecture notes could be a bit more verbose .
36: Losing marks because my partner was crap and did no work whatsoever.
37: Most of the (basic) assignments were not challenging enough to be very interesting.
38: NO
39: No testings provided in assignments that gaurantee a certain level of correctness. I passed ALL tests in the testing method provided in asst1 yet failed ALL tests cases during automarking. Impossible asst3.
40: No windows relation
41: Not applicable to any system used commercially, ie, I did not see any possibility of application of what I've learnt from this course into Windows API and stuff, which is what most people use.
42: Not enough hands-on practice on coding os system features. Labs exercises should be introduced
43: Not enough support for assignments
44: OS/161 programming. after a year of little to no required C programming, the shock of getting back into it at a level much more complex than before is very hard to adjust to
45: OS/161 unfamiliar.
46: Perhaps some parts of the assignment is a little too hard. Figuring it out really takes a lot of time. Compared to other assignments in other courses, the assignments are much harder. In other courses, I knew exactly what to do and how to achieve it.
47: Prolonged discussions about conceptually trivial algorithms to poorly solve various problems. The introduction of Monitors seemed irrelevant.
48: Really hard to realize the assignment. too less hint to do the assignment
49: Really long hours. Assignments. Thank goodness there weren't labs.
50: Rex Vowels makes you feel sleepy. Kevin can talk too fast sometimes, not giving people time to digest the information as to him it is very simple, but when he says long sentences in short times, it is hard to understand and people who would otherwise understand can be left behind
51: Slow assignment feedback/marking time
52: Some ideas and topics were quite hard to understand and the lecturer did not bother to "dumb down" his explanation of these ideas. Assuming that everyone doing the course is a potention HD student wasnt very productive to average students.
53: Stuck to traditional unix/linux stuff, alternative OS's would have been interesting if covered regularly.
54: The Assignment takes too much time and was extremely challenging
55: The amount of time that need to be invested into assignments. Lecture should cover more details on OS/161 to aid practical programming.
56: The assignments
57: The assignments
58: The assignments are difficult, if a student has a heavy workload; they can be overwhelming.
59: The assignments are hard :p
60: The assignments were hard to complete, and even harder to begin
61: The assignments were too much! Because it was hard to see how the course content related to the assignments when it came to actually coding. The idea was there, but OS161 was just too much code.
62: The assignments were very hard to start because it took lots of time to understand the low-level details of OS161. I know there was a lecture on how to start the Virtual Memory assignment, however I think the assignment specs could have been more helpful on how to start.
63: The assignments. They consumed way too much time on a full load of study. This is the reason I wouldn't recommend OS to anyone else. Although I went OK in the assignments all my other courses have suffered this semester due to OS.
64: The awful assignments - i detested the low level coding, havng to understand and read so much other code
65: The dry material, even though it is core to the course.
66: The group work part of the assignments was particularly bad, this is probably because I ended up doing the assignments by myself. I feel that the assignments were not really structured in a way to allow two people to work on them. They appeared to be fairly sequential in nature. I also believe that the assignments were not released early enough to allow students sufficient time to complete them. It would be better if assignment specs were available at least 3 weeks before they were due, if not a little longer.
67: The harmonics that is applied for class mark and exam marks. I feel that the weightage of the projects are a bit too high. This may have caused the high failure rate.
68: The high chance that you won't pass OS :D
69: The last 2 assignments
70: This course teaches too much. We have to study OS/161 by ourself for assignment.
71: Too hard. Too much work.
72: Too little preparation on C (This is probably an issue outside the scope of the course hence the need for prerequisites). Heavy workload compared to most other subjects.
73: Too much dirty codes in assignments and lack of explain in such codes.
74: Too much low level stuff, assignments are hard and lecture are not well structured (very hard for later study, hard to find corresponding chapter in text boo)
75: Tutes
76: Unix/Linux and OS/161.
77: Very hard assignments
78: Virtual Memory assignment was hard to impliment in stages, it was an all-or-nothing approach
79: When assignments didn't work! Having to look through other people's code for 9 hrs just to understand what the hell was going on to get started on an assignment.
80: Working with someone else on the assignments - in the end I practically wrote all the assignments myself save some of the second assignment.
81: assignment deadlines
82: assignment too difficult
83: assignment too hard
84: assignments
85: assignments are a little bit difficult!
86: assignments are too difficult.
87: assignments too hard
88: assignments were hard to begin. knowing the lecture content only gave an idea of what the program should do, but not how to start the assingment. (dont know where and how to start writing)
89: assignments with specs that doesnt tell what to do.
90: assignments, tutorials, lectures notes
91: assignmets too complex and hard to follow
92: coding stuff takes a lot of time that i don't really have and consequently some of my assignments weren't finished. not much you can do about this though i guess...
93: difficult assts
94: everything except text book
95: group mate
96: it's hard to get marks from the assignments
97: learn what is OS
98: lectures hardly related to assignments. thrown into the DEEP DEEP end in terms of assignments.
99: moron assignment partner.
100: n/a
101: no
102: no automarking data put up
103: no way to debug last assignment (as functions)
104: not as hard as claimed to be
105: sometimes the amount of work demanded became too much during the intense weeks of uni - perhaps shifting the timing of OS assignments to a week before or after the week other assignments are due might help
106: the assignment is too challenging
107: the assignments were way too hard and not specified adequately. The specs posted were merely an overview of the situation and not at all helpful. If the specifications had simply said what what needed to be implemented the assignments would have been made a lot easier. Also our tutor did not even look at the assignments and so was completely unable to help us in that regard
108: the implementation
109: the last assignment
110: the last assignment was too hard
111: the workloads is bit heaver
112: time assigments took
113: too complicated programming assignments.
114: too hard. and composery for me...
115: too much challenge
116: too much low level C coding
117: too much time to fix up bugs in os161
118: too much work to be done and i just don't have enough time as a PG student
119: tutor
120: tutors-- tut period too short and insufficient time to go through all qs with the tutors.
121: well, this is the hardest subject in cse after all, but i have to say that programming os/161 is a hell. although programming in pair dose help, but it always ends up one person in the group is putting more weights than the other, and panalize this group member certainly dose not help to increase overall marking for someone that is trying hard. dose this seems fair to you?
13. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Is COMP2011/9024 and COMP2021/9022 (the official pre-requisites) a suitable preparation?
1: ........ I think the prerequisites are good
2: 1)Components of computer. 2)I think they are suitable preparation.
3: 1. None 2. COMP2011 and COMP2021 are both suitable preparations.
4: 1.c 2.yes
5: 1021/1721 and 2021 are basically all you need for this course. 2041 gives you a nice heads up for CVS and gdb, but they are covered within early OS lectures anyway.
6: 2011 and 2021 give only basic insights into the stuff for 3231. Perhaps a 3UOC introductory course could be run (easier) so that less students struggle when they get to 3231
7: 2011 and 2021 should be enough
8: C language
9: C programming.
10: COMP2011
11: COMP2021 covers what is needed, but this course should have gone over it again and in more detail, as COMP2021 was a while ago. Plus while doing COMP2021, older students told me the topics were useless, so I didnt pay much attention. thus a review of the material would have been useful.
12: COMP3211 and COMP3221 would be good for pre-requistes
13: COMP3221
14: Coming from the ELEC1041 prerequisite instead of COMP2021, it was slightly difficult to understand, but not so bad.
15: Comp2011 and 2021 did not really help that much, most of the material covered in 3231 did not seem related to the prerequisites
16: Comp2011 is required as that's the introduction to C but I think a student who have not done comp2021 will be able to handle the course just as well as student who have done it.
17: Comp3221: micros - should be a prereq for the exposure to writing assembly and working with memory segments and registers at a low level
18: Considering I am doing this as part of a post-graduate course I haven't done the subjects mentioned. But in general a strong back ground in C and a good general interest in operating systems would be the main things. Also a fairly good understanding and background in Unix systems helped me.
19: Data structures using C and MIPS assembly language
20: Didn't really help at all.
21: Electrical engineering doing some comp electives. Background was COMP1B/2011, ELEC2041/2042/3041. These were sufficient.
22: Generally yes, for myself there wasn't a problem (having done a lot of C work previously) but the actual C level taught prior to this could be improved.
23: Having done microprocessors was a big help because many processor issues were covered there. Computer architecture is also an advantage due to the fairly detailed coverage of MIPS architecture in that course.
24: I brief revision of required C programming skills and management of large amount of code. eg. code editing, browsing and archiving.
25: I did COMP2041 in second year, which kept my C skills at an acceptable level. A C course in second year is recommended.
26: I did COMP3211 before and therefore I have better understanding of some low level issues than some of my friends who didn't
27: I don't know if this is my fault but I still don't feel confident coding in C.
28: I don't think I was missing any background knowledge. However, I don't think the pre-req offered me any preparation, I mostly used knowledge from higher comp 1b.
29: I don't think any course could have been any great help. Perhaps just knowledge of C and experience in programming is enough. The rest is up to how smart the person is.
30: I dont think 9022 is appropriate prerequisite. For postgrads it could be just 9021 and 9024 since they would have had studied computer architecture in their bachelors. Having said that there could be PG's from other undergrad fields. But in general 9022 looks a little inappropriate to me.
31: I found little use for my knowledge of COMP2021, and think that COMP3221 would be a much more useful prereq (as it covers bus architectures, interrupt handling, and IO access mechanisms in great detail)
32: I have enroled these two.
33: I have not done microprocessors and a lot of my friends that had said that this was helpful.
34: I mainly had problems with the actual OS161, not with learning ABOUT OS's. I thought the lectures were interesting and easy to learn. So actually, nothing would have prepared me unless someone taught me the whole of OS161 beforehand!
35: I previously took computer architecture and that made it easier for me to understand the content, although I don't think it is necessary to understand the course.
36: I think they were essential although I did the ELEC equivalent...and that was 4 years ago.
37: It was a fair preparation for the C-code involved in coding for this course. The ideas introduced were quite new and needed a lot of time to get used to.
38: It would have been helpful to have been exposed to assembly language to understand the low level code more. Also, the students are automatically thrust into low level C code after doing preparatory/prerequisite courses which don't come anywhere near the low level expected knowledge here. This was a setback and should be addressed in the future, either by introducing labs, or teaching low-level C programming in a prerequisite course.
39: Lack of C programming experience as the only time i encountered C programming was back in comp1b (ie.. 1st yr!!) so asst2 and asst3 were a bit harder due to this. Maybe should have a few labs or tuts in refreshing C programming. 2011 is suitable as it helps with designing data structures (in assignments) and programming in general but i do not see how 2021 is relevant to/how it helps understanding of this course.
40: Microprocessors
41: More C maybe.
42: More C programming practice would have helped a lot. C not covered in 2011. 2021 wasnt satisfactory as a preparation.
43: More info about OS161 and how to start the assignments
44: More knowledge of C
45: More on data structure practical issues. Yes
46: More real debugging work using GDB
47: No, 2011 and 2021 are nowhere useful in this course. Should have picked some intensive C course (harder than 1B) that covers more complex C implementations.
48: None
49: None really...
50: None really; just a sound knowledge of C, and a willingness to learn new concepts.
51: None. COMP2021 is bad preparation - it only shows us 1. why we should _not_ use VHDL 2. how some tutors/lecturers are not accountable for marking (I still don't know what mark I got in the assignment)
52: Not really no
53: Not sure DSS was particularly useful, software construction would have been more so I think (debugging, shells, etc).
54: OS161 is really complex and difficult to use. 2011 was not very helpful. 2021 was ok but microprocessors is then both of these.
55: Official prerequisites were suitable.
56: Prereqs are fine
57: The basic mechanism of OS/161 would be a suitable preparation for this course. But COMP9024 provided a well background knowledge of arithmetic and COMP9022 gave an elementary preparation of C language.
58: The current prerequisites offer sufficient background knowledge for this course.
59: The only background knowledge that I found useful was from 1021.
60: The pre-reqs are sufficient. In fact, just 1021 and bits of 2021 would have been alright. It'd be nice, but not necessary to have streamlined 2011 to use C and 2021 to use more MIPS. Then again, though it made OS easier, it'd have been overkill if that was the case.
61: The preperations were suitable.
62: They are suitable preparation. Networks could have helped a bit - but not necessarily
63: This is the first subject when I enrolled in university. As I was given advanced standing in the pre-requisites, I did not go thru them. But i think that i require a higher level of proficiency in programming. There are many times where I am unable to express my algorithms into C language.
64: Unit programming
65: Unix programming, algorigthem
66: Yeah that was fine - I learnt everything I needed to know as I went along.
67: Yep, they're definately good background.
68: Yes
69: Yes
70: Yes
71: Yes for 2011, not really for 2021
72: Yes those are enough prereqs. I'd done micro which helped, but it wasn't needed.
73: Yes, but credit in 1021 should have
74: Yes. COMP2011 really isn't neccessary though if one did COMP1721.
75: Yes. That is quite suitable
76: assembly language
77: comp2011
78: comp2011 and comp2021 doesn't help very much.
79: comp3221
80: computer arthitecture
81: everything was covered in the pre-requisite courses but none of them was enough.
82: hardware background knowledge
83: how to use the GDB and the os161 in general.
84: its enough. however personally i forgot alot. since its been a year and a half since i studied those courses. some material to refresh concepts, much like giving c exercises in the beginning of the course would be appreciated
85: knowledge from comp2011 and comp2021 may not be sufficient. eg on topics like syscall
86: low level language
87: may be
88: may be good to open a new course such as "Introduction to OS" before "OS"~ like in networking we have "3331" -> "9332" or "9334" -> "9333"
89: maybe some bridging introduction to OS....which deals with much fewer low level programming in C than COMP3231...
90: more c coding i struggled with the c coding in the assignments even though i did it in comp1021 as comp2011 and comp2021 didnt have c
91: more low level coding stuff
92: most likely yes
93: no
94: non
95: none
96: none
97: none
98: none
99: not much background knowledge is needed as concepts are explained well, but because of the LARGE amount of C code in the assignments, more C knowledge in the courses current state may be desirable
100: passing 2011 wasn't good enough, the C involved is heaps harder and the leap is too great from 2011.
101: should have more pre-requisites such as courses that involve concurrency
102: sure
103: the approaches used to solve various OS problems
104: the official pre-requisites is a suitable preparation
105: there's really not much more preparation you can do unless you split the course in two, because OS occupies the space between the low level/hardware part of the system and the higher application level, and I don't know of any other courses other than OS that talk about this area. Maybe if you spent a bit of time talking about the interaction between the lower and higher levels in COMP 2011 and 2021 it might help?
106: would be good to have better grounding in the area between hardware design and programming. There seems to be little in the way of linking the two areas prior to this course.
107: would have helped if we were introduced topics in 3231 (threads, deadlocks, security) in earlier programming courses. maybe just a simple description so we have a very basic idea and feel slightly more confident in seeing them in 3rd year courses.
108: yes
109: yes they are suitable preparation
15. Which material do you think you will be most useful to you in the future?
1: All of it
2: Concurrency
3: Concurrency and I/O management
4: Concurrency and synchronisation.
5: Depends what work I will end up in
6: File system related info
7: File systems
8: General info
9: General knowledge
10: General knowledge gained from all areas, probably mostly memory management related topics.
11: General knowledge of how operating systems work, perhaps allowing me to write more efficient code?
12: I/O Management
13: I/O management, and Security
14: Implementation skills
15: LABS
16: Lecture notes.
17: Mem Management
18: Memory Management and Virtual Memory
19: Memory Management and Virtual Memory
20: Memory Management, Virtual Memory and File Systems
21: Memory and threading
22: Memory management & VM
23: Memory management, system calls, threads, synchronisation and file systems
24: Most of it
25: Most of it if i enter the computer field.
26: Multiprocessor systems
27: Multiprocessor systems/Concurrency
28: Multithreading, File systems, Synchronisation, Low level Implementation
29: Mutliprocessor System
30: Not sure.
31: OS Fundamentals and low level C programming
32: OS implementations
33: OS knowledge
34: Probably security
35: Probably security, IO management, Mulitprocessor systems, maybe mem management
36: Process
37: Processes and threads, synchronisation, file systems, memory
38: Scheduling, Synchronisation, Processes
39: Security
40: Security
41: Security
42: Security
43: Security
44: Security
45: Security
46: Security
47: Security & Performance Issues
48: Security and I/O Management and file system
49: Security and Memory Management
50: Security and Synchonisation
51: Security,Deadlock, Synchonisation and concurrency,Multiprocessor Systems
52: Synchonisation and concurrency
53: Synchonisation and concurrency
54: Synchro & Concurrency
55: Synchronisation, deadlock, scheduling, and security
56: Syncro & Concurrentcy , Security
57: System calls
58: The deadlock and VM bits.
59: The overall view of how the OS interacts and runs the computer.
60: The stuff on how the OS talks to the system bus, memory management, threading and syncro.
61: Thread,System call
62: Threading / Concurrency
63: Threads
64: Threads and processes
65: Threads, Synchronisation and concurrency, security
66: Threads, processes and synchronisations
67: Understanding concurrency
68: Understanding the compromises that are made to achieve a good performing OS for a wide variety of purposes and security.
69: Virtual Memory
70: Virtual mem and multiprocessing
71: Virtual memory
72: all of it?
73: all, a good knowlege of os is the way to go
74: deadlock, threads, scheduling
75: everything
76: everything in general
77: file system, multipal task
78: i/o managment, sync, scheduling, multiproc
79: low-level implementation, VM, file system, IO
80: memory management, security, processes
81: most of them..
82: multiprocessor systems and security?
83: n/a
84: no
85: none
86: not sure
87: nothing
88: our assignments
89: process
90: processes, file systems and security
91: security
92: security
93: security
94: security
95: security
96: security - I would like to see more of it taught
97: security i guess
98: synchonisation and concurrency
99: synchronisation, memory management
100: system calls
101: text
102: textbook
103: the design of os
104: thread and scheduling
105: threading and file system
106: threads
107: understanding and programming OS system
108: understanding of the OS.
109: virtual memory
110: vm
16. What material related to operating systems, but not currently in the course, would you like to have seen covered?
1: -
2: A bit more "real world" detail, perhaps some delving (probably not assessable as too complex) into the Linux code, etc.
3: Design of the operating system.
4: Examples of specialised OS's such as the one run by Google
5: GUIs
6: Hardware drivers
7: How to hack.
8: I have no idea
9: MacOS X case studies
10: Maybe some current trends in non-Linux OSs (I accept this may be hard to find out)
11: More info on current research and algorithms used in practice today.
12: More on multi-proc systems, seeing as this seems to be the future focus of computing
13: More on security...
14: More real life things like using OSs closer to windows perhaps
15: More windows related discussion since it was mostly unix/linux and the windows os are the operating systems people use the most!
16: Multiprocessing using internet-connected computers' idle time for calculations, ie a variable number of processers in a multiprocessor system
17: Multiprocessor Systems
18: N/A
19: N/A
20: N/A
21: N/A
22: N/A
23: NOthing
24: No ideas.
25: None
26: None
27: None
28: None.
29: Not sure.
30: OS for different market segments. E.g. Win for home VS Solaris for enterprise and their fundamental differences
31: Other obscure OS systems
32: Perhaps a bit more coverage of non-Unix systems would be interesting. Something like WinNT or VMS could really provide a good basis for comparison with Unix.
33: Real Life OS Codes (Few Chunks) and explanaation/comparison of the same
34: Real-time os issues in more detail.
35: So far enough
36: Sockets
37: The details of each operating systems
38: The material included at the moment is more than enough
39: Windows, Security
40: Writing device drivers
41: anything more interesting.
42: booting up off a network, differences between Macs and PCs
43: current and future trends would be interesting to finish on.
44: design of I/O controller and its application into real OS
45: distributed systems
46: guis
47: mac os
48: more background on workings of os/161. good sources on net were difficult to find
49: more coverage on how upcoming 64-bit and multiple processor systems would be good, considering that both mainstream consumer PCs and servers are seemingly moving in that direction.
50: more detail on device driver architecture & implementation.
51: n/a
52: n/aa
53: networking
54: networking
55: no
56: no
57: no
58: no
59: none
60: none
61: none
62: none
63: none
64: none
65: none
66: not sure
67: not sure
68: not sure-OS was pretty well covered, maybe more of the actual coding
69: nothing
70: nothing
71: nothing
72: nothing
73: nothing
74: operating system design
75: something like how the modern cpu runs, not only for unix, but also windows
76: thats enough thanks...
77: yes
17. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?
1: File Systems and VM and scheduling
2: I/O Management
3: I/O Management
4: IO management
5: It's all good =)
6: It's all very important to understand this material as a computer engineer. I'd leave it all in!
7: Low-level implementations
8: Low-level implementations issues
9: Low-level implementations issues and file system
10: Maybe a bit on memory management and virual memory
11: Multiprocessor systems
12: Multiprocessors
13: N/A
14: N/A
15: N/A
16: N/A
17: NO
18: None
19: None
20: None
21: None
22: None
23: None
24: None
25: None as the topics are sort of related
26: None of them
27: None really, all are important, perhaps all the talk about the R3000 or other (if i am right in saying, outdated) in-depth implementation discussion...
28: None, all useful
29: None, i think its all relevant
30: None. 3231 is a well balanced course with respect to the area of study
31: None. All are important and should be covered as it is at the moment.
32: Nothing
33: Nothing.
34: Security - it is redundant when 3441 and 3331 both cover it
35: Security should be scaled back
36: Security. More focus on "kernel" security instead.
37: Security......
38: There are all important issues towards OS.
39: Theres just alot but i cant imagine excluding anything
40: Think it is fine as it is.
41: This subject can perhaps be split in two because of the extent of course coverage which is not limited to just OS.
42: VM
43: Virtual Memory Assignment
44: all assignment topics.
45: deadlocks
46: dunno
47: file system
48: it seems fine as is
49: low-level implementation issues
50: low-level issues and topics
51: n/a
52: n/a
53: no
54: no
55: no
56: no
57: no
58: nohing
59: none
60: none
61: none
62: none
63: none
64: none
65: none
66: none
67: not sure
68: nothing
69: nothing
70: nothing
71: process and threads.....
72: processes
73: security
74: security
75: security
76: security and scheduling
77: security, should be a whole new branch in regards to security.
78: seems alright
79: system calls would be better if scaled back. as the concept is fairly straightforward
80: system calls?
81: they all seem pretty important to me...
82: too much high level textbook stuff, need actual implementation to learn else becomes memory test
83: virtual memory
21. If you have not been attending lectures, what factors influenced your decision not to attend?
1: -
2: As suggested before, Rex Vowels in general has bad air ventilation so can make people sleepy and therefore waste time if people go to the lecture and sleep.
3: Assignments
4: Assignments from this and other courses, and because I had the textbook
6: Bad schedule (only class on that day) Weather Deadlines in this course and others
7: Boring
8: Course clashed with other courses.
9: Depends on the topic. I did not attend most of the lectures that involved topics i did not like (also happens to be the confusing and important ones)
10: Essentially the same experience reading the textbook. Lack of emerging technologies discussed.
11: Explanation of tougher topics were not much different from the lecture slides that we could download.
12: General workload was overbearing
13: I attended 90% of lectures.
14: I attended 90% of the lectures. I did not attend a few because of other assignments and illness
15: I attended lectures.
16: I attended most but sometimes with assignment deadlines for this course and other courses influenced me not to attend
17: I attended some of the lectures but certainly not all of them. The main reason is that I work full-time and the lectures were during the day. It would have been good if they were video/audio taped. Or put the lectures on after hours ;-)
18: I did the course without really knowing anyone there, and it put me off attending. Also jsut got lazy.
19: I felt that on the whole not a lot was added that wasn't covered in the slides and in the text. I attended the vast majority anyway but didn't feel they were essential. The tutorials were more advantagous.
20: I studied 3 comp courses this semester, AI, Networks and OS as well as Elec A. I attended lectures for the first 10 weeks of session but the last 5 weeks I had so many assignments that I was unable to get to lectures. Assignments all inconveniently occurring at the same time plus 30 hours at work a week made it completely impossible to attend lectures.
21: Later on during the session the quantity of assignemnts I had to complete caused me to miss some lectures.
22: Lecturer seems focused on nurturing the HIGHER OS/smarter people. Lecturer talked with a sense that everyone had a lot of assumed knowledge about memory and computers and the cpu.
23: NA
24: Other commitments
25: Skipped a few lectures to work on assignments for this and other subjects.
26: Sometimes i got sick of the guy who asked stupid questions, and wouldnt come back to the second lecture.
27: Sometimes lecturer talks too fast and cannot keep up and I fall asleep
28: The few times i did not attend lectures, were mainly because it was hard to follow the lecturer's ideas, tended to go relatively quickly, and seemed to assume his audience had background knowledge on the topic. He also went on tangents that were extremely hard to follow and understand their relation to the covered topic.
29: Too many computing assignments have to be done, I spent most of the time figure out how to do the OS assignments.
30: Too much assignment
31: Too noisy in the back. Dry, but important information is hard to learn enough already without the distractions in the back.
32: Was boring. Material becaome too complex for me to understand. Only lecture on day. None of my friends went.
33: Working on other assignments.
34: assignments
35: assignments from other courses
36: attend most of time except for bad weathers...
37: attended most but sometimes because of time constraints couldn't attended
38: busy with assignments
39: doing other assignments
40: have to work
41: i always attend if i do. maybe lazy
42: i did attend but the material covered is gone through very fast that if you lose attention even for a minute, which is likely to happen, u become lost in the rest of the lecture and this happens especially in the 2 hour lectures
43: i felt the time was better spent dealing with the assignments
44: lazy...
45: lecture's slides and textbooks
46: n/a
47: n/a
48: never
49: no
50: none
51: not understand what the contents in the lecture
52: nothing
53: skipped for a week because i was not following lecture content, also because lecture notes was not up for that week.. found it harder to concentrate
54: thursday afternoon lecture, 6pm is very late to finish. (but its better than lunchtime)
55: too long
56: work
22. Any suggestions for improving lectures?
1: -
2: 3x1 hour lectures instead of a 2 hour lecture and a 1 hour lecture
3: 5-6pm classes are a real drag and it'd be good to have lessons earlier in the day when the grey matter's still active.
4: Animation visualising happening things would be great
5: Better lecture slides because it hard to follow sometimes and more practical example about OS161
6: Demo of some theories or algorithms on real situations would be useful and more clear to understand
7: Don't know
8: Don't tell everyone that you're not going to go into the details of some solution to a problem because you now do it in extended os - it's extremely annoying to know that there is a solution but you don't get told what it is. I'm interested, but not interested enough to actually go to an extended lecture just to find out.
9: Dumb it down. a lot.
10: Going a little slower at times on confusing topics such as kernels etc, and not assuming everyone does advanced os and can whizz through the hard parts
11: Going through what a completed assignment should be doing
12: I found lectures to be quite enjoyable
13: I found that reading the text book could have replaced lectures, as most slides were straight from the text. Although, interactivity of lectures was a bonus.
14: I think that there should be more interative material. This would probably help to assist imagining some of the examples the lecturer was explaining.
15: I understand it is hard to cover all the material in the limited amount of time, but in my case, I find that energy deficiency tends to hamper concentration and so I am always looking forward to breaks which help revive the energy and concentration. This could probabily also have to do with lack of oxygen in the lecture theatres...
16: I want to use java if possible.
17: It would be better if the lecture notes can provide more details instead of the outline.
18: Lecture slides should be put up in advance. The later weeks' slides were pretty late. To have the slides before hand is much more useful in the lectures.
19: Less background noise would be nice.
20: Live demonstrations on how things work, i.e. using actual code or something similar
21: Maybe go a bit slower and talk to the whole class rather than a subset sitting at the front.
22: More animations
23: More codes can be shown or demonstrated so that we can use as a guideline of what're excepted in the assignment, rather than just words in spec.
24: More delegation of theory to reading the textbook to avoid overlap. This should leave more time to worked examples in lecture.
25: More examples included in the actual lecture slides (even if not truly related) would help in the understanding of the topic.
26: More examples might be better for certain topics
27: More examples please
28: More interactive media format... More examples...
29: More on the actual coding for the assignments -otherwise, generally well done
30: More small assignments and not too difficult.
31: N/A
32: N/A
33: Need some of example OS software as a case study towards the assignments.
34: No
35: None i can think of atm.
36: Nope!! The lecturer is the most important part of lectures for me. Kevin's lectures have been wonderful.
37: Nope. All great.
38: Not really
39: Not sure they can be - I find them an extremely poor teaching tool.
40: One hour slots
41: One very minor thing: Please address both sides of the lecture theatre, it was mildly offputting having Kevin mostly face the diagonal opposite (where the AOS people were sitting).
42: Overall lectures are excellent!
43: Overall they were pretty good.
44: Possibly exclude some of the material. More guidance with coding assignments, so that not so much effort is spent investigating what to do.
45: Problem solving Class should be useful
46: Should clear point out the topic/subtopic for each lecture
47: Some more detail (e.g. explanations that were talked through during the lecture) to be included in the actual online notes.
48: Some real life OS (Windows, UNIX, Mac, Solaris) introduction and explanation of the routines would be beneficial if possible to cover in the lecture.
49: Talk slower and have lecture slides up on website for printing before the lecture.. (yes even if its 5mins before lecture) it makes note taking much simpler.
50: Talk slower, and talk to the right hand side of the class as well. Kevin always seem to only talk to his left hand side, where the smart people sit. He tells the people who don't understand to go to sleep and stop talking. They only started talking because they were having trouble understanding and therefore tuned out
51: The lectures present a lot of theory. Maybe there could be some practical examples or movies or demonstrations of some sort. Also, once I get lost in an OS lecture I will be totally lost for the rest of the lecture. Again, maybe some more examples or demonstrations would help.
52: They go through material *REALLY FAST*. Thats perfect for me; I learn best that way but i think some people got a bit lost. I loved it :D
53: Try to slow the lectures down a bit. I know that you needed to go that fast to cover all the topics, but some areas, such VM etc, require a more relaxed pace so we can take it in. I had to go and read the lecture notes and text book after that lecture as I didn't pick up anything in the lecture.
55: Well from the ones I did attend, I think maybe a little bit more humour wouldn't hurt in the delivery. Content was a cause for slight boredom at times, but I suppose thats just from my point of view.
56: better tutors
57: don't use homornic
58: eliminate consecutive lectures
59: explain the topics more interestingly
60: improve the lecture notes
61: it could be better if the lecture speak not too fast. it can be a barrier to understand the lecture, especially for internatioan students.
62: it's good enough
63: more audience participation - keeps everyone awake more
64: more contact hours
65: more example and explain it more
66: more examples will be better!
67: more interaction with students
68: n/a
69: n/a
70: need more examples on how os161 works, not only explanation, also codes, which i think will help students with their assignments
71: no
72: none
73: none
74: none
75: none
76: please give more detaied instructions directly based on the assts.
77: please help more on assignments, me an most of my friends didnt know how to begin the assignment even after doin a lot of study ( for weeks)
78: posting lecture notes prior to lectures.
79: probably dont assume we know might be surprised...
80: provide examples using some kind of simulator
81: put lecture notes on website a few days before lecturing that topic
82: put them on days when students tend to goto uni
83: should give more infomations/walkthrough/approach to our assignments.
84: slow it down a notch and wear a party hat
85: sometimes lecture speaks too fast and lost me...slow down please...
86: speak slowly and use less jargons. I am an International student. The lectuer is the best for English background speakers, but not for me.
87: talking slower and allowing people to disgest 'simple' information. an example is simple, but if it is told extremely fast, it takes time to process
23. If you used other textbooks other than Tannenbaum (e.g. Silberschatz, Stallings), how do you think they compare to each other? Which gives the best explanations, which has the best structure, etc....
1: -
2: -
3: Did not use any textbooks
4: Didn't use it.
5: Haven't read any other textbook.
6: I havn't use other textbooks.
7: I like to refer to both Tannenbaum & Silberschatz. Although Tannenbaum has better explainations, structure, Silberschatz has more windows reference.
8: I stay with the original textbook
9: Most OS books keep the reader interested. Tanenbaum was friendlier to read.
10: N/A
11: N/A
12: N/A
13: NA
14: NA
15: No
16: No other textbooks
17: Only used Stallings, found it helpful.
18: Operating Systems Concept 6th edition, covers most of the relevant topics
19: Other textbook
20: Stallings - Not as easy to follow as Tanenbaum - Tanenbaum is still the better choice
21: Stallings was excellent supplemental for syscall topic. Tanenbaum seemed best overall theory book. Would appreciate more code examples though.
22: Tannenbaum are hard to understand (read), too much text and explainations are hard to following (because most of them are only in text)
23: Tannenbaum's books are pretty good especially on the inner structure of processor, hardwares
24: Tannenbaum's good
25: Unix Internals by Uresh Vahalia was very useful during this course mainly for background reading and the VM section covers the MIPS cpu.
26: better coverage
27: current text
28: didn't use a txtbook
29: n/a
30: n/a
31: never try
32: no
33: no
34: none
35: only Tannenbaum
36: only used tannebaum
37: similar
38: the recommand one is perfect
39: they are all good
40: well, Tannenbaum is cool, Silberschatz isn't bad either, and Stallings is a great author too, but did not get the chance to read his OS book. Overall, I think reading Tannenbaum is enough, students dose have other subjects' textbooks to read, you know.
26. Any suggestions for improving tutorials?

1: (Note: Attended advanced OS tutorial) Interesting to see some real research information as well as going over various topics in more detail than could be covered in the normal lecture. Highly reccomend keeping / extending this advanced portion of the course.
2: Answer the questions clearly instead of only giving 'little hints' to the questions. Tutorials are not exam/assignment and students should get the answers.
3: Cover the normal questions in the extended tutorial. Some people are too shy / intimidated by others in the tutorial to ask.
4: Extended Tutorials were fun :)
5: Fewer questions.
6: Have less tutorial questions.
7: Have more contact hours for tutorials. Sometimes it is not easy to understand what is explained in the forum, and we need these tutors to assist in the understanding face-to-face.
8: I didnt know my tutor's name, but he was a champ.
9: I have had Harvey Tuch twice, once for this subject and once in 2011. He's a nice guy, but he needs to lift his enthusiasm about the course and the subjects that are covered if you expect us to get "into" OS. I found his tutorials fairly boring, as 90% of the time I did the tutorials before had and only showed up for the participation mark.
10: It's good enough but I don't even know who is my tutor.
11: Just make sure the tutor finishes on time. We had Simon finishing 5-10 minutes into the OS lecture.
12: Less people per class
13: Make sure students understand the fundamentals first
14: Maybe having a couple of extra ones for assignment questions.
15: Maybe some more pointers for assignments
16: More should be focus on assignment
17: More time (2 hrs)
18: My tute was chucked into Applied Science 301 on Tuesdays. The dust was unpleasant and it was noisy outside. I think my tutor, Nic, would've done better with a projector or screen at his disposal to show off some code, rather than pass his laptop around, which he did.
19: My tutor was solid in his understanding, but someone more assertive was needed. If everyone prepared for tutorials and had questions I think he'd be great because he really knows his stuff but sadly because so many of us are so committed outside of uni with work etc. it just isn't feasible to always prepare for a tutorial.
20: N/A
21: N/A
22: No
23: No
24: No
25: No
26: No participation
27: No, it's already quite good
28: None, Nick is a great tutor. Words the question well to encourage participation and understanding.
29: Not really
30: Replacing more theoritical part by questions from the OS/161 (practically in general) will be better since the theoritical part is not that hard compare to the OS/161 we have to deal with.
31: Scrap the participation marks. Some people don't mind learning silently at all.
32: Sometimes, I felt like my tutor was not prepared for my questions regarding tutorial. Tutors should be prepared for questions during tutorial.
33: The tutor could help with getting started on the assignments, by explaining what we have to do. Eg. for the system calls assignment, explaining about the trap code being executed which then calls syscall() which calls read() or write() etc.
34: The tutorials are pretty good.
35: They should be attendance marks not participation marks, im shy hehe heh
36: Tute was top notch. Had few people coming so 1:3 staff:student ratio was nice for us.
37: We often went overtime. Perhaps only reviewing simple material briefly would have been better
38: a review tutorial
39: encourage more interaction with non-participating participants. many did not answer questions or otherwise get involved unless they were asked directly.
40: explain wide range of knowledge instead of being problem-specific...
41: force tutors to do all the questions clearly.
42: longer tutorial. at least 2 hours
43: more contact hours
44: my tute had 6 or so people in it. a few more might have been better.
45: n/a
46: n/a
47: na...
48: no
49: no
50: no
51: no suggestion
52: none
53: none
54: none
55: not to make attendance mandatory
56: often ran out of time, but I don't think the questions could get cut down much more.
57: plz make everyone understand, not just certain people in the tut
58: possibly making tutorial submissions.. at least having the tutor to come around to check whether the student has made an attempt to have answers on their homework sheet. (to reduce last minute cramming for them)
59: slow it down and make sure that they go through all the questions and also go through background info on questions which can help us in further understanding OS.
60: spend more even time over most questions rather than most tute time on one or two question
61: the tutes and lectures were at one point out of sync
62: tutor should have at least read through assignments
63: tutors have to always prepare the tut questions well.
64: write more codes on the board, not just explain in month
32. Do you have any specific comments about OS/161
1: -
2: 1.the workload is extremely large. I think it will be better if we can have labs which cuts large assignment jobs into smaller peices, and thus reduce the workload of assignments 2. It's hard for groupmates to share assignments' work.
3: Clear no nonsense course. Pretty much all other courses pale in comparison to its practicality and interest. Specs were unbelievably brilliant in stark contrast to _many_ other courses, hence true ability was shown rather than ability to decipher poor documentation and discover the purpose of the assignment.
4: Consider report based assignments.
5: Good cross reference, but don't have GUI platform..., not applicable
6: Good learning tool, can take a while to understand being new to a big project.
7: Good, fairly easy to read and understand basic implmenation of an OS for teaching purposes.
8: I couldnt figure out how to test and debug a small section of the assignment. It seemed that we had to program the whole assignment, and only then could we test and debug it.
9: I found that the course was too much work for a 6U subject. It wasnt necessarily too hard, it just took heaps of work, and with 3 other big workloads, i couldnt keep up. Also, reduce the assn workload and ditch the partner scheme, if you get stuck with a useless partner, you're doomed.
10: I think one main issue that needs to be addressed is doing GDB in an earlier course in greater detail, such as COMP2041 or COMP1721. We do touch on it, but maybe add an assignment or labs on GDB that force us to use it in those subjects, because if we have to learn it while were doing OS, its too late. OS/161 itself is fine though.
11: I think that the assignments need to be more gradual. I felt they were like teaching a kid in kindergarten to read by handing them a copy of Great Expectations! I simply did not have the time to devote to them, and I think they should be individual. Because I was doing 3 comp subjects and my partner was only doing OS and all comp courses schedule their assignment too close so I ended up not pulling my weight and feel extremely bad about this situation. I really think that CSE students should be warned not to take a heavy load of comp courses with OS as the assignments take a long time to understand, although not long to implement. I think that if education was made more valuable rather than assessment then we could have been walked through assignments gradually and still learnt just as much by doing them, without imposing an impossible work load. I really liked this subject, I think it should be compulsory in any computing degree because it gave me important insights that I've already found myself making use of at work. As someone without an interest in OS programming the assignment taught me very little. It is the conceptual understanding of what an OS does that is valuable to me, not the mess that abounds when you attempt to implement anything.
12: I would like to see more supporting material (comments in code) for the OS. Maybe addition comments like how different is linux/windows with the same chunk of code.
13: Is pretty nice. :-)
14: It is very nicely commented and structured.
15: It is very well commented but some explanation of OS161 during tutorial and lectures would help a lot.
16: It was my first experience with an OS. My thinking with regards to OS concepts has entirely changed after working with OS/161. Now I have a fair idea as to how things could be in real world as opposed to concepts in texts.
17: It would have been better if LXR was put up at an earlier date.
18: It's good cause its simple enough that if i spend many hours i might have a chance to get the gist of it. No sarcasim here I beleive that a proper OS would probably involve much more time, im just being humble
19: It's nice to start with, but I wish more it had more apps to play around with so that it resembled more like a common Unix flavour, and less like the poor cousin of a Unix-wannabe.
20: It's too big, and too confusing. It was extremely difficult to read and comprehend what it was trying to do
21: Its a nice environment.
22: Its nice and simple to understand
23: Its too hard! Why does it have to be a core subject for computer engineers?! The theory is good but i dont like the amount of workload
24: Just large and abit daunting for n00bs
25: More comments on the coding will be very helpful for students who will do this course later on.
26: Mostly quite well documented. Good learning platform.
27: NO
28: No
29: No
30: No, it's HARD.
31: Nope~
32: Not a very well laid out and styled code base, difficult to find code and to familiarise with the base.
33: Not really, it is rather large, and I found snavigator useful to use.
34: Quite interesting.
35: The assignments were too hard
36: The codes are too dirty.
37: The system is ok but not that easy to use
38: Thought it was entirely appropriate for our needs.
39: Too hard to understand those implementation (system call, low level code) spent so much time on just reading and try to understand the OS/161 code (bad!)
40: Too slow at display and input. Buggy.
41: Useful, clear, straightforward
42: a good start in OS
43: even building up a simple OS is very difficult.....
44: i found the low-level coding very difficult and demanding I highly did NOT enjoy OS/161, however, having said that, i have not really dealt with other OSes - so they might be worse
45: n/a
46: no
47: no
48: no
49: no
50: no
51: no
52: no
53: no
54: no
55: none
56: none
57: nothing
58: nothing
59: please give more instructions based on that in the Lecture. sometimes it works much better if u just tell people what's going on rather than let them read by themselves. it's true that we do need the skills of self-learning but OS/161 is too big and we all gotta other jobs to do.
60: pretty okay
61: takes a great effect to understand it
62: too hard to understand
36. Any suggestions for improving the assignments?
1: - Increase the information provided in the spec, possibly include more info on problems that might be encountered. - Have more lecture time dedicated to assignments. The bit that was done to explain asst3 was VERY useful.
2: -faster assignment feedback, we can't improve unless we know whats previously wrong -more idiot proofing of CVS e.g. check if design.txt was diff'ed (thanks for the marks deducted!), or get rid of it altogether -assignment 1 should have mentioned that there was a 60sec time limit since it might be the case that the solution timed out not because of a deadlock but it took too long, it isn't right to penalize correctness marks because of that
3: A little more guidance as to what to do. The spec at times is rather good at pointing out what needs to be done, but it is somewhat general.
4: A set schedule for when the assignments are to be released so that the people attempting the 48 hour bonus can plan ahead such that they have free time to do this once the assignment is released.
5: Allow for greater creativity, e.g. writing a scheduler
6: Another big hurdle (for me anyways) was working with a partner. Finding a partner was really just "post on the message board and hope someone responds. My partner and I did not know eachother outside of class, lived nowhere near eachother, and ended up communicating via e-mail and consequently ended up stepping on eachothers toes on more than one occassion. The assignments lent themselves to coordinated group effort, but at the same time it's hard to coordinate when you just grabbed the only person who responded to your plea for a partner and your schedules don't coincide. Depending on the group, the assignment can be much more difficult than it really is.
7: Can't you find something else to use besides OS161?
8: DEFINITELY make group work optional
9: Every assignment should be even more clearly explained and should include some labs to help give the "lost" some idea what is going on.
10: Get rid of them
11: Give lecture note/text book references about the relevant concepts required to implement the assignment in the assignment specs.
12: Group work is a good way to brainstorm and figure out an approach to an assignment. It also gives experience working with people which is what one would be doing out there in real world. Not all work in projects get done by one person. Group members should be interviewed at the end of the course and marks should be assigned for the quality of work and work eithcs followed by a group. This would ensure both partners have put in proportionate amout of effort.
13: Have more of them covering diverse issues.
14: I think you'll find what i wrote above covers this :)
15: I'd probably hate myself for saying this if I was doing the course, but have more assignments. They weren't as tough as reputation has os assignments and they really do help understand the concepts, I understand the topics that assignments were based on a lot more concretely than those that didn't have an assignment. Assignment 2 needed to be explained better, everyone understood the theory, but it took ages to understand what actually needed to be implemented.
16: I'd strongly prefer to use subversion over CVS. CVS is just so archaic; it makes baby jesus cry. subversion (SVN) is just like CVS except it just works...
17: If you're going to have group work then you also need a mechanism for allowing group members to assess each other. What's to prevent successful freeloading?!?!
18: Inclusion of real life OS code-concepts would be beneficial.
19: Increase support for OS161 at home - for those of us capable and running linux at home.
20: Its probably unavoidable, but if the spec wasnt 8-20 pages long, it would be easier to read.
21: Like I said, more apps to tinker with and watch the OS go would be good. It beats using just thread tests and the like to test implementations, and makes completing assignments a bit more rewarding. Virtual memory assignment was a real pain because it required some unorthodox hacking to complete the frametable. A lot of time was spent figuring out that first part whereas the AS part was a walkover by comparison. Perhaps the weightage could reflect that a bit more?
22: MAke them a little easier.
23: Make getting started easier by having better specs and maybe getting the tutors and lectures explain them.
24: Make it easier and code with java.
25: Make it more easier, show how to implement using some case study.
26: Make the spec clearer
27: Make them individual and reduce the amount of work involved in them.
28: Making them smaller, would diffuse the issue of large workloads.
29: More guidance on the "tricky" bits of the assignments would be appreciated
30: More guidance, rather than just "this is for you to implement' comments
31: More hints on VM assignment will be helpful
32: More specific information will be appreciated
34: Need to give students a better understanding of the background of the assignment and not just throw us in the deep end and let us figure out how to go about it. Assignment specs could have been clearer.
35: No
36: Note: For my assignment I had the misfortune of being partnered with someone who it turns out didn't help *at all* with the assignment. So no group work skills were developed and I ended up doing them myself anyway. As to the advanced: great idea, I wish I had actually managed to make time to attemp them though :(
37: Personally i'm doing all the work in my group. i'm really angry about this because i have 4 courses and 3 part-time jobs to do for living, and unfortunately i'm not a superman. I just can't finish all the assignments and my partner barely did anything for contrubution. he did not even finish reading the specification of every asst. Personally i'm angry but i can't do anything because i don't make a bad relationship between us. so i think it would be better if everyone just HAS TO do all the assts all by themselves. that would makes me feel much better that they don't get the same mark as me without doing anything. i didn't get a higher mark but at least i tried.
38: Please migrate to SVN (subversion) from CVS. CVS is awful.
39: Provide clearer instructions and don't hide specific details of information from students
40: Provide testing methods that are INDICATIVE of the correctness of solutions. Not tests that run fine for hundreds of times and then failing everything in automarking.
41: Removing the slightly artificial restaurant assignment and merging that into one of the others and adding an additional more challenging/interesting assignment.
42: SVN beats CVS.
43: Should be more information on them or os/161
44: Should consider having labs to help us with low level programming and maybe even debugging C using gdb. I have not used gdb greatly as i still do not fully understand how to use it to my advantage.
45: Spend a bit more time clarifying the assignment spec in lecture
46: Tasks could be outlined clearer, a way could be breaking the tasks down to smaller tasks.
47: The assignments should divide into few stages(like 3 or 4) so it will be much clear that which part should be deal with first and possibly the first few stages is aim at correctness but quality (efficiency) for the last stage.
48: The assignments workload couldn't really be split each person ended up doing their own version and submitting the bersion that works... This definitely defeats the point of having a group member. This means that we have to do much more work compared to previous offerings of OS
49: The last 2 assignments were hard to get marks for people that could not do them, especially assignment 2. Hard to tell if some codes are working or not as well. Could make the assignments have a marking scheme with easy, moderate, and hard marks, and some how easier to check whether the parts are working or not.
50: The testing for the assignments is only as good as the imagination of the student. For something as big as os/161, there are a lot of cases that the student might not have considered, but are tested in the automarking. Although this doesn't have to be explicit in the test case, it could have been hinted to in the assignment specs.
51: This's mission impossible for a non-retake student to submit his assignment by 48 hours after assignment release.
52: Unfortunately I wasn't able to attempt any of the advanced assignments but I reallly wanted to. Mainly I ran out of time with finishing the basic assignment. I have previously commented on the group work but I will add that the assignments need to be reworked to fit better with a group work setting. Also I think a rough marking guide would be useful. Something that gives the students an idea of the weighting of particular parts of the assignment.
53: Want more description about assignments, especially full explain in codes. Such as which part should us to do, which parts has been provided already.
54: Well... hard enough!
55: clear specification
56: do the Ass3 before the Ass2 to help understand of VM
57: even though the spec is pretty clear the aim...but I am still not sure how to implement....
58: give more guidelines as to where we should be heading. Give more checkpoint style aims.
59: have some peer review mechanism, so if one person does nothing then their marks reflect that.
60: lecturer should explain assignment during lectures (instead of having to read the spec of 12 pgs) to give us a brief idea, and ideas on how to get started. Starting to write the first few lines of code were much harder and implementing the solution.
61: make it easier to understand
62: more consultation
63: more help getting started
64: more hint. it's too hard(2nd and 3rd one)
65: more hints
66: more hints on how to do them
67: more test data
68: no
69: no
70: no
71: no group work
72: no.
73: no.
74: none
75: none
76: some actual concrete explanations of what to do. most people seemed lost until the weekend before the assignment was due.
77: stress more use of snavigator. it was really useful
78: teach more OS/161 codes
79: the amount of work (ie. hours) required to complete the tasks is very high compared with other comp subjects. more background and implementation/conceptual information and resources would help with implementation without detracting from learning experience.
80: too difficult poor help material
81: try to give students hint on how to start
82: well, in terms of difficulty, it hard, but still doable, i like the idea that last min assignment doers could not get it finish on time. but i think in terms of marking, it is a bit harsh.
38. What were the strong points of COMP3891?
1: A look at in depth issues of OS
2: Advanced stuff was very interesting to learn
3: Cool ideas presented.
4: Current research / cutting edge topics
5: Extended tutorial topics were fascinating.
6: It covered extra content which I found really interesting.
7: More detail, viewing of some real research, etc.
8: The extended tutorials went above and beyond the scope of the lectures and really made the course a much more enjoyable experience.
9: The lectures
10: We got to learn cool stuff!
11: none
12: nothing
39. What were the weak points of COMP3891?
1: Basic assignments + other commitments took too much time and I never had the time to really start the advanced assignments - even though they seemed interesting and I had hoped to.
2: Failed to cover core tutorial questions. Lack of lecture notes. Stressed over material until told that it wasn't examinable.
3: I wanted to complete the advanced assignments but I had difficulty doing this. Partly because of the quantity of work this required - I simply didn't have the time, and also because I didn't get much help from my partner in the assignments.
4: N/A
5: Seemed to lack formality (which was in some was a *good* thing) -- No final exam, for example.
6: The new stuff in EOS wasnt really linked to any practical work along the course.
7: We didn't do anything with any of that knowledge - like, we did the advanced assignments but we never played with any of the cool content that we learnt in the extended tutes. It would be nice for that stuff to be examined somewhere or *something*
8: none
9: nothing
40. Any suggestions for improving COMP3891 Extended OS?
1: A couple more lectures on the stuff that makes up the advanced assignments rather than research topics would have been nice. Better timing with regular course work (ie, the extended raid tutorial after the regular raid lecture). No major problems though, enjoyed extended tutorials a lot.
2: More info on current research, more of a look at real work OS's (linux code, etc.).
3: More material/information to look further into the topics. Possibly weblinks or book references.
4: Skip the first assignment - it was way too easy, and get started on the more advanced assignments earlier.
5: none
6: nothing
7: possibly should have more extended content, more large topics covered, rather than lots of small independant topics.
44. Any other comments/suggestions that might help us to improve the course in the future?
1: 1) Give us the softcopy of the lecture notes. Meaning the powerpoint presentation with moving parts. 2) Include labwork to assist the lost 3) Additional tutorials. 4) Lectures should not be put 1 day after the other. Should be spaced out by a day or two. It takes time to absorb the material.
2: A quiz in the lecture in the first few weeks (week 2-4) dealing with the basic knowledge of C (and possibly gdb) worths a few proportion to the final mark combine with assn0 may help. (I got a 5% quiz related to VHDL in week 2 in Comp. Arch. last semester and I think that helps many students since they got time to study in the first few weeks and knowing that VHDL is important in the course)
3: Abolish the harmonic mean system
4: Do the VM before the Syscall assignment
5: Fantastic course.
6: For the assignments, either explain them better, or have less focus on 'cheating', most of the time spent on the assignments was just understanding them, and that tended to require asking other people; but this was discouraged because of high focus on 'cheating', this made it even harder to understand what was going on in the assignments
7: Give all marks above 35 pc's :)
8: Going through more examples in lectures would be great, and releasing the tutorial questions relating to the assignments BEFORE the assignment is due would counter the somewhat blurry assignment specifications
9: Good course. Lots of fun. Thanks! :D
10: Have Kevin do every future sessions of OS and provide better testing methods in assignments.
11: I can't really talk about cheating in assignments because no one was caught and hung out to dry in public. But I once witnessed a 'public hanging' in a BIOM class where assignment similarities were highlighted and the 'Christmas Tree' was shown to the whole lecture. Now, THAT'S a real deterrent, and while this may sound mean, but I'd like that to happen to dishonest fellas around because I put some serious effort in my work and it's only fair. If you can't do an assignment, suck it up and work on it.
12: I wish i knew my marks for the other assignments so I know how much i have to stress about the final exam. Why havent we been given our marks for the final two assignments?
13: IDEALLY - more practical work - i.e. exchange lecture time with a lab/practical consult and increase difficulty of assignments? The mix is almost right but I think this sort of thing would help.
14: If can slow down the speed of go through slides, I think it's better for us to understand the contents of lectures immediately during the class.
15: It is a liitle bit difficult to follow.
16: My assignment partner did very little. Need a way to catch the slackers.
17: No
18: No
19: Not really.
20: OS Would be better if it had LABS, covering specific concepts. Less assignments as well if this were to happen.
21: Probably not possible but synchronise assignment deadlines with other courses so that they dont overlap using some synchronisation primitive.
22: Some people (like me) work night and day just to cover all the work required in all there subjects, then the cheaters get the answers, or a large chunk of them of someone else and have the assignments done in 5 minutes. It's frustrating. They should have no warnings, just kick them out of the uni, it's not as if they don't know its wrong the first time they do it.
23: Try to make available in the bookshop (as a supp text) Tanenbaum's book with minix as an appendix. I havent been able to find a copy anywhere, and have the feeling that it would've done worlds of difference to have another case study to compare.
24: Would have preferred to go more indepth over a greater period of time - say 2 instead of 1 session. Suppose that's what aos is for...
25: Yes, improve the tutorials, make it more fun so ppl would participate
26: a course called introduction to this before COMP3231....
27: better, more understandable lectures.
28: change the assignments structure somewhat to help students understand more things
29: course is too difficult and the student does not receive any scaling for the amount of he/she puts in. entire cse knows OS is crazy yet no scaling provides no incentive for students to choose that course as electives.
30: group work should be optional as the assignments are much more suited to be done by individuals
31: improve specification and more reliable tutors
32: it is a very good course. Nothing major needs to be changed just adjust the assignments for group work.
33: labs to solidify concepts learnt would be great. able to cover more concepts than two assignments. and more direct assistance to
34: make more interesting, and more related to the windows
35: more Comparisons between real world operating systems and os/161 would help a great deal to see the scale of our work in assignments
36: need labs!!!!!
37: no
38: no
39: no
40: no comments
41: no.
42: none
43: none
44: nothing
45: some one does the assigment and some one else copies it, the guy who copies gets better mars that thr one who does it
46: the assignment deadlines were the same time as all other comp courses-this made it very difficult
47: the assignments materials should be covered more in lectures
48: you are doing a great job. thx!

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