Survey ID1208
TitleCOMP3231/3891/9201/9283 06s1
Fill Ratio75% (80/106)
# Filled80
# Suspended1
# Not Filled25
(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 48 (60%) 24 (30%) (8%) (3%) (0%) 0 (0%)
Lecturer: Charles Gray (5%) 19 (24%) 23 (29%) (1%) (6%) 28 (35%)
General OS lectures 20 (25%) 41 (51%) 14 (18%) (1%) (0%) 4 (5%)
Consultations 12 (15%) 29 (36%) 22 (28%) (1%) (0%) 16 (20%)
Your tutor 30 (38%) 27 (34%) 11 (14%) (6%) (5%) 3 (4%)
Tutorials 22 (28%) 32 (40%) 16 (20%) (3%) (4%) 5 (6%)
Asst1: Paint Shop 25 (31%) 41 (51%) (11%) (1%) (3%) 2 (3%)
Asst2: Syscalls 17 (21%) 32 (40%) 21 (26%) (9%) (3%) 1 (1%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory 16 (20%) 23 (29%) 24 (30%) 12 (15%) (5%) 1 (1%)
Textbook 20 (25%) 25 (31%) 19 (24%) (9%) (5%) 5 (6%)
OS/161 In general 18 (23%) 26 (33%) 26 (33%) (10%) (1%) 1 (1%)
C Language 30 (38%) 24 (30%) 20 (25%) (6%) (0%) 1 (1%)
Computing resources 17 (21%) 29 (36%) 23 (29%) (10%) (1%) 2 (3%)
Course web page 26 (33%) 37 (46%) 13 (16%) (4%) (0%) 1 (1%)
Message Board 35 (44%) 28 (35%) 11 (14%) (4%) (0%) 3 (4%)
Help with technical questions 27 (34%) 25 (31%) 20 (25%) (5%) (1%) 3 (4%)
Lecture slides 28 (35%) 36 (45%) (11%) (5%) (1%) 2 (3%)
Operating Systems overall 28 (35%) 33 (41%) 14 (18%) (5%) (0%) 1 (1%)
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 41 (51%) 22 (28%) 15 (19%) 2 (3%)
Chance to get hands dirty with low-level code 29 (36%) 27 (34%) 21 (26%) 3 (4%)
Jobs propects for OS hackers (11%) 23 (29%) 44 (55%) 4 (5%)
Would llike to do OS research (10%) 29 (36%) 39 (49%) 4 (5%)
Course is core for me 41 (51%) (6%) 29 (36%) 5 (6%)
Friends told me it was good 11 (14%) 13 (16%) 53 (66%) 3 (4%)
Chance to do challenging programming assignments 27 (34%) 29 (36%) 21 (26%) 3 (4%)
3. Any other factor that influenced your decision?
Question type : Short-answer
Answer at the bottom page (33 comments)
4. Would you recommend this course to another student such as yourself?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 62 (78%) chart
No 15 (19%) chart
N/F 3 (4%)
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 (1%) (11%) 63 (79%) (4%) (3%) 2 (3%)
Low-level (implementation) issues (3%) 15 (19%) 43 (54%) 14 (18%) (5%) 2 (3%)
Unix/Linux (0%) 10 (13%) 52 (65%) 13 (16%) (4%) 2 (3%)
Windows NT (1%) (3%) 34 (43%) 23 (29%) 18 (23%) 2 (3%)
OS/161 Internals (8%) (10%) 49 (61%) 11 (14%) (4%) 3 (4%)
Other Systems (1%) (5%) 42 (53%) 24 (30%) (6%) 4 (5%)
6. What were the best things about this course?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (73 comments)
7. What were the worst things about this course?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (69 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%) (1%) 11 (14%) 42 (53%) 25 (31%) 1 (1%)
INFS courses (0%) (3%) 18 (23%) 11 (14%) 31 (39%) 18 (23%)
Courses in general (0%) (1%) 11 (14%) 29 (36%) 34 (43%) 5 (6%)
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 43 (54%) 26 (33%) (8%) (0%) (3%) (3%) 1 (1%)
Tutorials 31 (39%) 27 (34%) 11 (14%) (1%) (6%) (5%) 1 (1%)
Consultations 23 (29%) 15 (19%) 10 (13%) (1%) (0%) 29 (36%) 2 (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 31 (39%) 29 (36%) 12 (15%) (4%) (3%) 3 (4%)
COMP courses in general 32 (40%) 31 (39%) 10 (13%) (4%) (3%) 2 (3%)
Courses in general 28 (35%) 32 (40%) 12 (15%) (3%) (4%) 3 (4%)
11. Do you think it would be better if the course used Java-based assignments?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 16 (20%) chart
No 63 (79%) chart
N/F 1 (1%)
12. Would it be preferable if more of the pre-requisite courses used C?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 50 (63%) chart
No 28 (35%) chart
N/F 2 (3%)
13. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Is COMP2011/9024 and COMP2121/9032 (the official pre-requisites) a suitable preparation?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (62 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 27 (34%)
Processes 10 (13%)
Threads 14 (18%)
Low-level implementations issues 34 (43%)
Synchonisation and concurrency 10 (13%)
Deadlock (3%)
Memory Management and Virtual Memory 45 (56%)
File Systems 24 (30%)
I/O Management 13 (16%)
Scheduling 10 (13%)
Multiprocessor Systems 22 (28%)
Security (8%)
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 (67 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 (50 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 (49 comments)
4. Lectures
18. Is the current mode of lecture delivery, using computer-projected slides, effective?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Yes 73 (91%) chart
No (6%) chart
N/F 2 (3%)
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 28 (35%) chart
Most of the time 37 (46%) chart
Sometimes 11 (14%) chart
Rarely (4%) chart
Never (0%) chart
N/F 1 (1%)
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 23 (29%) chart
Most of the time 39 (49%) chart
Sometimes (11%) chart
Rarely (0%) chart
Never (0%) chart
N/A (9%) chart
N/F 2 (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 (38 comments)
22. Any suggestions for improving lectures?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (51 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 (30 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 27 (34%) 31 (39%) (11%) (1%) (1%) (8%) 5 (6%)
The questions were appropriately timed 11 (14%) 24 (30%) 28 (35%) (8%) (1%) (6%) 5 (6%)
The questions were of appropriate difficulty 11 (14%) 35 (44%) 20 (25%) (4%) (0%) (8%) 5 (6%)
The questions should have increased difficulty (3%) 14 (18%) 24 (30%) 16 (20%) 10 (13%) (11%) 5 (6%)
The number of questions was appropriate (5%) 28 (35%) 24 (30%) 12 (15%) (0%) (8%) 6 (8%)
The number of questions should be expanded (4%) (8%) 29 (36%) 19 (24%) 10 (13%) (9%) 6 (8%)
I always prepared for the tutorials (5%) 16 (20%) 22 (28%) 19 (24%) (9%) (8%) 6 (8%)
Preparation beforehand improved my understanding of the material 17 (21%) 25 (31%) 18 (23%) (3%) (1%) 11 (14%) 6 (8%)
Class participation is important for understanding the material 22 (28%) 14 (18%) 18 (23%) (8%) (10%) (8%) 6 (8%)
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 15 (19%) (9%) (6%) (0%) (0%) 42 (53%) 11 (14%)
Tutor B 10 (13%) (8%) (10%) (1%) (4%) 38 (48%) 14 (18%)
Tutor C (8%) (8%) (10%) (3%) (0%) 47 (59%) 11 (14%)
26. Any suggestions for improving tutorials?

Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (47 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: Paint Shop (4%) 23 (29%) 46 (58%) (5%) (1%) 3 (4%)
Asst2: Syscalls (0%) (4%) 34 (43%) 28 (35%) 12 (15%) 3 (4%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (0%) (4%) 15 (19%) 30 (38%) 29 (36%) 3 (4%)
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: Paint Shop 26 (33%) 19 (24%) 24 (30%) (6%) (3%) 4 (5%)
Asst2: Syscalls 10 (13%) 15 (19%) 24 (30%) 18 (23%) (11%) 4 (5%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (9%) 17 (21%) 18 (23%) 27 (34%) (9%) 4 (5%)
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: Paint Shop 27 (34%) 21 (26%) 22 (28%) (9%) (0%) 3 (4%)
Asst2: Syscalls 10 (13%) 12 (15%) 33 (41%) 15 (19%) (9%) 3 (4%)
Asst3: Virtual Memory (10%) 14 (18%) 27 (34%) 20 (25%) (10%) 3 (4%)
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 16 (20%) 15 (19%) 17 (21%) (11%) 20 (25%) (0%) 3 (4%)
Implementation is difficult 28 (35%) 24 (30%) 13 (16%) (9%) (5%) (0%) 4 (5%)
Lack of familiarity with C 12 (15%) 17 (21%) 12 (15%) (6%) 27 (34%) (4%) 4 (5%)
Lack of experience with a large code base 29 (36%) 22 (28%) 14 (18%) (4%) (9%) (1%) 4 (5%)
Lack of experience debugging C 24 (30%) 12 (15%) 16 (20%) 10 (13%) 11 (14%) (3%) 5 (6%)
Lack of previous low-level programming 18 (23%) 17 (21%) 18 (23%) 10 (13%) 13 (16%) (1%) 3 (4%)
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? (1%) (9%) 23 (29%) 22 (28%) 23 (29%) 4 (5%)
32. Do you have any specific comments about OS/161
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (43 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 11 (14%) 18 (23%) 26 (33%) 12 (15%) (5%) (6%) 4 (5%)
CVS is relatively simple to learn to use (5%) 18 (23%) 27 (34%) 18 (23%) (11%) (1%) 3 (4%)
CVS just gets in the way and should be not be used (10%) 12 (15%) 26 (33%) 18 (23%) 10 (13%) (3%) 4 (5%)
CVS is reliable with no real hiccups in use (4%) 16 (20%) 26 (33%) 19 (24%) 10 (13%) (4%) 3 (4%)
CVS was useful to transport code between UNSW and home (6%) (11%) 28 (35%) (10%) (10%) 19 (24%) 3 (4%)
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 25 (31%) 21 (26%) 14 (18%) (9%) 10 (13%) 3 (4%)
Groups reduce the assignment workload 12 (15%) 23 (29%) 18 (23%) 11 (14%) 13 (16%) 3 (4%)
Groups should be optional, but every submission is marked the same (6%) 19 (24%) 38 (48%) (9%) (10%) 3 (4%)
Groups are unfair as inevitably one member does all the work 15 (19%) 20 (25%) 25 (31%) 10 (13%) (9%) 3 (4%)
Larger groups would be better (11%) 11 (14%) 12 (15%) 18 (23%) 27 (34%) 3 (4%)
Having a partner to help understand the assignment really helps 28 (35%) 24 (30%) 12 (15%) (8%) (9%) 3 (4%)
35. What do you think of the advanced assignments?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Great Idea! 16 (20%) chart
11 (14%) chart
Don't care 34 (43%) chart
(6%) chart
Abolish! 10 (13%) chart
N/F 4 (5%)
36. Any suggestions for improving the assignments?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (48 comments)
7. COMP3891/9283 Extended Operating Systems
Skip this section if you did not do COMP3891/9283 Extended Operating Systems.
37. How would you rate extended OS as a whole?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
Excellent (5%) chart
(3%) chart
Average (6%) chart
(0%) chart
Poor (0%) chart
N/A (10%) chart
N/F 61 (76%)
38. What were the strong points of COMP3891/9283?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (6 comments)
39. What were the weak points of COMP3891/9283?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (5 comments)
40. Any suggestions for improving COMP3891/9283 Extended OS?
Question type : Long-answer
Answer at the bottom page (5 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 48 (60%) 13 (16%) 13 (16%) (0%) (1%) (0%) 5 (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 30 (38%) chart
13 (16%) chart
Indiferent 21 (26%) chart
(4%) chart
No way (10%) chart
N/F 5 (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 (3%) chart
(11%) chart
Just right 63 (79%) chart
(3%) chart
Too harsh (0%) chart
N/F 4 (5%)
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 (35 comments)
45. What do you think your final result will be for the course?
Question type : Single answer -- Radio Button
HD 10 (13%) chart
DN 17 (21%) chart
CR 23 (29%) chart
PS 13 (16%) chart
FL (6%) chart
No Idea (11%) chart
N/F 3 (4%)

Back to Summary
3. Any other factor that influenced your decision?
1: -
2: Broadening Horizons within CS
3: Chance to do group project is challenging
4: Everything else looked boring
5: I enjoy being stretched to the extent of my ability and really dislike java subjects
6: I felt it would be useful to know how OS works and that it would help me in all areas of computing.
7: I want to do programming when I study computer science, not bore myself to death with software engineering!
8: Important skill set
9: Influence hardware design
10: Interest in how an OS works
11: Just an interest in general, just for some scope in CSE studies I suppose
12: My supervisor told me to do it
13: N/A
14: Needed for Advanced OS.
15: No
16: No
17: No
18: No not really
19: Not really.
20: The stories you hear about OS, I had to see if I could hack it :)
21: comp eng compulsary
22: it seemed interesting... and was
23: it was compulsary
24: lecturer Kevin Elphinstone is excellent.
25: mainly because it is a core subject, nothing else...
26: n/a
27: no
28: no
29: no
30: no
31: none
32: partner my friend who it was core for
33: this is the hardest course in CSE,so i wanna try
6. What were the best things about this course?
1: Challenging programming assignments
2: - Challenging assignments - Teamwork - Helpful information on how to get started on assignments, hints - Tutorials - Content explained clearly - Full lecture slides
3: - interesting content delivered well by the lecturer
4: -Abstract explanations which helped in picturing something wholistically. -forums -concepts of OS -consults
5: -Satisfaction in putting another piece of the puzzle together in the computer engineering degree
6: 1. To get the basic understanding of how Operating System works. 2. Good practice on C programming.
7: 1.The content of the course is substantial, from which I learned a lot. 2. Dr. kevin Elphistone is a competent lecturer for this subject and he did give students a lot of help.
8: A good overview, gives better understanding of concepts involved. Important with low-level programming, and easy to debug as we used OS/161 instead of real hardware.
9: An easy first assignment.
10: Challenging assignments
11: Chance to better understand the low-level software side of a computer, a good compliment to something like COMP2021/2121.
12: Clearly specified assignments. Lectures were organised and easy to follow
13: Fun assignments and kernel hacking
14: Getting to know how operating systems work
15: Getting to know more about OS operation and their internal management
16: Getting to learn the architecture and layout of operating systems was always interesting, as were the lectures. Messageboard's archive was quite useful.
17: Good contents of the course
18: Good coverage of the materials, good to learn about a variety of different issues.
19: Good for lot material
20: Hard and fun
21: I can see Kevin is a busy man but appreciated how he made the time for us. He maintained the forum well and gave us consultations.
22: I hate this course!
23: I like Kevine lecturers, very interesting even I can imagine how boring this stuff could be given another lecturer in charge.
24: Interesting discussions on OS issues and functionality
25: Interesting subject matter
26: Intresting subjects.
27: Introduces me new concept such as synchronising primitives and security issues.
28: It is a cool course with interesting topics
29: It is structered well, and taught well. I'd know, this is my third attempt.
30: It was interesting and the lectures were very clear with overall workings of an OS
32: Learning about what's behind the OS. Learning about Locks and Threads which can be useful if I am going to write a code in Java as well =). Especially Kevine, he is a great lecturer.
33: Learning the some very interesting aspects of the operating system. Writing system calls that eventually allowed a process to run in userspace was very rewarding.
34: Learnt a lot of new things. Got to know how the OS works, got good hands on experience with thread programming. A lot of other issues etc. Good lecturer, I had a goiod tutor in XXX as well.
35: Lecture notes easy to understand
36: Lectures and the lecturer.
37: Most useful course to do at uni. People who have done OS's would have a better understanding of programming
38: THe chance to peek under the hood of the beast we use everyday and to understand the componenets which beat at the heart of so many systems around.
39: The assignments were very good.
40: The assignments, and having to work out exactly how os161 works. I learned more in fiddling with os161 then basically any other part of the course.
41: The assignments. Working in pairs on a large code base significantly improved my coding and team work skills.
42: The content of the course is interesting. The lecturer is engaging and explains the concepts well.
43: The course is actually interesting despite the workload.
44: The lecture and the message board... lecture and tutor were always quick to respond to messages posted up on the borad.
45: The lecturer and the tutor was very good, and the lecture materials were of good standard. The lecture time length was well broken up into 2hr/1hr slots
46: The lecturer and tutor were very approachable, fair and clear spoken. The course admin nicholas gave quick clear responses to emails, something that is appreciated to no end. I found I was actually able to learn from attending lecturers and tutorials. I found the subject matter really interesting. I wasn't expecting this given the courses reputation as difficult. I started the course thinking I may drop it but I enjoyed the material immensely.
47: The lectures and lecture notes
48: The lectures and the material in general
49: The lectures were of a very high standard.
50: The lectures were very engaging and interesting, with great lecture slides and the tutorials were a good complement to the lectures.
51: The lectures where entertaining, well structured and informative. The assignments offered a way to be challenged when coding.
52: The lectures. Kevin is a great, awesome cool lecturer. He is genuingly interested in the field of study with is always a bonus and very enthusiatic.
53: The tutorials were very helpful.Groups for assignments is a very good idea
54: Tutorials were really helpful.
55: Understanding how Operating Systems functioned. The subject was also interesting.
56: Very interesting Well taught - lectures were easy to follow Learned a lot
57: Well lectured. Contrast with real-world OS's was interesting Interesting assignments and tutes.
58: application of hardware and OS knowledge to real world computing
59: chance to have a look at the low-level os code
60: do the challenge assignment unerstand the trade-off in desinging oparing system
61: interesting topic, gives more understanding for computer
62: intersting and sometime practical topics
63: know what is kernel
64: learn something about low-level implementation of OS
65: learning about the various tasks OS is responsible for, and how it goes on about doing it. gaining general idea of whats involved in developing OS and learning the various algorithms that can be applied in similiar problems. assignments was a big helpin understanding the concepts we were implementing.
66: lecture lecture notes assignment
67: lecture notes is in clear presentation and very well outlined.
68: lectures were very good, and quite interesting most of the times, tutorial was good, as in he knew wat he was talking about, and was happy to admit a mistake if he made one,
69: once the assignments start to work and feeling satisfied that you have done a challenging assignment after many sleepless nights
70: XXX is a great tutor
71: the assignments make us easier to understand the core of operating system, and what do people expect from an operating system
72: tutorial sessions were helpful
73: understand os
7. What were the worst things about this course?
1: - There wasn't enough information on how to implement fork in the 2nd assignment, or any of the advanced components. - The security checks needed to be implemented in the assignments were not explained properly, eg. 2nd assignment which was before the security lectures, and were penalised heavily.
2: - too much theory to learn for the exam
3: -Having a participation mark for the tutorials -Lack of setting up assistance for assignment 2
4: -no delving into OS/161 internals/implementation specific details. -The assignments and the lecture notes were very far away from each other in the sense that lecture slides were extremely abstract and assignments were extremely implementation specific - the commenting in OS/161 code is poor. I had to constantly keep asking questions about what/why in regards to specfic pieces of code - lecturer covered too much material I thought. The course could rather focus on a subset of the current OS course and perhaps leave Advanced OS the extra material -tutorials were similarly too abstract and were distant from the assignments and OS/161 - the questions in the assignment specs were not implementation-specific enough - there should be consults on a weekly basis as these were the real helping points
6: Assignment kinda hard...
7: Assignments
8: Assignments that I have to do alone, because my partner is unreliable. Worst assignment is assignment 3 where I have a lot of assignments due. Bad management maybe?
9: Assignments, especially 2 and 3
10: Assignments, especially asst2 and 3. The specs weren't always that clear, didn't always know what we needed to do, too much fiddling around with OS161 functions we'd never seen before. Though asst1 strongly complemented what we'd learnt, asst2 and 3 seemed to have a very minor link with what we had learned about FS and VM, didn't enhance our learning much, but drove us insane with debugging and all these strange low level issues that weren't covered in course.
11: Being thrown in the deep end wrt assignments.
12: Can't think of anything...
13: Challenging assignments
14: Complexity/difficulty of assignments.
15: Debugging the assignment is a pain. Large codes to understand
16: Did not receive the feedback for assignment 2 until after assignment 3 was due.
17: Didn't really like the bonus marking scheme (e.g. doing within 48 hours)
18: Difficult assignments
19: Final exam
20: Getting hit with a big assignment without having any (steadily progressing) programming exercises through the semester to help us understand how things are done.
21: I was unable to find someone willing to work with me I think in the end my performance suffered. This is partially due to my own demands on a partner but I know who I can work with and who I can't. I'd rather work on my own that the people I believe I can't I'm a bit fed up of the obsession with group work the university has, probably because I've had to carry the weight of a few lazy people this semester in a few other courses and it is has finally made me snap. I also had difficulty juggling the assignments from many of my subjects and my deadlines at work. In week 13 I many assignments due at least one per day (some with little notice) and OS's Assignment 3 fell victim to the classical scheduling algorithm of first deadline first. I guess the assignments are the worst part because you have to get it working to gain any reasonable marks. I would have loved to have had the spare time to spend working them out unfortunately that's the life of students who support themselves. Actually the harmonic mean is the worst part because while it is recognized that postgrads work full time and study part time, don't have as much time to get the assignments out and hence get a preferential weighting. The undergrads who study full time and work part time are not recognized as having equally less time for assignments. In fact I'd hazard a guess that the undergraduates who work part time/casual and don't have the benefits of paid study leave and time in lieu that the full time workers would ahve less time that some postgrads. /whinge
22: I would have appreciated Kevin putting up the lecture slides more than half an hour before each lecture. I had a tute before the lecture so I didn't have time to print them before hand. I like to annotate lecture slides as I cannot remember everything the lecturer says.
23: It's difficult. The programming is real programming, not the type of stuff in previous subjects.
24: Maybe implement more of os161? not too much which is worse
25: Maybe we should have done some assembley programming.
26: No labs
27: None that I can think of.
28: Not enough time to do some parts properly because of other subjects
29: Nothing, it was all good
30: OS 161 code all over the place.
31: Participation in Tutorials. The actual tutorial questions did not provide sufficient discussion to allow participation for all students.
32: Possibly the weighting of the assignments. I consider them to be easy, easy, medium, hard. Possibly, 10, 20, 25, 45
33: Probably the assignments, especially the last one, we found it quite hard to start most of them and the material in the lecture slides/textbook didn't really help. Most likely due to the huge amounts of code given, as well as the actual theory ... it was a bit overwhelming. Perhaps spend some time in the lectures talking about the assignments specifically? Tutorials achieve this to some extent but I felt the discussions never really get past theory. Tutorials were quite boring at times, probably the classes lack of enthusiasm or something :/
34: THe asignements were not clear and marking too strict
35: Takes too much time to understand. Maybe it's due to the nature of this subject. Too much things to study.
36: The assignment has too much workload (although it is assumed to be done by two people.) given the fact that usually it ends up done by one of the individuals otherwise the debugging will be much less efficient.
37: The assignments
38: The assignments were too challenging.
39: The assignments were too hard and not a lot of help was given to walkthrough the OS161 code which made it more difficult. Lecturer sometimes went too fast.
40: The assignments' instruction was vague and time consuming.
41: The jump between the lecture slides and the actual implementaion for the assignments was a large gap, alot of self learning was needed. Some guidance was provided, but it would be better if there was more.
42: The lack of peer assessment.
43: The later assignments where hard and too time consuming.
44: The third assignment is just too hard. Tutorial Marks are based on participation should be more relaxed.
45: The thrid assinment was quite hard to do.
46: The workload and it's just crazy how you can spend days and days on an assignment and still be awarded 3.5/30 because your assignment wasn't complete. There was simply no 'in between'. If you can't finish the assignment perfect, you may as well not do it.
47: The workload of this course is equvalent to two of other level 4 computing subjects.
48: There was a huge amount of topics covered in the subject and it was easy to fall behind as we went through the work very quickly.
49: Too much work load for assignments even though they were group assignments.
50: Tutorial participation assessment
51: VM assignment was good too but difficult to finish. since understanding was relativel easy. but where to code was difficult.
52: Very hard to follow lectures. Too much info to absorb in 2 hours. Lack of "checkpoints" where by if I am lost I can jump to next checkpoint and come back to it later.
53: Wading through the OS/161 code could be VERY confusing at times
54: Working in a pair. This could just be my opinion but I would think most of the groups end up having 1 person doing most of the work. This is rather due to the natural of the assignment, it's pretty hard to divide the works, as you need to be in total control of everything to do it well. Individual work could be more fair I think.
55: Would have been nice to work with MIPS assembly. It was too short :-)
56: assignment are harder than expect
57: assignments
58: assignments
59: assignments were tough and very time consuming
60: assn, not enough information was given in the lectures for assignments, i think there should have been (extra) dedicated lectures to explain the main parts of the assignments, ... consults were sometimes not enough, .... the 2 hour lecture block, sometimes was tooo much....even with the break in the middle, ... it was too much info to cram into head at one time, so most pple (including myself sometimes), switched off after about an hour or hour and a half, ...
61: debugging!!!
62: marks for participation in tute
63: no open book exam
64: no relation between text and assignments
65: the ass3 is a little hard, the virtual memory one, the spec should be more detail
66: the assignment is hard to understand and hard to implement.
67: the assignment spec is confusing
68: there's still so much to learn...
69: too much content covered for my liking and level, but there is a lot to be covered in OS assignments were hard except asst0 debugging the assignments more hints in trying to do assignments were needed
13. What background knowledge do you think you were missing that would have helped you in this course? Is COMP2011/9024 and COMP2121/9032 (the official pre-requisites) a suitable preparation?
1: 'Real' programming; the other courses have you designing puzzles etc.
2: - i hadn't done 2121 and was fine (have done 2021 - DSS)
3: Advanced C programming technique. Yes.
4: Being introduced to CVS before this course would be very helpful. I feel I haven't learnt (or at least haven't been forced to learn) many useful features in CVS. Shell/Scripting is a useful ability for testing assignments which is not part of the core for Computer Engineering. It should be strongly recommended that students are competent with their text editor. Reading and editing a large code base in a text editor is an essential ability which was (in general) skimmed over in other COMP courses.
5: COMP Architecture Microprocessors and Embedded Systems
6: COMP2011
7: COMP2011 was sufficient preparation
8: Comp2011 would have been better if the algorithms were implemented in C. Instead of comp2121 another subject based on computer architecture and low level programming would have helped a lot.
9: Even though we do C programming in Comp2011. Students do not get enough practice with C programming after Comp2011. Hence for me I had forgotten most programming concepts when I took O.S. in this semester.
10: For me COMP 2011 didn't really help for this course as it was Java-based. The most useful courses as preparation for this course were COMP 1021 for the C and MIPS knowledge and COMP 2021.
11: I didnt put much of effort into Comp 1B, hence i found it hard to work with C at the beginning, but the good thing is i came out of this with a much better C programming skill,so it's great!
12: I don't think any background knowledge was missing.
13: I found that everything that I was expected to know I already did. I'd say the official pre-req's were sufficient based on that.
14: I had not used C as a programming language since first year. So it took a while to get used to programming in it again.
15: I think any course that teaches students how to use cvs, gdb, ddd (eg, Software Construction) would really help students.
16: I think it would have been better if I had taken this course immdeiately after I completed COMP2041 in S1 2004 as that was the last time I had to do C. I was extremely rusty, in respect to my C code, even though I throughly enjoyed all the C courses, I was definately out of practise. I completed COMP2021, COMP2011 and COMP3421 in between and I believe COMP3421 and COMP2011 made me lazy (in the sense of coding). I would say that the prerequist are relevant but I would prefer to have done COMP2011 using C maybe C++ if they are so keen on flogging OO.
17: I think it's not the matter of prerequisites. I should have pass this course last semester. Same course has a lot of difference by lecturer.
18: I think that more lower level coding knowledge would be more beneficial, none was covered when I did 2011, it was java, and there was minimal assembly in 2121.
19: I think the pre-requisites were sufficient.
20: I took DSS (COMP2021) but to be honest, I don't see any important relation with COMP3231. I am not sure about COMP2121, because I didn't take that. I don't think those are enough for preparation.
21: I was able to do comp3231 despite never having done 2121 (though I had done 2021). 2011 was a bit useful for 3231, though maybe not completely necessary. The subject that helped me the most for 3231 was 1721 (computing 1b) from first year, and is probably really all I needed.
22: It is not necessary to have COMP2121 as a pre-req. The VM intro in this course is sufficient. The MIPS coding skill from COMP1021 is sufficient.
23: It was fine.
24: Just more C... The prereq just wasn't enough especially if you barely passed the prereqs using theory and not actually programming
25: More background knowledge on the diffierent components of an OS at least. there is too much information to take on. esp. to complete assignments
26: More c programming, i think actually COMP2041 would be a suitable one, since it actually teaches C, little memory management and CVS
27: My C definately wasnt up to scratch. It might have been because I was constantly switching between Java, C++ and C this semester that it was hard to really get into it again. The prerequisites weren't too helpful at all. 2021 focused more on keeping your head about digital circuits than MIPS I felt (though with this new 2121 it probably has changed). 2011 felt like a waste of time.
28: NIL
29: No. -C should be used much more in pre-requisite courses. In addition, Micro-processors is too low-level compared to this course. Perhaps Computer Architecture may help "slightly". -Working with large code-bases should also be a helpful experience. -There should only be one C course which isn't divided up into "advanced" and "normal" since the students who did advanced have definitely got an advantage
30: No. The amount of C language we learned in Comp 1B is not sufficient to handle OS coding. Limited courses based on C. More courses uses JAVA.
31: None, I think they were suitable preparations
32: None, I thought that comp 3221 and comp1721 gave all the really needed pre requisites required for this course, they both gave a good back ground in the C language and also in assembler (not only mips). comp 3221 gave a lot better understanding of interupts then I had if I had not done this prerequsite.
33: Not really, didn't find my DSS knowledge particularly necessary.
34: Not really. Data Org (2011) tended to focus too much on algos + data structs, which were of no use really in OS, as we had to pretty much define our own from scratch. DSS (2021) was helpful in my understanding of the basic processor level, and was quite useful overall in this course.
35: Nothing, i don't think you needed a great deal of background knowledge to do course, just be fairly competent programmer and know basics of microprocessors
36: Possibly comp arch may be a good prereq? Hmm.
37: The assembly language to understand the *.s files in OS/161
38: The current pre-requisites are suitable.
39: There was a lot of os jargon that I wasn't used to, so just like in economics, things just don't sink in. Also things didn't build up (like how maths exercise questions build up); it seemed assumed that we could just start tackling a problem from a complex level. The official prerequisites don't seem to help much. Just need to know C.
40: This course is very different to other courses. Not much C programming in other courses. (Too much java!)
41: Well, I thought I should have sharpened up my programming skills, and touch up a little bit on assembly language.
42: Yes
43: Yes
44: Yes i think so
45: Yes comp 2011 and even 1021 was quite helpful in the preparation.I think the assignments dont require an extremely strong backgground in C anyways.
46: Yes, I would think they are suitable.
47: Yes. Although the Data Org courses do not teach C, most first years would have done Computing 1A / B and learnt C. It requires quite a bit of C knowledge which isn't taught in prerequisite courses, eg. macros. But this is good because it requires you to learn it yourself.
48: better C knowledge
49: both will be good as a pre-requisites
50: def C programming... comp1B prepared us very little and after first year C programming language is pretty much ignored... The materials given to us in this subject helped us alot in understanding the design issues involved in OS... however when implementing, I personnally found it difficult to get used to and use C again
51: hardware architecture , code walkthrough , I feel i'm missing something
52: i had all the background knowledge, it become hard wen for one subject u did, c another u did java, another u did prolog ... and for some of my friends they had all 3 above, and also did C++ !!! ... this became too much !
53: i think what i had previously was enough
54: none
55: ok
56: programming techneques
57: system design would be helpful background knowledge. comp2011 is a suitable preparation
58: the fact i had already done comp arch was a big help
59: the knowledge of C language must be strong to support students enrolled in this subject. The pre-requisites of this subject have done so but still the assignment is challenging and hard.
60: would have liked to do more C
61: yes the exisiting pre-requistes are good to have (a must really)
62: yes, maybe computer architecture too, definately lacked preparation in tackling assignments that require both full understanding and solid programming skills
15. Which material do you think you will be most useful to you in the future?
1: A lot of it, especially memory management, I feel like I have a much broader understanding of the top to bottom workings of computers
2: All
3: All of it
4: Better knowledge of C and understanding of how operating systems work
5: Cant say because my ineterest in O.S. is really low.
6: Concurrency
7: Concurrency and synchonisation
8: Concurrency, File Systems, Multiprocessor Systems
9: Deadlock
10: Deadlock
11: Dunno
12: Everything!
13: File Systems
14: File Systems
15: File systems
16: I/O
17: I/O Management, Memory Management
18: I/O management
19: IO management
20: It was all good. Good to have a broader understanding of the underlying issues "under the hood" so to speak.
21: Memory Management
22: Memory Management and Virtual Memory
23: Memory Management, Security, Scheduling, Synchronisation
24: More OS 161 code walk through
25: Most of it can be used depending on the field of work
26: N/A
27: Probably threading as more processors are being used these days
28: Process/Thread Programming
29: Processes, Threads and Scheduling (probably?)
30: Processes, threads, synchronisation and concurrency.
31: Scheduling, Mulitprocessor systems and security
32: Security
33: Security
34: Synchonisation and concurrency
35: Synchonisation and concurrency
36: Synchronisation and concurrency
37: Synchronisation and concurrency & Deadlock
38: Synchronisation,Threads,Memory management
39: System calls Processes treads memory management
40: The entire course, gave grounding on exactly what an OS is, and how it is pieced together.
41: The understanding of userspace and thread management
42: Understanding how stuff really happens
43: Unix info, and other random bits from the lecturer material
44: Virtual memory
45: Virtual memory, concurrency, system calls, processes, threads
46: all of the above
47: concurrency, scheduling, security
48: deadlocks/synchronisation/concurrency
49: everything
50: general knowledge of how OSes work
51: info on context switching, trap frame, threads, processes, file systems
52: linux
53: memory and file management
54: memory management
55: memory management, multiprocessor systems, scheduling, I/O
56: security
57: security and memory management
58: security and multiprocessor systems
59: synchronisation and concurrency
60: syncrhonazation, memory, file systems
61: system call,threads
62: system calls, threads, security, multiprocessor sytems
63: the practial of C language
64: thread management, multiprocessor system, deadlock issues
65: threads, memory, system calls
66: virtual memory, filesystems, security, processes, threads, system calls
67: virutal mem, synchronisation
16. What material related to operating systems, but not currently in the course, would you like to have seen covered?
1: .
2: ...N/A...
3: A little more Microsoft material.
4: Comparison between different OS
5: Device Drivers
6: Device drivers
7: Dunno
8: Dunno
9: How does OS interact with hardware (in more detail)
10: Implementation details of other OSes. uKernels.
11: It would be interesting to see more comparisons between different current operating systems.
12: Low-level issues related to multiple architectures.
13: More OS161 comments
14: More Windows NT material as it could be helpful in the industry
15: N/A
16: N/A
17: N/A
18: Networked stuff (eg filesystems)
19: None
20: None
21: None
22: None. Can't think of one.
23: Nope
24: Not really interested in doin O.S. based materials
25: Nothing I can think of so far
26: Nothing in particular ...
27: Nothing, already enough in course
28: Teach us more how to hack
29: Unknown.
30: boot strapping
31: coding with x86 architecture, or 64 bit.
32: digital control and signal processing
33: distributed os
34: distributed systems
35: more explanation and details about models of OS, e.g. windowsXP, and linux.
36: more on relevance to Windows
37: n/a
38: networking
39: nil
40: no idea
41: no more... please.
42: none
43: none
44: none
45: none
46: not sure
47: nothing i can think of
48: perhaps a bit more about windows
49: usb/firewire issue at OS level,
50: user interface design
17. Which of the current topics would you like to see scaled back or excluded?
1: -
2: .
3: Dunno
4: File systems
5: I/O management, file systems
6: I/o management,security
7: Memory Management and Virtual Memory and File Systems
8: Multiprocessor Systems
9: Multiprocessor Systems?
10: Multiprocessor material (seems like too much at the end of the course)
11: N/A
12: N/A
13: No
14: None
15: None
16: None
17: None
18: None
19: None.
20: Nothing needs scale back
21: RAID, doesn't really relate to anything
22: Real time systems, RAID
23: Security
24: That's too much! Split into two course!
25: They all seem important and relevant.
26: VM
27: Virtual Memory Assignment for sure.
28: file systems, I/O, security
29: floppy disc access, low level implementation
30: low level implementation
31: need all the topics, but need to go slower on them,
32: none
33: none
34: none
35: none
36: none
37: none
38: none
39: none
40: none, everything is all right
41: nothing
42: raid and security who cares
43: security
44: security, multiprocessors, I/O
45: synchronisation and concurrency/deadlock
46: system calls and low-level implementation issues
47: they are all essential that should not be excluded
48: virtual memory
49: virtual memory scaled back just a little for the assignment
21. If you have not been attending lectures, what factors influenced your decision not to attend?
1: Too much stuff put in one course. And to many slides, talking too fast. Busy with talking himself during lecture time, student can't follow the pace except some good students.
2: -
3: Any times that I did not attend lectures was because it was in the evening on a day that I have no other classes.
4: Assignments and other workloads from other subjects that need to be done quickly.
5: Clashing commitments.
6: I attended all I could, I missed a few due to heavy load of assignments from other courses.
7: I attended every single lecture
8: I attended lectures, but I didn't attend like 2 or 3 weeks to do other subject's assignments.
9: I attended probably 80% of lectures. Reason for not attending the other 20% was a lecture on a late thursday after noon with that being my only subject for the day, another reason was also being overloaded from with work from other subjects.
10: I cant believe this, but I didnt miss any of OS lecturers, what an achievement for me ^_^
11: I do 4 courses, have to utilize my time efficiently AND lecture notes/textbook was comprehensive enough!
12: I live far away and it takes a long time to get to uni, the lecture notes are quite useful on their own (coupled with the textbook)
13: I would tune out sometimes in lectures due to the overwhelming content being presented to me, sometimes I understand more when I'm reading by myself
14: It seemed that lectures were a subset of the textbook.
15: Lack of time towards end of semester; during some parts felt it was not getting anything extra from lectures over lecture slides.
16: N/A
17: N/A
18: N/A
19: N/A
20: NIL
21: None
22: Northing more than lack of time, as it was spent doing assignments (this course and other courses). The lecture were honestly great and easy to follow
23: Sometimes just occupied with other subjects' workloads ... I attended most of them however.
24: Strictly following the lecture. Feel lost pretty early in the lecture due to lack of time to consolidate ideas.
25: Textbook contained a large proportion of the lecture content.
26: The textbook was fantastic, and could be read like a story book. The best computing textbook ever. I basically read through the entire text book within the first few weeks of the course. I used the online lecture notes to make sure I was following properly, and tutes to make sure I was on the right track. Also, I overloaded this session, which placed an overall strain on the time I had to finish assignments. The lectures I did attend were always well done and the material was explained very well.
27: Too lazy
28: assnignment due
29: i attended most of them
30: i have been attending
31: i have been attending lectures
32: i missed out on a few thurs lectures because it was my only class and I live too far
33: n/a
34: n/a
35: na
36: none, because in the lecture i can understand easily rather than just read the text books
37: too much work to do for other subjects
38: work part-time, also can get most of the info from lecture notes & textbook
22. Any suggestions for improving lectures?
1: -
2: - Sometimes we went through theory very quickly, maybe slowing down a bit?
3: - more implementation specific/OS-161 lecture material - scale back some material and focus on a subset only of current syllabus
4: A bit more discussion / diversions onto explaining on whiteboard, to break up the monotony of the subject matter.
5: A late thursday afternoon lecture is not the best time. However early mornings is even worse.
6: All the lectures were excellent.Cheers to u kevin!!ur the best
7: Apart from switching to individual assignments I said above, it would be much better for us to have a look at the lecturer slides beforehand, a few days before the lecture could be really great.
8: At the end of topic have like a "what you should learn at the end of the lecture". Like I understand the issues addressed in the course by reading the lecture notes + attending the lecture + listening to the lecturer, but I am not sure if the amount I gain from the lectures are too much or too little.
9: Don't have notes that are as comprehensive; therefore people are forced to come to lectures.
10: Don't make the lecture notes as brief. Make them available quicker, otherwise no complaints.
11: Either reduce stuff in this course, and slow down for explanation.
12: Go through harder material much more slowly. More diagrams to explain processes.
13: Have a few packets of whiteboard markers and a few bottle of water on standby for Kevin, perhaps a classrep could be nominated to take care of this ; ) Some assignment code walkthroughs would be nice, maybe as supplementary lectures. Then again you can spponfed everyone.
14: Have them in the morning since some material can be a bit much to bear when nearing the end of the day. (About 10am, say).
15: I think it's good that way.
16: I would have appreciated Kevin putting up the lecture slides more than half an hour before each lecture. I had a tute before the lecture so I didn't have time to print them before hand. I like to annotate lecture slides as I cannot remember everything the lecturer says.
17: Lecture notes could be released a earlier
18: Lectures were excellent. No problems there.
19: Lectures were great. Perhaps move faster in 'factual' areas and slow down in 'explanation' areas. Not necessary to repeat some factual information, eg. why ActiveX is bad.
20: Maybe Kevin can slow down a little bit on the material progress per lecture by having more lectures per week.
21: Maybe tone it down a little. Take it slower. Too much information too quickly may be hard to soak in.
22: More OS161 code walk through and actual demonstrations
23: More explanations on coding examples, implementation was a little messy at times
24: N/A
25: No those are enough. But I think explanation of OS/161 is not good enough/no clear enough.
26: None, I attend lectures for topics I wasn't sure of, lectures go through the textbook material slower and are very usefull for a bit of re-enforcing if the textbook didn't explain something clearly.
27: None, the lectures were done perfectly.
28: Nope, they're good
29: Only went to 1 but it looked like fun
30: Placing slides up on the internet earlier would definately help. Sometimes it was a bit discouraging walking into the lecture without the material to look onto and take notes on.
31: Program on the projector; demonstrate.
32: Provide some lab session with tutors around to help out student in more detail of the internal operation management about the course concurrently with C
33: Slow down just a little
34: Sometimes students tend to ask questions that are distantly related to the lecture material but not really central. The lecture seemed to spend perhaps too much time answering and explaining such questions.
35: Tell the people who sit behind me to shut up.
36: Turn your notifications off, Kevin :)
37: Two hours in a row lectures are quite hard, it would be better if it was split up into two separate lectures.
38: You go too fast, sometimes i got lost..
39: explain assignments in lectures better
40: focus on core part and have more practical work.
41: focusing more on implementation rather than theory.
42: lectures are pretty good already
43: lectures really good already
44: make the sildes avaliable earlier
45: more example info about new cool research etc
46: more os161 walk through in lectures to help with assignments
47: n/a
48: n/a
49: need to go slower, and need to more examples at the same time ... its eaiser to understand something with examples...
50: none
51: split lecture time into 2 1-hour lectures instead of 1 2-hour lecture.
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: Didn't use any textbook
3: I used more unix specific books to help out with assignmnets (mainly system calls assign). This is because Tannenbaum book was very poor in that chapter and wasnt specific enough. I also used Stallings for exam prep as it had lots of diagrams that were easy to follow.
4: N/A
5: N/A
6: N/A
7: N/A
8: N/A
9: N/A
10: N/A
11: N/A
12: NA
13: NIL
14: No textbooks used (at all)
15: None
16: None.
17: Only used the prescribed text.
18: Silberschatz is better than Tanenbaum because it is a bit more implementation specific. Tanenbaum is too abstract.
19: Tannenbaum seems the best for an intro OS course. Easily readable, while still covering the material in depth.
20: Wikipedia - good for a little extra info in some places, and the links to other sites on the web
21: didn't use other text books
22: help clarify unclear concept, sometime need to google..
23: i don't use any textbook, only lecture notes
24: i just use tannenbaum
25: i just use this book
26: modern operating system
27: n/a
28: n/a
29: na
30: nil
26. Any suggestions for improving tutorials?

1: -
2: - turn tutorials into consults because they were just dealing with an abstract level like the lecture slides and weren't focusing on OS-161 internals and implementation specific material - my tutor had extensive knowledge about the subject but he was unfortunately not able to display this or help us because of the permeation of abstraction throughout the course(so not his fault)
3: 1.5 hours tute perhaps?
4: I don't see the point in having tutorial participation mark, as one spends time trying to be heard instead of getting in-depth understanding of concepts.
5: It would have been better to have the questions a week in advance, maybe atleast the weekend before. A few times I showed up to my tutorial with the wrong questions. I do all my preparation on the weekend as I don't have time during the week, so I was a bit frustrated by this until my tutor informed me that they meet on Monday to decide on the tutorial questions. So I never bothered downloading them until after Monday. I was still annoyed because it meant I could not longer prepare effectively for my tutorials. I do understand that sometimes this isn't easy to do as the progression of the lectures doesn't always got to plan.
6: Just get good tutors - which they were.
7: Less questions, more detail
8: Less questions.
9: Make assignment tutorial questions available 2 weeks before, but do them in the week before the assignment. Often the questions were not relevant until you actually had a chance to start the assignment, which was difficult 2 weeks out.
10: Make sure the tutors are told to what level you expect parts of the assignment to be implemented. We were told by our tutor that a two level frame table was a bad way to do things and we would lose style marks if we did our frame table this way even though this was the suggestion in the assignment.
11: More OS 161 code walk through
12: More discussion based questions.
13: More forceful on students to ask and answer questions. Tell at the end of the lesson who got marks. Should allow movement to another tute and get marks if cannot attend the normal one.
14: More questions
15: Most weeks we were really pushed for time in getting through all the questions. Even some weeks we ran out of time only focusing on really important questions.
16: Must not have any marks for tutorials.As that scares me to even prepare for them.Instead this mark could be given to the assignments.
17: My way of thinking is I understand better in tutorials: - Smaller group of people. - More interaction But I do not know the answers to the questions but I like to absorb everything during that time. Hence I think either adopt a policy for solving certain questions and handing them in the tutorial for a mark. That is the best way if you want students to participate.
18: No
19: No comment.
20: No participations
21: No suggestion really, but XXX is a great guy and a great tutor.
22: No, XXX was a great tutor!
23: Remove the 1 mark partcipation
24: Some tutorial questions should need revising, because they are simply bookwork or code reading.
25: Sometimes we needed more time so that we could cover all the questions. Our tutor liked to go into some depth which was good, just that it meant we occasionally missed questions though.
26: The questions don't really seem to need to be taught by a tutor, and showing up to tutorials was probably just for the class mark.
27: The tutes are based on class participation so the tutor just relies on students giving answers and not answering it himself. This is good but sometimes results in 'waffly' answers.
28: The tutes have a lot of useful material in them but there is so much it's a bit overwhelming sometimes. Perhaps they could be scaled back a bit. Tutor X wasn't a very nice tutor. He made me feel stupid and I could tell he didn't like being there. He needs to realise that we are third year students and not NICTA researchers.
29: The tutorial can be prolonged to 1.5 hours per week since the material covered in the lecture is substantial
30: The tutorial should not concentrate on last week + this week material, but rather the last 2 weeks of material. Need time to "sink" in the information and reenforce it. This semester it feels like one week of "introducing" idea and the other week to get confuse. Can't get reassurance of whether what sank in the brain is correct.
31: To allocate time for students to ask about the lecture material which students did not feel very clear besides the tutorial questions.
32: Try and cover more questions.
33: can run faster
34: do be so mean
35: dont use class participation mark for tutorial, better just use attendance
36: have additional tutorials during the week (maybe just 1 or 2 extra) for any enquiries including lecture, tutorial, assignment queries, maybe one for people who may not have prepared or understood the tutorial the first time
37: labs
38: make them longer than an hour
39: my tutor (X) did not acknowledge my participation in the class and he favoured the more vocal students the participation mark is completely a waste of time, especially for those of us who do not always no answers, do not wish to always be actively participating, or live too far away to attend often.. especially when the tutorial answers are later released (which is very helpful)
40: no
41: no comment. was okay.
42: no overall it was pretty good, ... but for some of tuts, XXX was explaining things we did not know (ie had not covered in lecture) ... so since our tut was on wednesday, we were slightly ahead of the lectures ... which also factored for us turning off a little in lectures,
43: none
44: possibly longer tutorial? we didnt fully finish/cover all questions by the end of the 1 hour. but covered the important bits
45: remove class participation mark
46: the whole class participation was pretty useless, no one was really sure of anything or just too tiered to participate and alot of time was wasted in gettin people to provide their perspective
47: try to make the tutorials more involving and fun.
32. Do you have any specific comments about OS/161
1: A bit more external documentation would be nice.
2: Buggy
3: Can't bother with it anymore
4: Good educational OS platform.
5: Good for it's purposes
6: Good teaching OS, code is written immaculately. Exposed lots of previously unknown things about C. Mention explicitly what security checks need to be done! eg. return values not null. Also mention how style will be marked and the difference between a "good" and "bad" implementation, eg. performance? security? simplicity? innovation?
7: Hard to follow the code split over multiple files, othewise pretty decent
8: I feel the documentation is patchy. There should be a multi level system to allow the user to view specific areas in great detail and have geenral links in other areas. Since OS /161 is a teaching OS it should have documentation which allows the reader to walk away at the end of the day and truelly grasp the architecture.
9: I spent 6 months to read code. some time i doubt my understanding of os161. No code walkthrough. MOST OF CONCEPTS ARE NEW TO STUDENTS AND THEY ARE HIGHLY ABSTRACT WE NEED MORE TIME TO DIGEST THEM. SPECIALLY VIRTUAL MEMORY.
10: I wanna play with it more
11: It is a generally great way to learn OS systems. The only difficulty was finding the time to read and understand everything to complete assignments. More hints were needed.
12: It is a great learning base, very well commented large code base. I wish the linux kernel was this easy to read and follow (although linux does have its reasons).
13: It is okay, the comments are sort of useful. Though I would have liked it to be a bit easier I suppose they can't have made it much simpler while still being an OS.
14: It took a long time to get an understanding of the system as there was so much code to read.
15: It was a good OS to learn on. Doesn't chuck you into the deep end to quikly or too much
16: It's an excellent idea to have an OS built so students could plug in the necessary features into it. The commenting of code was poor.
17: Its a good learning OS.
18: N/A
19: No
20: No
21: No.
22: No.
23: OS/161 is good!!
24: OS161 is well commented and somewhat easy to read, but its sort of obscure, in terms of usage.
25: One of the better Comp courses. Its a course that is dedicated to teaching for those that are interested and want to learn important concepts.
26: Quite large and daunting. Overall fairly well documented, but reading through the codebase to find this documentation often difficult. LXR useful to navigate source.
27: Sometimes confuses with errors
28: The provided testing programs (/testbin) were generally of little use.
29: There is almost NO support online for OS/161.
30: This is fine
31: Too hard!!! I'm scared of it. I'm not comfortable with it. I don't want to be associated with it anymore.
32: Too much code, compiling is a pain, debugging is a pain ... It's nice to see everything fit in to a miniture OS, and you can see things come into place, but theres just alot to take in I suppose
33: Very straight forward to understand, except the file system assignment which I had to spend some time on designing test-scenarios.
34: good as an entry level into OS interiors the OS itself is simple, but the questions and implementations necessary are confusing and require more detail as the lecture notes on their own are not enough
35: great os for education purpose
36: interesting OS but hard to build and expand it according to the assignment specs.
37: it is cool
38: it would have helped a LOT if we went thru the code in lectures !
39: it's very nicely organised
40: no
41: no
42: os161 is great, with everything really well documented. Definately showed me what good code is, and gave me a standard to strive for in the assignments.
43: use less
36. Any suggestions for improving the assignments?
1: 1. perhaps the lecturer can reduce the amount of work and make the assignment individual (strongly reccommended) 2. increase the bonus points for advanced part??
2: A little more direction in the second and third assignments would have helped a lot.
3: A more in-depth explaination of how they are to be marked would be nice, but not necessary
4: Assignment 1 should be Assignment 0, or at least extended to cover more than just concurrency.
5: Assignment 3 is a bit too hard, maybe because I didn't spend enough time understanding the whole codes.
6: Assignments 2 and 3 were vague in specification.
7: Better comments in code to get us started on the assignments
8: Better specifications
9: CVS was painful to use. Please use something else like subversion. We spent hours getting our assignments ready to commit.
10: Have peer assessment. My answers to Q34 above are somewhat biased because I had a freeloading group partner. I'm sure that if I had a better partner the workload would be lighter and I would have a better understanding of the assignments.
11: Have the third assignment made more simpler.
12: I know as a third year student we should able to tackle assignment by ourselves, however, it would help greatly if a more refined guide as to which functions to start first as oppose to "implment six functions". The difficulty of each function is greatly underestimated -> falling behind in other subject. Mind you that I alread start the assignment the moment it is released (and not directly to coding, but having a formal idea of what to do at first before coding)
13: I recognize that this is difficult, maybe impossible but it would be nice if they could be broken down smaller acheivable milestones to allow for stategic mark gathering.
14: I think less workload, but having no groups will be better, because my partner did mostly no work.
15: I think the hardest assignment shouldn't be put for the last assignment. The level of difficulty should make a bell-like shape so the first and the last assignment should be somewhat easier than the second and third assignment.
16: If you make it such that the class mark is not capped at 50/50 more people will probably attempt the advanced assignments
17: In many cases, not only mine, only one person did all the work and the other reaped the benefits of the good marks. Any way you can peer asess? or make it compulsory to mark who did what for the assignment so marks can be evenly allocated?
18: Less workload
19: Make it easier to divide the work? (don't know how possible that is)
20: Make them a little easier if possible, meaning scraping OS/161 if needed for that, but I guess for hardcore OS programmers, it was a perfect training ground. A guideline for the design document will be very helper for the future, which can give us a good indication of what the marking scheme is to be. As I'll mention later on I feel I was robbed of some marks in the marking of the design document.
21: Make these individual assignments, which take much less time to understand. I think a majority of the understanding part should be pushed more on to the advanced part. I pride myself in being a strong coder, but i believe a system is best learnt through some sort of implementation rather than sitting and reading. Therefore, i think it could be improved by giving enough hints to be able to somehow start coding almost straight away, and slowly force the coder to expand understanding of the system MID-way through the assignment.
22: More documentation would be nice, so less time is spent trawling through the existing code to understand it, and more time spent in implementation.
23: More information on how to implement the more difficult parts of the assignment, esp. advanced parts.
25: No
26: None, I think the assignments were well done, although it would have been a little better if they were released on say the friday afternoon, so that the weekend could be used to try and do the 24hr attempt.
27: OS assignment is hard as always. Can't help with it.
28: Perhaps a more definitive idea of where to start putting code for assignments.
29: Should allocate more time for the 3rd assignment, since it was too hard.
30: The Assignment needs to be more specific and clear to understand. A walkthrough of code or help in starting the assignment would have been better.
31: The assignments need to relate more to the things we learnt in lectures. The parts which related to what we learnt were mostly only minor in the assignments and the big part was figuring out what we needed to do and fitting it in with OS161, and debugging. It would be better if we had much more explanation of how OS161 works and the functions we have available to us and how we can use them, rather than us being expected to figure that out ourselves.
32: The current use of tutorials along with consults and forum is a great way to manage the assignments.
33: The third Assignment can be replaced by a mid-session exam or something. Or should be made easier. The rest of the two assignments were manageable by all means
34: Use SVN. CVS is old and inferior and caused problems.
35: Use svn? I haven't worked with cvs much, but I used svn in seng and I found it much easier to keep track of updates and changes with that. Most comments above about partners really depend on your partner however.
36: assignments are hard. make them easier to understand and implement.
37: better reward for getting it in the first week (carry 5-10% onto other assigns)
38: give more support (either in the assignment guideline or in the lecture notes) on how to implement, what issues to consider, or more about where we need to start
39: have c programming labs that are optional to help students
40: improve comments for OS/161 please
41: make the spec clearer
42: make to part by part
43: more consultation to understand the assignment
44: no
45: none
46: possibly adjusting the weighting
47: reduce the implementation complexity because most of the trouble is due to unfamiliarity with C programming rather than the concept of the materials
48: they are simply too hard, consider giving more C support and not just assuming the students can program C well. It's rarely the case.
38. What were the strong points of COMP3891/9283?
1: -
2: Fun and interesting tutes.
3: Interesting
4: Interesting topics covered.
5: Lots of fun and interesting work. Course was organised, especially the assignments (compared to other subjects like Databases it was much much better)
6: Real world papers being used and shown to students, I have not done a course yet that uses real world papers.
39. What were the weak points of COMP3891/9283?
1: -
2: It seemed a very much on the side of lectures, and sometimes I thought the lectures were out of place. It also felt as if the lectures were just thown together.
3: The room it was in.
4: Would be nice to get through more material.
5: none
40. Any suggestions for improving COMP3891/9283 Extended OS?
1: -
2: Extra material covered was good, however some of the topics as interesting as they were, More interesting topics could have been covered. Maybe newer papers and things more at the fore front of OS development could be coved.
3: Longer/more frequent tutes or extra lectures. More details of real-world OS's like Linux and BSD.
4: Make the advanced components compulsory - but provide a little more support
5: no
44. Any other comments/suggestions that might help us to improve the course in the future?
1: Again, peer assessment is the only thing I think this course lacks. I know it would mean more work for tutors marking the assignments, but it would only be a small minority that requires this as I'm sure most of the other groups did in fact have group members contributing equally.
2: Again, too much stuff as well as work load. It is unfair that it's level 3 subject and 6unit compare to other computing subject, it's much heavier subject.
3: Already Mentioned earlier
4: As mentioned so many times in the above: there was a permeation of abstraction in the lecture notes and tutorials which was distant from the implementation specifics of OS-161 and the assignments. Please bridge the gap.
5: I think it is pretty much all.
6: Increase the quality of the lecture notes (too brief). Maybe look at using another textbook perhaps??? ALso hand out the revision questions a lot earlier. Otherwise this course is taught well.
7: It is a good course, and I would have liked to have devoted more time to it. Comp courses do take more time than almost any other course that I've done (an EE&T student). It is a shame that the assignments that had the most instructional value were at the crazy end of the session and we couldn't get them finished.
8: It's all good.
9: KEEP THE TEXTBOOK!!! No real other comment. The course was well done.
10: More interesting tutorial questions and less weight on tutorial participation. But that's perhaps because I'm a postgraduate student.
11: N/A
12: NO
13: No
14: No.
15: Nope
16: One of the best/interesting courses I have done in CSE, great quality of teaching.
17: Set the course as project base, which means no exam. The knowledge is better and easier to be mastered through hands-on practice rather than exam.
18: Some sort of quiz around week 10 to give us some feedback on our understanding. Assignment is not enough in the feedback sense, but is too much in the assessment sense (required too much time to put in average amount of effort)
19: That was a long survey :-)
20: The assignment marking in the design document was poor. I compared it with my friend's mark in the design doc and I believed what I wrote was the same standard if not better than his one and he got doubled what I obtained (almost full marks). I believe that the design doc should be marked by one person for consistency sack, hence the assignments being marked by one person, which is a tough ask. I just think my marker was very harsh in marking the design document and style. Also, my group partner abandoned me during the last half of the session since she had personal reasons I do not know. I really really really feel there should be peer assessment if the group style of assignmenting is too continue for this course. My partner contributed little in asst1 and did not contribute in asst2 and wasn't even enrolled for asst3. This may be the reasons why I found this course very tough. To sum up I just feel that I should have deserved higher grades for my effort considering my issues with the design document and partner, but that's life.
21: The exam didn't seem to be evenly spread throughout the topic areas, focusing mainly on page tables and file systems. The pre exam questions were a good tool to help learn concepts, though if it was a bit earlier it might have helped more.
22: There has to be a better way to form groups, students who don't follow a single degree program progression often don't know anybody in the classes in the current year. This makes it difficult for them to try and find someone to get a group together, especially if they are shy and dislike group work in the first place. I've placed my mark as fail in q45 but I believe I should be able to manage a PC as I am familiar with the university algorithms used to calculate this.
23: This subject should have more assignments covered the latter part such as security and scheduler.
24: Timing of assignments tended to run parallel to other courses, and given the difficulty of OS assigns, meant that it was hard to allocate sufficient time to complete them. Perhaps start assigns a week earlier.
25: You guys should really consider abolishing the harmonic mean. Once a group stuffs up their assignments then there is no point even attempting the exam if you get lower than 40 for class mark which is my case. I know I can do well in the exam, and if it was just simple avg, i'd pass, but now it means I can't possibly pass. I heard the harmonic mean was to avoid depending heavily on assignments which sometimes can be copied or only worked on by 1 student but why not just weigh the exam more so you can gauge the competency of each person individually. Now even though my theory work is up to date, it still doesn't mean I can pass and in my case it's largely because of a partner who doesn't really care. Overall, cut down the harmonic mean. Otherwise there is no incentive for individually gained marks as simply stuffing up the groupwork can mean instant fail. Thought i'd pass with my theory but the harmonic mean is just too harsh.
26: dont have any tutorials marks.have more questions in tutorials.And arrange some special tutorials just for C for those ppl who have not much experience in it.
27: extend tutorials to atleast 2 hours a week , because they help alot
28: get rid of participation mark in tutorials!!
29: give the mark easier
30: i think u should make more difference among 3231/3891/9201/9283, otherwise why u need 4 code to do that, for example, u should use diff exam paper. that's the reason why there is too many HD and fail., or scale the result of undergrauate student
31: labs, greatly builds technical skills in OS
32: no
33: nothing more...
34: open book examination since there is too much material expected to be memorized for the examination
35: the course is pretty good.

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