CS 1206 Syllabus--Fall 2000
Operating Systems Tools II: UNIX

Lecture: Monday at 4:00pm in 129 McBryde Hall
Lab: 124 McBryde Hall

Course Information

Instructor: Jason Zwolak
Office: 128 McBryde Hall (this will change)
Office Hours: Monday 2:00pm - 4:00pm,
Wednesday 2:00pm - 4:00pm,
and by appointment.
E-Mail: jzwolak@cs.vt.edu
GTA: Avnish Chhabra
Office: 124 McBryde Hall
Office Hours: Tuesday 10:20 - 11:00am, 1:00pm - 2:20pm,
Thursday 10:20 - 11:00am, 1:00pm - 2:20pm,
and by appointment.
E-Mail: achhabra@csgrad.cs.vt.edu
Required Text: UNIX in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition, for SVR4 and Solaris 7,
Arnold Robbins and the O'Reilly staff.
Optional Text: A Practical Guide to the UNIX System, 3rd Edition,
Mark G. Sobell.
Web Information: http://courses.cs.vt.edu/~cs1206/Fall00/
Final Exam: Monday, 4 December 2000, 4:00 pm - 4:50 pm, 129 McBryde Hall


The required text for the course is the O'Reilly Nutshell book. This book is simply a reference, and not a formal textbook. If you feel that you are the type of student who needs a formal textbook, I recommend the Sobell book. The Sobell book is an optional text for the course. I will recommend readings from the Sobell book. The Sobell book is available at the Newman Library on normal loan.

Prerequisite Policy:

While there is no formal prerequisite for this course specified by the Department of Computer Science, I will be assuming familiarity with the C programming language and casual use of an operating system of all students enrolled in the course. If you do not meet such requirements, please bring it to the attention of the instructor immediately (i.e. the first day of class). I will refer one to specific reference materials in order to bring one up to speed. However, I will not lecture on such material in class.

Lab Section Times and CRNs:

Time Tuesday (T) Thursday (H)
9:30 am 91225 (T9) 91224 (H9)
11 am 91226 (T11) 91227 (H11)

Grading Policy:

Activity Percentage of final grade
Homework (7 assignments) 60%
Pop Quizzes 15%
Final Exam 25%
Total 100%

There will be one Final Exam worth 25% of your final grade given during the last class period, Monday, 4 December 2000, 4:00 pm - 4:50 pm. 15% of your grade will be derived from pop quizzes given in class (lecture and lab) on material covered in class and in homework assignments. The remaining 60% of your grade will be based on 7 homework assignments. All homework assignments will be done using FreeBSD.

Submitting Homework Assignments:

No hard (paper) copy will ever be required for homework assignments. Your answers will be submitted through EAGS. Unix is case sensitive; be sure to use the right case on any assignments with specific format requirements for answers or output. Remember that the work on these assignments is individual, not group work. If you have a question, ask your instructor or your GTA, not your classmates.

Homework assignments must be done on a FreeBSD system in the Korn (ksh) shell, and all associated file(s) must be prepared with UNIX editors. Homework assignments which were devised using non-UNIX systems or prepared using non-UNIX editors will receive a score of zero. I highly recommend you use vi as your editor as you will likely be tested on knowledge of vi.

I reserve the right to assign a score of 0 to any homework assignment and / or graded work which contains profanity and / or disrespectful or disparaging comments. This includes variables names. Such comments are unprofessional. Furthermore, such comments certainly would not be tolerated in a corporate or business environment and thus will not be tolerated in my course and this academic setting.

Late Policy:

No late assignments will be accepted. Plan ahead, budget your time and complete homework assignments early!

Class Attendance:

Attendance in lecture and lab is mandatory. Part of your final grade is based on attendance. Student attendance in lecture and lab will be periodically checked through pop quizzes.

If, due to extenuating circumstances, you will be unable to attend a lecture or lab, make arrangements in advance with the instructor.

If you miss a lecture or lab, it is your responsibility to find out what material was discussed, what assignments were made, or what handouts were given from other students.

Pop Quizzes:

There will be a number of pop quizzes given throughout the semester in both lecture and lab. Some of the pop quizzes will be multiple choice and administered with op-scan forms. I will provide you with op-scan forms, but you may wish to have some on hand so you will have more time to take the quiz. You can obtain op-scan forms during lecture or lab.

Classroom Etiquette:

Talking to other students during class is disruptive to other students around you. Do not talk during class.

All classes will begin promptly at 4:00 pm; I expect you to be in your seat and ready to begin work then. If you are forced to arrive late or leave early, please sit near the door so as not to disrupt others. I will always dismiss class on time (i.e. 4:50 pm) and I expect that you will not begin rustling papers, books, coats, etc. before then. What I say in the final few minutes of class is no less important than what I say in the first few minutes.

My class is NOT an opportunity for you to make up for missed sleep. In addition, lab sessions are NOT an opportunity for you to browse the web and / or read / send email. Such behavior is insulting to the instructor, discourteous to students around you, and shows a lack of moral fortitude. If the lecture or lab is worth that little to you, then at least have the courage to skip class and accept the consequences.

I reserve the right to evict students from the classroom for sleeping, disruptive talking, or any egregious breach of classroom decorum. Those evicted will receive a zero on all pop quizzes that day.

The Honor Code:

An exhaustive list of Honor Code violations would be impossible to present here, but among other things, each of the following is a flagrant violation of the Virginia Tech Honor Code, and violations will be dealt with severely (Honor Court):

It is acceptable to discuss with classmates a homework assignment in a general way, i.e., to discuss the nature of the assignment. In other words, you may discuss with your classmates the goal of an assignment but not how to achieve that goal. In no way should the individual statements of a program or the steps leading to the solution of the problem be discussed with or shown to anyone except the instructor. Please feel free to discuss the assignment and your program or solution specifically with the instructor. The discussion of your individual program or solution must be limited to the instructor.

If you have any question as to how the Honor Code applies to this class, remember that:

The Honor Code will be strictly enforced in this course. All assignments will be considered pledged graded work, unless otherwise noted. All aspects of your work will be covered by the Honor System. Honesty in your academic work will develop into professional integrity. The faculty and students of Virginia Tech will not tolerate any form of academic dishonesty.

Every assignment in this course in any form carries an implied signature on the following pledge:

On my honor:

- I have not discussed my homework solution or program code with
  anyone other than my instructor assigned to this course.

- I have not used homework solutions or UNIX code obtained from
  another student, or any other unauthorized source, either
  modified or unmodified.  

- If any UNIX code or documentation used in my homework submission
  was obtained from another source, such as a text book or course
  notes, that has been clearly noted with a proper citation in
  the comments of my program.

- I have not designed this program or submission in such a way as
  to defeat or interfere with the normal operation network services
  and / or the method by which assignments are fetched.


J. Zwolak <jzwolak@cs.vt.edu>
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