This tutorial is being used as part of CMPSCI 377 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It is intended as a supplement to the class lectures and has been designed specially for the lab part of the course. The labs use Nachos, an instructional operating systems simulator developed at the University of Berkeley, to provide hands-on experience in programming operating systems source code.

The tutorial provides covers several topics - it first discusses them at a general level and then explains how they are implemented in Nachos. Each topic is accompanied with animations and quizzes which are graded on-line. The lab assignments are also on-line; discussions of some topics, like user programs, is geared towards helping the students understand the concepts behind the labs before they start writing code. The Nachos source code can also be viewed on-line. The students can perform grep and man queries on the source code. Its pretty cool.

A few notes on the implementation. The tutor has been implemented using HTML and a lot of Perl. There is room for some flexibility - Perl scripts allowing the instructor of the course to create new quizzes and place them on the web without knowing any HTML; scripts to put up new labs on the web. The Quizzes can include short answer or multiple choice questions. Answers to the short answer questions are not graded on-line; for purposes of grading, we display the correct answer to the question along with the student's answer so that he/she can compare the former with their own answer.

Oh, and there are some topics that display new programming tips for students every few days. So, come back often!


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