Topic outline

  • General

    Version 1.0 20 April, 2015 (vr)

    Multics Fernando J. Corbato UNIX Ken Thompson Dennis Ritchie GNU logo Richard Stallman Linux logo Linux Torvalds Open Source logo

    'Begin at the beginning, ...

    Aims and objectives:

    • To familiarize yourself with a wide range of computing terms from main frames to GNU/Linux
    • To get an idea of what a computer operating system is
    • To understand what software freedom means and why it is important
    • To learn about some of the features and capabilities of Moodle

    How to follow the course:

    This course consists of three topics. In each topic the "theory" is introduced through a work-sheet. As you follow it you are expected to complete the accompanying assignment and submit it. You will need 1 - 2 hours for a topic.

    The work-sheets are accessible right from the beginning, but the assignments will inaccessible until you have successfully completed the forgoing assignments.

    When you reach the end, please do not forget to fill out the course evaluation survey, which is anonymous.

    Have fun!

    • This topic

      Topic 1. Birth of the Unix Time-Sharing System

      We begin the course in the 1960s, during the transition from magnetic tape-driven and punch card-­operated systems to the system console. This was the inception of the Unix operating system. Then we continue on to the 1970s when Unix started spreading across US universities and made the first nodes of the Internet.

      The aims of this topic are to understand:

      1. What an operating system is
      2. How Unix came to be
      3. What the design principles of Unix were
      4. Why the C programming language is intimately coupled with Unix

      Work through the work sheet and submit your answers in the assignment below.

    • Topic 2. The GNU Project and the GPL

      This topic covers the 80s, the decade of the GNU.

      In this topic you will learn:

      1. How Unix split to become a family of operating systems
      2. Why this fragmentation was unsatisfactory for everybody
      3. The efforts of the Free Software Foundation to rectify this situation

      Go through the work sheet and take the quiz!

    • Topic 3. The Rise of Linux and Open Source

      In this topic we cover the 90s, the decade of Linux and Open Source

      At the end of this topic you will have an idea of:

      1. What made a student write his own Unix kernel
      2. The connection between GNU and Linux
      3. Other driving forces behind the adaption of Open Source Software
      4. The argument between Free Software and Open Source Software
    • Appendix

      Please participate in the Course evaluation. If you have successfully completed the course you can collect the enrollment key to the second course from the web page ...