6.033 | Spring 2018 | Undergraduate
Computer System Engineering
Week 1: Operating Systems Part I

Lecture 1 Outline

  1. Introduction to Systems
    • What is a system?
    • Complexity makes building systems difficult.
  2. Why is Complexity Bad?
    • Limits what we can build.
    • Causes lots of other problems.
  3. Mitigating Complexity
    • We mitigate complexity with modularity and abstraction.
      • Modular systems are easier to reason about, manage, change, improve.
      • Modularity reduces fate-sharing.
      • Abstraction lets us specify interfaces without specifying implementation.
      • Good abstraction decreases the number of connections between modules.
  4. Enforced Modularity
    • Soft modularity isn’t enough.
    • One way to enforce is with a client/server model.
      • Reduces fate-sharing.
      • Important: remote procedure calls (RPCs) != procedure calls (PCs).
        1. Have to deal with different types of failure (network, server,..).
          • These failures are tricky, but starting with a modular design will let us reason about them and deal with them.
  5. Other Goals
    • Beyond complexity, we might also want: scalability, fault-tolerance, security, performance, etc.
    • Starting with a good, modular design helps achieve these properties.
    • Difficult to get all at once; there are trade-offs.
Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2018
Learning Resource Types
notes Lecture Notes
assignment Written Assignments
group_work Projects with Examples
co_present Instructor Insights