UWC Summer 2013 Final Exam

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UNIX Weapons School Summer 2013 FINAL EXAMINATION

My mariners, souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me—it has been a pleasure. You have 3 hours.

  • One clear head, one blue book, ink, think, abbreviate obvious components (for example TLB).
  • Do not pad ignorance with eloquence.
  • Unless medical evidence is produced, no one will be permitted to retire to the restroom.

Question 1: Compare and contrast Linux's epoll with FreeBSD's kqueue. Provide details, not vague generalizations. (3 points)

Question 2: Describe an effective and effectively programmable hardware interface for TCP offload. Detail those use cases, if any, where your system will be ineffective. (4 points)

Question 3: Compare and contrast asynchronous I/O and non-blocking I/O. Detail interactions with the UNIX systems model. (3 points)

Bonus question: Identify the source of either this exam's epigram or its regulations (no, this was not covered in lecture, nor is it germane to the class content). (1 point)


"In early 1993, a hostile observer might have had grounds for thinking that the UNIX story was almost played out, and with it the fortunes of the hacker tribe." --Eric S. Raymond

"If you have trouble sounding condescending, find a UNIX user to show you how it's done." --Scott Adams


Enjoy your summers! Go forth and construct great marvels. Do try to avoid Apple products. --nlb

Bonus question answers

The epigram is from Tennyson's dramatic monologue "Ulysses". The instructions are taken from Vladimir Nabokov's introduction to his Lectures on Literature.