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Journal ArticleDOI

A graphical computer simulator for systems programming courses

01 Mar 1992-ACM Sigcse Bulletin (ACMPUB27New York, NY, USA)-

AboutThis article is published in ACM Sigcse Bulletin.The article was published on 1992-03-01 and is currently open access. It has received 3 citation(s) till now. The article focuses on the topic(s): System programming.

Topics: System programming (62%)

Summary (1 min read)

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Summary

  • XSICSIH is an X-based graphical interface for the SICSIM computer simulation tool.
  • Its graphical portrayal of register-level components tmwforms the ‘black box” SICSIM machine into a ‘visual computer”, helping students understand how computers work.
  • Single step, fast-ezecution, and breakpoints are among the control features helpful for debugging assembly language programs.
  • Automatic disassembly and format conversions and displays for comparing expected to actual execution reduce fiwstmtion in debugging loader, macro processor, and assembler projects.

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Citations
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Proceedings ArticleDOI
12 Mar 1994
TL;DR: The design and implementation of GATutor, a graphical tutorial system for genetic algorithms (GA), and the set of help screens that explain, with examples, all of the options for each of the GA parameters are discussed.
Abstract: In this paper we discuss the design and implementation of GATutor, a graphical tutorial system for genetic algorithms (GA). The X Window/Motif system provides powerful tools for the development of a user interfaces with a familiar feel and look. We implemented the Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) and the Set Covering Problem (SCP) as two example GA problems in the tutorial. The TSP problem uses an order-based chromosome representation (permutation of n objects), while the SCP uses bit strings. The user has numerous buttons to select the GA parameters. These include (a) type of initial population: random or from a file, (b) mode: steady-state or generational, (c) population size, (d) maximum number of generations or trials, (e) generation gap, (f) selection mode, (g) selection bias, (h) selection of the crossover operation from a choice of several possibilities, (i) mutation method, (j) mutation rate, (k) replacement method, (l), elitism, etc. The user has the ability to do astep by step execution or to do a continuous run. The screen layout provides visual representation of the chromosomes in the population with the ability to scroll. This gives the user the option of varying one or two GA parameters to visually see the effect on the algorithm. One of most important features of this tutorial is the set of help screens that explain, with examples, all of the options for each of the GA parameters. This package has already been very useful for teaching the fundamental features of GAs in many different courses, and it has been very valuable in our GA research projects.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: CPU Sim is an interactive low-level computer simulation package that runs on the Macintosh computer and was chosen as “Best Engineering Software (Computer Science)” in the 1993 EDUCOM Higher Education Software and Curriculum Innovation Awards Program.
Abstract: CPU SIM is an interactive low-level computer simulation package that runs on the Macintosh computer. Users of the package specify the details of the CPU to be simulated, including the register, i/o channels, main memory, the microinstruction set, machine instructions, and assembly language instructions. User can then create machine or assembly language programs using the built-in text editor and assembler and can run their programs in the simulator. It is possible to step through the execution of a program one machine instruction at a time. Also, users may choose to edit the contents of any component and then continue execution. The main window displays the state of the machine at every step. CPU Sim was chosen as “Best Engineering Software (Computer Science)” in the 1993 EDUCOM Higher Education Software and Curriculum Innovation Awards Program. It is currently being sold by Intellimation.

6 citations


Proceedings ArticleDOI
01 Mar 1993
TL;DR: XSIM68K employs a graphical interface to enhance a traditional “black box” simulator so that students can observe first-hand the effect of a running program on registers, memory, and II0 devices.
Abstract: Students learning computer organization and assembly language programming often have difficulty understanding the relationship between hardware functions and software instructions. This paper describes how a software tool can help students understand the organization and use of the Motorola 68000 processor family. XSIM68K employs a graphical interface to enhance a traditional “black box” simulator so that students can observe first-hand the effect of a running program on registers, memory, and II0 devices. Multiple data representations allow the student to choose the most appropriate format for data entry and display, which reduces confusion and eliminates conversion mistakes.

4 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An overview of the X Window System is presented, focusing on the system substrate and the low‐level facilities provided to build applications and to manage the desktop.
Abstract: An overview of the X Window System is presented, focusing on the system substrate and the low-level facilities provided to build applications and to manage the desktop. The system provides high-performance, high-level, device-independent graphics. A hierarchy of resizable, overlapping windows allows a wide variety of application and user interfaces to be built easily. Network-transparent access to the display provides an important degree of functional separation, without significantly affecting performance, which is crucial to building applications for a distributed environment. To a reasonable extent, desktop management can be custom-tailored to individual environments, without modifying the base system and typically without affecting applications.

270 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Feb 1987
TL;DR: The subject of microprogramming should be an important part of a course in computer organization because it connects the higher-level view of the machine with the lower- level view (digital logic), by showing how an instruction set can be implemented using digital logic.
Abstract: The subject of microprogramming should be an important part of a course in computer organization. It connects the higher-level view of the machine (machine language, instruction set, register and memory architecture) with the lower-level view (digital logic), by showing how an instruction set can be implemented using digital logic. Unfortunately, there are several obstacles in the way of a suitable presentation of microprogramming in an undergraduate course. One is that detailed specifications of the microprogramming level of currently popular computers are considered to be proprietary information and for that reason are usually unavailable. When such specifications are available, they are typically of such a complex nature as to make then unsuitable as an introduction to the subject of microprogramming for beginning students. Another problem is the lack of proper facilities for laboratory work in microprogramming. Although microprogrammable processors, such as the Burroughs B1830, do exist and have been used in teaching computer organization [2], most colleges and universities do not have access to such machines.

15 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
01 Dec 1988
TL;DR: An implementation of this machine with a user interface to permit development of microprograms as well as development of programs at the conventional machine language programming level is presented.
Abstract: Microprogramming is no generally available to programmers because it may involve modification of a machine's native language. A hypothetical computer can provide a simulator for microprogramming projects and add considerably to one's understanding of the subject of microprogramming and the concept of a multilevel machine. The classical text, Structured Computer Organization by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, contains a design for such a hypothetical computer. This paper presents an implementation of this machine with a user interface to permit development of microprograms as well as development of programs at the conventional machine language programming level. The user interface is similar to that of MS-DOS's DEBUG program. In addition to providing the basis for projects in Computer Architecture and Computer Organization classes, the simulator is being used as a simplified hypothetical machine in a Systems Programming class for the development of assembler, linker, and loader projects.

13 citations