Mostly Unix

Its always nice to see and deal with other people using Unix-based operating systems. If a student comes to me for help with a software problem, although I'll try to help no matter what OS, I am much more interested in spending time with them if they are using a Unix-based OS (Ubuntu, MacOS, etc). This is mainly because that is what I know best. Of recent, more students have Ubuntu installed, either as dual-boot or in a virtual machine, on their personal laptops. And they are starting to learn that the Windows GUI way is not the only way. I am encouraging the further exploration of Linux in my networking lab (ITS332) where 90% of the tasks are completed on the command line in Ubuntu (the other 10% using Wireshark in Ubuntu). In other courses, although I don't require the students to use any specific operating system, I demonstrate how easy it is to complete networking tasks in Unix-based OSes, such as measure the throughput of TCP in a network with varying packet loss rates (three command line operations using iperf and tc). One of the local Unix gurus at SIIT is Yoichi. As well as doing his research, he has been active in labs and teaching introductory computing to SIIT/Thammasat students. He has started to blog about some of the simple, yet very powerful things that can be done via the command line in Ubuntu. Yoichi and other teaching assistants and graduate students are spreading the word in SIIT that Windows is not the only operating system available. And their efforts are starting to show as more students are coming to me for help on a network or programming assignment with their laptop booted into Ubuntu.