Windows Research Kernel @ HPI

Presenting at Windows Core Workshop 2010, Beijing, China

Taking place for the fourth time, the Microsoft Research Asia Windows Core Workshop brings together faculty from around the world and Microsoft kernel experts to provide information about and exchange experiences in Windows technologies for teaching operating systems.

As the WRK and CRK community is pretty active in the Asia/Pacific region, we are extremely proud to be invited to give a presentation about our experiences with the WRK here at HPI. Here is the abstract of Alexander's talk.

Read more

Presenting at SIGCSE 2010

As you may or may not know, here at HPI, we use the WRK pretty intense for teaching operating systems. Since the WRK has been released, we have developed a couple of programming projects, each dealing with a particular OS subject or principle. The goal behind those projects was to enable our students to use the WRK to experiment with certain parts of it and to experience implications of different design and implementation rationals.

However, when we started doing this, we ran into several problems, most of which are related to complexity of the WRK. First of all, we experienced that our students were not very familiar with the provided nmake-based build environment. Second, deploying the kernel onto a test system is way different than running a usual application. This also includes the debugging process. Finally, the complexity of the WRK requires students to thoroughly study the sources of the kernel prior to actually do some programming. While studying the WRK first is not the worst idea, it takes way too much time to understand each and every detail of the implementation. In many cases, it is however as sufficiently to understand only portions of it.

To persist our methodology, our experiences, our experiments, and the feedback our students gave us, we wrote a paper, which has been accepted for presentation at the 41st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education (SIGCSE 2010), in Milwaukee, WI, USA. If you are interested in our findings, please have a closer look on our paper Teaching Operating Systems - Windows Kernel Projects. We will also post the slides of the talk here anytime soon.

Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Kernel Changes (TechEd Europe 2009)

Michael and I got the chance to attend TechEd Europe 2009 in Berlin, where Mark Russinovich was giving a great talk about the changes within the Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 kernels. And although this blog is about the WRK and its details, we thought it might still be valuable to stay up to date with current OSes.

For those who don't have the time for watching the whole 70 minute presentation, here is a summary of the changes:

Read more

WRK at 2009 Asia Pacific Workshop

Recently, Microsoft Research Asia organized the 2009 Asia Pacific Windows Core Workshop, where universities presented what they are doing with the WRK in their lectures and research.


Besides exploring the Windows Research Kernel for our own research purposes and posting our experience here on this blog, we also use the WRK for teaching operating systems concepts. One outcome of these efforts was for example the updated version of our Visual Studio 2008 solution file, that Michael posted recently.

Read more

WRK at MSR Faculty Summit 2008

On Mondy, July 28, Andreas Polze and I were invited to give a talk on how we use the WRK and Phoenix, respectively, at HPI. As part of the presentation, I was able to introduce our new WRK project that incorporates Phoenix: The Phoenix Cross Referencing Tool (PXR).

Read more