The Beginning of Systems

Published on 8 July 2012

That went by fast.

Today, I finished both of my introductions to systems programming: the book Hacking - The Art of Exploitation 2e (since June) and the lecture slides (since three weeks ago) for the Harvard systems programming course, CS61. I thought I’d commemorate.

I actually hadn’t realized it until I sat down to write this post, but I’m wrapping up my systems introduction unit (in course-speak). The reading ties together nicely with the doing (exploit-exercises). I had picked up The Art of Exploitation because it looked interesting, the lecture slides because they would allow me to take more specific computer science courses next semester, and the exercises because they looked fun. These are all somewhat orthogonal to each other.

I am genuinely surprised that I hadn’t seen the connection earlier, but these all covered the same subject matter. While reading the last few lecture slides for CS61, I thought, “Wait, I’m familiar with this already…but how?”

I suspect this is just the beginning of my pursuit for systems knowledge. The topic has always theoretically interested me – if that makes sense. I’ve more or less confirmed this. I’m excited for courses next semester! (Fall seems to have more choices.)