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What you should know before starting any classes of the EmSlab

Some preliminary knowledge is needed to follow the courses and do the tasks and projects. Previous years showed that some students are lacking these basics. Please give this a quick look. If you know all the notions in the references below, then do not bother yourself by going through them in detail. If not, then you should give them a closer look before starting.

1. Network basics
A computer - how big or small it is today - is not anymore a stand alone device. It is networked using in almost all cases an Ethernet connection, wired or wireless. Notions like for example  IP addresses and subnets, and functions like switches, routers and firewalls should be common knowledge. These functions may be implemented in specific hardware devices, but when one goes virtual, these become also virtual or software based functions.
A good basic introduction on networking can be found at
Also one should be capable of installing a home network. A simple intro can be fount at 

2. Basic computer hardware
Knowing what is under the hood in your computer, notebook, desktop, smartphone, tablet or server is essential.
Some intro can be found at
One should be capable of replacing a notebook or desktop disk (or adding one), and be capable of adding more central memories in his or her computer.
Tutorials on this can be found here: 
and here:
It might be interesting to replace your classical disk in your notebook by a Solid State Disk (SSD) and as such augmenting considerably the speed of your computer and at the same time lower the power consumption.

Having a good functioning notebook or PC is essential in the courses as a lot of tasks and projects will be executed on your personal device. It suggested to have at least 4 GB of central memory and 8 GB preferred and the last version of Windows installed. (free license keys are available for students).

3. Programming
Having serious programming skills is a plus for this courses, but not essential. However, having a basic programming skill is a must.
The operating systems we will use are in most cases written in C/C++. If you chose a mini-project dealing with the OS internals, knowledge of C/C++ is required.
Application programming can be in any language like Java, C#, Python and many more.
If ever you need to "sharpen" your knowledge about one or another language, here are some entry point links:

Python  (complete free 7 days course)

programming for the web
Linux shell scripting
Windows Shell scripting

4. Case Tools
Specifically for the software and engineering for EmS, having already worked with a case tool using UML will help a lot but is not really required although then the learning curve will be longer.

Lab Location

We are on VUB Campus Etterbeek.
The lab is in Building K
Rooms 4K207 and 4K208
4th floor
football field side

Quick Links


Registration Needed

To access course material, one needs to be registered.
Follow the indications how to first register to the website and then to a particular course.