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MC0070 August 2010 Q & Ans

MC0070 August 2010 Q & Ans

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Master of Computer Application (MCA) – Semester 2MC0070 – Operating Systems with Unix – 4 Credits(Book ID: B0682 & B0683)Assignment Set – 1 (60 Marks)1. Describe the following operating system components:A) Functions of an Operating system B) Operating system componentsAns:Operating system functions
An operating system is a software component that acts as the core of a computer system.It performs various functions and is essentially the interface that connects your computer and its supported components. In this article, we will discuss the basic functions of theoperating system, along with security concerns for the most popular types. Also learnmore about
.
Basic Operation
Drivers play a major role in the operating system. A driver is a program designed tocomprehend the functions of a particular device installed on the system. A driver enablesthe operation of numerous devices, including your mouse, keyboard printer, video cardand CD-ROM drive by translating commands from the operating system or the user intocommands understood by the associated component. It also translates responses from thecomponent back to the operating system, software application or user.The operating system performs other functions with system utilities that monitor performance,debug errors and maintain the system. It also includes a set of libraries often used byapplications to perform tasks to enable direct interaction with system components. Thesecommon functions run seamlessly and are transparent to most users.
Security Concerns
The fact that an operating system is computer software makes it prone to error just as anyhuman creation. Programmers make mistakes, and inefficient code is often implementedinto programs even after testing. Some developers perform more thorough testing andgenerally produce more efficient software. Therefore, some operating systems and moreerror prone while others are more secure.Here are some common security issues that pose a threat to all operating systems:
Instabilities and Crashes
- Both of these instances may be the result of software bugs inthe operating system. Bugs in software applications on the computer may also cause
 
problems, such as preventing the system from communicating with hardware devices.They can even cause the system to become unstable or crash. A system crash consists of freezing and becoming unresponsive to point where the machine needs to be rebooted.These issues vary depending on the type of operating system.
Flaws
- Software bugs will not only make a system unstable, but also leave it wide opento unauthorized users. Once these vulnerabilities are discovered, attackers can exploitthem and gain access to your system. From there, they can install malware, launch attackson other machines or even take complete control of your system. Software developersusually distribute security patches rather quickly to update the operating system and fixthe vulnerabilities.
Types of Operating Systems
There are several types of operating systems, with Windows, Linux and Macintosh suitesbeing the most widely used. Here is an overview on each system:
Windows:
Windows is the popular Microsoft brand preferred by most personal users.This system has come a long way from version 1.0 all the way up to the new Vista andsoon to be released Windows 7. Although Windows has made strides in regard tosecurity, it has a reputation for being one of the most vulnerable systems.
Unix/Linux:
The Unix operating system has been around for years, and it is well knownfor its stability. Unix is often used more as a server than a workstation. Linux was basedon the Unix system, with the source code being a part of GNU open-source project. Bothsystems are very secure yet far more complex than Windows.
Macintosh:
Recent versions of the Macintosh operating system, including the Mac OSX, follow the secure architecture of Unix. Systems developed by Apple are efficient andeasy to use, but can only function on Apple branded hardware.
Operating system componentsProcess Management
The operating system manages many kinds of activities ranging from user programs tosystem programs like printer spooler, name servers, file server etc. Each of theseactivities is encapsulated in a process. A process includes the complete execution context(code, data, PC, registers, OS resources in use etc.).It is important to note that a process is not a program. A process is only ONE instant of aprogram in execution. There are many processes can be running the same program. Thefive major activities of an operating system in regard to process management are
Creation and deletion of user and system processes.
 
Suspension and resumption of processes.
A mechanism for process synchronization.
A mechanism for process communication.
A mechanism for deadlock handling.
Main-Memory Management
Primary-Memory or Main-Memory is a large array of words or bytes. Each word or bytehas its own address. Main-memory provides storage that can be access directly by theCPU. That is to say for a program to be executed, it must in the main memory.The major activities of an operating in regard to memory-management are:
Keep track of which part of memory are currently being used and by whom.
Decide which process are loaded into memory when memory space becomesavailable.
Allocate and deallocate memory space as needed.
File Management
A file is a collected of related information defined by its creator. Computer can store fileson the disk (secondary storage), which provide long term storage. Some examples of storage media are magnetic tape, magnetic disk and optical disk. Each of these media hasits own properties like speed, capacity, data transfer rate and access methods.A file systems normally organized into directories to ease their use. These directoriesmay contain files and other directions.The five main major activities of an operating system in regard to file management are1. The creation and deletion of files.2. The creation and deletion of directions.3. The support of primitives for manipulating files and directions.4. The mapping of files onto secondary storage.5. The back up of files on stable storage media.
I/O System Management
I/O subsystem hides the peculiarities of specific hardware devices from the user. Only thedevice driver knows the peculiarities of the specific device to whom it is assigned.
Secondary-Storage Management
Generally speaking, systems have several levels of storage, including primary storage,secondary storage and cache storage. Instructions and data must be placed in primarystorage or cache to be referenced by a running program. Because main memory is too

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