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Operating System Concepts with Java

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Operating systems are an essential part of any computer system. Similarly, a course on operating systems is an essential part of any computer-science education. This field is undergoing rapid change, as computers are now prevalent in virtually every application, from games for children through the most sophisticated planning tools for governments and multinational firms. Yet the fundamental concepts remain fairly clear, and it is on these that we base this book.

We wrote this book as a text for an introductory course in operating systems at the junior or senior undergraduate level or at the first-year graduate level. We hope that practitioners will also find it useful. It provides a clear description of the concepts that underlie operating systems. As prerequisites, we assume that the reader is familiar with basic data structures, computer organization, and a high-level language, preferably Java. The hardware topics required for an understanding of operating systems are included in Chapter 1. For code examples, we use predominantly Java, with some C, but the reader can still understand the algorithms without a thorough knowledge of these languages. Concepts are presented using intuitive descriptions. Important theoretical results are covered, but formal proofs are omitted. The bibliographical notes at the end of each chapter contain pointers to research papers in which results were first presented and proved, as well as references to material for further reading. In place of proofs, figures and examples are used to suggest why we should expect the result in question to be true.

The fundamental concepts and algorithms covered in the book are often based on those used in existing commercial operating systems. Our aim is to present these concepts and algorithms in a general setting that is not tied to one particular operating system. We present a large number of examples that pertain to the most popular and the most innovative operating systems, including Sun Microsystems’ Solaris; Linux; Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 2000, and Windows XP; and Apple Mac OS X. When we refer to Windows XP as an example operating system, we are implying Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. If a feature exists in a specific release, we state this explicitly.
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