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University of Hail
Department of computer Science and Software Engineering
Ibtesam Salah saleh

Answer the following questions :

1- What is cache memory ?

Caching copying information into faster storage system; main memory can be viewed as a last cache
for secondary storage.

2- What is virtual memory ?

Virtual memory allows execution of processes not completely in memory.

3- What is CPU Scheduler ?

If several jobs ready to run at the same time.

4- What is an OS , and what are the three main goals of it ?

+OS is A program that acts as an intermediary between a user of a computer and the computer
hardware .
+Main goals of OS :
1)Execute user programs and make solving user problems easier .
2) Make the computer system convenient to use.
3)Use the computer hardware in an efficient manner.

5- What are the main differences between OS for mainframe computers and personal computers ?
+Mainframe :
maximize Hard Ware utilization/efficiency .
+Personal Computers : maximum support to user applications.

6- What are multitasking , multiprogramming and multi-threaded process ?

+Multitasking process : is logical extension in which CPU switches jobs so frequently that users can
interact with each job while it is running, creating interactive computing.
+Multiprogramming process : needed for efficiency , it organizes jobs (code and data) so CPU always
has one to execute.
+ Multi-threaded process : has one program counter per thread.

7- What is file-system management , and what are its OS activates include?

+File-system management:
1-Files usually organized into directories.
2- Access control on most systems to determine who can access what.
+ OS activities include:
Creating and deleting files and directories.
Primitives to manipulate files and directories.
Mapping files onto secondary storage.
Backup files onto stable (non-volatile) storage media.

8- What is SRAM ? In which frame does it store data ?

Static Random Access Memory , it stores data in cache memory .

9- What is DRAM ? In which frame does it store data ?

Dynamic Random Access Memory , it stores data in main memory .

10- What are the main differences between main memory and cache memory ?


Last Update : Thursday, 21 February 2013

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11- What are multitasking , multiprogramming and multi-threaded process ? (Repeated )

12- What is the state of the processor (multiprogramming ),when is waiting some event to executing ?
OS switches to another job.

13- Explain direct memory access structure ?

>Used for high-speed I/O devices able to transmit information at close to memory speeds,
Good example: tape, disk,
Bad example: keyboard.
>Device controller transfers blocks of data from buffer storage directly to main memory without CPU
>Only one interrupt is generated per block, rather than the one interrupt per byte

14- Explain migration of integer A fro disk to register ?

>Multitasking environments must be careful to use most recent value, no matter where it is stored in
the storage hierarchy.

>Multiprocessor environment must provide cache coherency in hardware such that all CPUs have the
most recent value in their cache
>Distributed environment situation even more complex(Several copies of a datum can exist).

15- What are the basic functions(goals) of an OS?(Repeated)

16- What is Dual-mode , and what are its types ?Explain mode bit provided by hardware ?

+Dual-mode operation allows OS to protect itself and other system components.

+Types of Dual-mode :
1) User mode
2) Kernel mode
+Mode bit :
>Provides ability to distinguish when system is running user code or kernel code.
>Some instructions designated as privileged, only executable in kernel mode.
>System call changes mode to kernel, return from call resets it to user.

17- What is clustered system , and what are the types of it ?

+ Clustered system :
> Multiple systems working together.
> Sharing storage via a storage-area network (SAN).
>Provides a high-availability service which survives failures.
> Some clusters are for high-performance computing (HPC).
+Types of clustered systems:
Asymmetric clustering .
Symmetric clustering .

18- What is the I/O structure difference between synchronous and asynchronous ?

+synchronous : (After I/O starts, control returns to user program only upon I/O completion)
Wait instruction idles the CPU until the next interrupt.
Wait loop (contention for memory access).
At most one I/O request is outstanding at a time, no simultaneous I/O processing.
+asynchronous : (After I/O starts, control returns to user program without waiting for I/O completion)
System call request to the operating system to allow user to wait for I/O completion.
Device-status table contains entry for each I/O device indicating its type, address, and
Operating system indexes into I/O device table to determine device status and to modify
table entry to include interrupt.

19- What is parallel system, and what are its advantages? List parallel system two types ?

+Parallel systems(Multiprocessors systems) are : two or more processors in close communication,

sharing bus and sometimes clock and memory.
+Advantages include:
1. Increased throughput.
2. Economy of scale.
3. Increased reliability graceful degradation or fault tolerance.
+Parallel systems types:
Asymmetric Multiprocessing
Symmetric Multiprocessing


Last Update : Thursday, 21 February 2013

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20- What is the cause of interrupt ? what can the system do to eliminate this problem (interrupt handling)?

+Device controller informs CPU that it has finished its operation by causing an interrupt
+interrupt handling :
1- The operating system preserves the state of the CPU by storing registers and the program counter.
2- Determines which type of interrupt has occurred:
vectored interrupt system
3- Separate segments of code determine what action should be taken for each type of interrupt.

21- What is (SAN) and (HPC) ?

+SAN Storage-area Network

+HPC High-performance Computing

22- What is OS activates through mass-storage management ?

1- Free-space management.
2- Storage allocation.
3- Disk scheduling.

Questions from text-book:

1.1 How are network computer different from traditional personal computers ? Describe some usage scenarios in
which it is advantageous to use network computers ?

A network computer relies on a centralized computer for most of its services. It can therefore have a
minimal operating system to manage its resources. A personal computer on the other hand has to
be capable of providing all of the required functionality in a standalone manner without relying on a
centralized manner. Scenarios where administrative costs are high and where sharing leads to more
efficient use of resources are precisely those settings where network computers
are preferred.

1.2 What network configuration would best suit the following environments ?
a. A dormitory floor
== A LAN
b. A university campus
== A LAN, possible a WAN for very large campuses.
c. A state
d. A nation
1.2 Give two reasons why caches are useful . What problems do they solve ?What problem do they cause ?If a
cache can be made as large as the device for which it is caching (for instance , a cache as large as a disk ), why
not make it that large and eliminate the device ?

Caches are useful when two or more components need to exchange data, and the components
perform transfers at differing speeds. Caches solve the transfer problem by providing a buffer of
intermediate speed between the components. If the fast device finds the data it needs in the cache,
it need not wait for the slower device. The data in the cache must be kept consistent with the data
in the components. If a component has a data value change, and the datum is also in the cache,
the cache must also be updated. This is especially a problem on multiprocessor systems where
more than one process may be accessing a datum. Component may be eliminated by an equal-sized
cache, but only if: (a) the cache and the component have equivalent state-saving capacity (that is, if
the component retains its data when electricity is removed, the cache must retain data as well), and
(b) the cache is affordable, because faster storage tends to be more expensive.

1.8 Describe a mechanism for enforcing memory protection in order to prevent a program from modifying the
memory associated with other programs .

The processor could keep track of what locations are associated with each process and limit access
to locations that are outside of a programs extent. Information regarding the extent of a programs
memory could be maintained by using base and limits registers and by performing a check for every
memory access.


Last Update : Thursday, 21 February 2013