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1.2 Types of operating system and history
1.2.1 Types of operating system
1.2.2 History of the operating systems

1.2 Types of operating system and history

In this section we present types of operating system and history of the development of the operating systems

1.2.1 Types of operating system

Modern computer operating systems may be classified into three groups, which are distinguished by the nature of interaction that takes place between the computer user and his or her program during its processing. The three groups are called batch, time-shared and real time operating systems.

In a batch processing operating system environment users submit jobs to a central place where these jobs are collected into a batch, and subsequently placed on an input queue at the computer where they will be run. In this case, the user has no interaction with the job during its processing, and the computerís response time is the turnaround time-the time from submission of the job until execution is complete, and the results are ready for return to the person who submitted the job.

Another mode for delivering computing services is provided by time sharing operating systems. In this environment a computer provides computing services to several or many users concurrently on-line. Here, the various users are sharing the central processor, the memory, and other resources of the computer system in a manner facilitated, controlled, and monitored by the operating system. The user, in this environment, has nearly full interaction with the program during its execution, and the computerís response time may be expected to be no more than a few second.

The third class of operating systems, real time operating systems, are designed to service those applications where response time is of the essence in order to prevent error, misrepresentation or even disaster. Examples of real time operating systems are those which handle airlines reservations, machine tool control, and monitoring of a nuclear power station. The systems, in this case, are designed to be interrupted by external signal that require the immediate attention of the computer system.

In fact, many computer operating systems are hybrids, providing for more than one of these types of computing service simultaneously. It is especially common to have a background batch system running in conjunction with one of the other two on the same computer.

A number of other definitions are important to gaining an understanding of operating systems:

A multiprogramming operating system is a system that allows more than one active user program (or part of user program) to be stored in main memory simultaneously.

Thus, it is evident that a time-sharing system is a multiprogramming system, but note that a multiprogramming system is not necessarily a time-sharing system. A batch or real time operating system could, and indeed usually does, have more than one active user program simultaneously in main storage. Another important, and all too similar, term is Ďmultiprocessingí.

A multiprocessing system is a computer hardware configuration that includes more than one independent processing unit. The term multiprocessing is generally used to refer to large computer hardware complexes found in major scientific or commercial applications.

A networked computing system is a collection of physical interconnected computers. The operating system of each of the interconnected computers must contain, in addition to its own stand-alone functionality, provisions for handing communication and transfer of program and data among the other computers with which it is connected.

A distributed computing system consists of a number of computers that are connected and managed so that they automatically share the job processing load among the constituent computers, or separate the job load as appropriate particularly configured processors. Such a system requires an operating system which, in addition to the typical stand-alone functionality, provides coordination of the operations and information flow among the component computers.

The networked and distributed computing environments and their respective operating systems are designed with more complex functional capabilities. In a network operating system the users are aware of the existence of multiple computers, and can log in to remote machines and copy files from one machine to another. Each machine runs its own local operating system and has its own user (or users).

A distributed operating system, in contrast, is one that appears to its users as a traditional uniprocessor system, even though it is actually composed of multiple processors. In a true distributed system, users should not be aware of where their programs are being run or where their files are located; that should all be handled automatically and efficiently by the operating system.

Network operating systems are not fundamentally different from single processor operating systems. They obviously need a network interface controller and some low-level software to drive it, as well as programs to achieve remote login and remote files access, but these additions do not change the essential structure of the operating systems.

True distributed operating systems require more than just adding a little code to a uniprocessor operating system, because distributed and centralized systems differ in critical ways. Distributed systems, for example, often allow program to run on several processors at the same time, thus requiring more complex processor scheduling algorithms in order to optimize the amount of parallelism achieved.

1.2.2 History of the operating systems

To see what operating systems are and what operating systems do, let us consider how they have developed over the last 30 years. By tracing that evolution we can identify the common elements of operating systems, and see how, and why they developed as they are now.

Operating systems and computer architecture have a great deal of influence on each other. To facilitate the use of the hardware, operating systems were developed. As operating system were designed and used, it became obvious that changes in the design of the hardware could simplify the operating system. In this short historical review, notice how the introduction of new hardware features is the natural solution to many operating system problems.

Operating systems have been evolving over the years. We will briefly look at this development. Since operating systems have historically been closely tied to the architecture of the computers on which they run, we will look at successive generations of computers to see what their operating systems were like. This mapping of operating systems generations to computer generations is admittedly crude, but it does provide some structure where there would otherwise be none.

Because the history of computer operating systems parallels that of computer hardware, it can be generally divided into five distinct time periods, called generations, that are characterized by hardware component technology, software development, and mode of delivery of computer services.

The Zeroth Generation

The term zeroth generation is used to refer to the period of development of computing, which predated the commercial production ans sale of computer equipment. The period might be dated as extending from the mid-1800s, and Charles Babbageís Analytical Engine, to the development of the fist commercial computer in 1951. In particular, this period witnessed the emergence of the first electronics digital computers on the ABC, designed by John Atanasoff in 1940; the Mark I, built by Howard Aiken and a group of IBM engineers at Harvard in 1944; and the ENIAC, designed and constructed at the University of Pennylvania by Wallace Eckert anf John Mauchly. Perhaps the most significant of these early computers was the EDVAC, developed in 1944-46 by John von Neumann, Arthur Burks, and Herman Goldstine, since it was the first to fully implement the idea of the stored program and serial execution of instructions. The development of EDVAC set the stage for the evolution of commercial computing and operating system software. The hardware component technology of this period was electronic vacuum tubes.

The actual operation of these early computers took place without be benefit of an operating system. Early programs were written in machine language and each contained code for initiating operation of the computer itself.

The mode of operation was called "open-shop" and this meant that users signed up for computer time and when a userís time arrived, the entire (in those days quite large) computer system was turned over to the user. The individual user (programmer) was responsible for all machine set up and operation, and subsequent clean-up and preparation for the next user. This system was clearly inefficient and depended on the varying competencies of the individual programmer as operators.

The First Generation, 1951-1956

The first generation marked the beginning of commercial computing, including the introduction of Eckert and Mauchlyís UNIVAC I in early 1951, and a bit later, The IBM 701 which was also known as the Defense Calculator. The first generation was characterized again by the vacuum tube as the active component technology.

Operation continued without the benefit of an operating system for a time. The mode was called "closed shop" and was characterized by the appearance of hired operators who would select the job to be run, initial program load the system, run the userís program, and then select another job, and so forth. Programs began to be written in higher level, procedure-oriented languages, and thus the operatorís routine expanded. The operator now selected a job, ran the translation program to assemble or compile the source program, combined the translated object program along with any existing library programs that the program might need for input to the linking program, loaded and ran the composite linked program, and then handled the next job in a similar fashion.

Application programs were run one at a time, and were translated with absolute computer addresses that bound them to be loaded and run from these preassigned storage addresses set by the translator, obtaining their data from specific physical I/O device. There was no provision for moving a program to different location in storage for any reason. Similarly, a program bound to specific devices could not be run at all if any of these devices were busy or broken.

The inefficiencies inherent in the above methods of operation led to the development of the monoprogrammed operating system, which eliminated some of the human intervention in running job and provided programmers with a number of desirable functions. The OS consisted of a permanently resident kernel in main storage, and a job scheduler and a number of utility programs kept in secondary storage. User application programs were preceded by control or specification cards (in those day, computer program were submitted on data cards) which informed the OS of what system resources (software resources such as compilers and loaders; and hardware resources such as tape drives and printer) were needed to run a particular application. The systems were designed to be operated as batch processing system.

These systems continued to operate under the control of a human operator who initiated operation by mounting a magnetic tape that contained the operating system executable code onto a "boot device", and then pushing the IPL (initial program load) or "boot" button to initiate the bootstrap loading of the operating system. Once the system was loaded, the operator entered the date and time, and then initiated the operation of the job scheduler program which read and interpreted the control statements, secured the needed resources, executed the first user program, recorded timing and accounting information, and then went back to begin processing of another user program, and so on, as long as there were programs waiting in the input queue to be executed.

The first generation saw the evolution from hands-on operation to closed shop operation to the development of monoprogrammed operating systems. At the same time, the development of programming languages was moving away from the basic machine languages; first to assembly language, and later to procedure oriented languages, the most significant being the development of FORTRAN by John W. Backus in 1956. Serveral problems remained, however. The most obvious was the inefficient use of system resources, which was most evident when the CPU waited while the relatively slower, mechanical I/O devices were reading or writing program data. In addition, system protection was a problem because the operating system kernel was not protected from being overwritten by an erroneous application program. Moreover, other user programs in the queue were not protected from destruction by executing programs.

The second Generation, 1956-1964

The second generation of computer hardware was most notably characterized by transistors replacing vacuum tubes as the hardware component technology. In addition, some very important changes in hardware and software architectures occurred during this period. For the most part, computer systems remained card and tape-oriented systems. Significant use of random access devices, that is, disks, did not appear until towards the end of the second generation. Program processing was, for the most part, provided by large centralized computers operated under monoprogrammed batch processing operating systems.

The most significant innovations addressed the problem of excessive central processor delay due to waiting for input/output operations. Recall that programs were executed by processing the machine instructions in a strictly sequential order. As a result, the CPU, with its high speed electronic component, was often forced to wait for completion of I/O operations which involved mechanical devices (card readers and tape drives) that were order of magnitude slower. This problem led to the introduction of the data channel, an integral, special-purpose computer with its own instruction set, registers, and control unit designed to process input/output operations separate and asynchronously from the operation of the computerís main CPU near the end of the first generation, and its widespread adoption in the second generation.

The data channel allowed some I/O to be buffered. That is, a programís input data could be read "ahead" from data cards or tape into a special block of memory called a buffer. Then, when the userís program came to an input statement, the data could be transferred from the buffer locations at the faster main memory access speed rather than the slower I/O device speed. Similarly, a programís output could be written another buffer and later moved from the buffer to the printer, tape, or card punch. What made this all work was the data channelís ability to work asynchronously and concurrently with the main processor. Thus, the slower mechanical I/O could be happening concurrently with main program processing. This process was called I/O overlap.

The data channel was controlled by a channel program set up by the operating system I/O control routines and initiated by a special instruction executed by the CPU. Then, the channel independently processed data to or from the buffer. This provided communication from the CPU to the data channel to initiate an I/O operation. It remained for the channel to communicate to the CPU such events as data errors and the completion of a transmission. At first, this communication was handled by polling-the CPU stopped its work periodically and polled the channel to determine if there were any massage.

Polling was obviously inefficient (imagine stopping your work periodically to go to the post office to see if an expected letter has arrived) and led to another significant innovation of the second generation - the interrupt. The data. channel was now able to interrupt the CPU with a message- usually "I/O complete." In fact, the interrupt idea was later extended from I/O to allow signaling of number of exceptional conditions such as arithmetic overflow, division by zero and time-run-out. Of course, interval clocks were added in conjunction with the latter, and thus operating system came to have a way of regaining control from an exceptionally long or indefinitely looping program.

These hardware developments led to enhancements of the operating system. I/O and data channel communication and control became functions of the operating system, both to relieve the application programmer from the difficult details of I/O programming and to protect the integrity of the system to provide improved service to users by segmenting jobs and running shorter jobs first (during "prime time") and relegating longer jobs to lower priority or night time runs. System libraries became more widely available and more comprehensive as new utilities and application software components were available to programmers.

In order to further mitigate the I/O wait problem, system were set up to spool the input batch from slower I/O devices such as the card reader to the much higher speed tape drive and similarly, the output from the higher speed tape to the slower printer. Initially, this way accomplished by means of one or more physically separate small satellite computers. In this scenario, the user submitted a job at a window, a batch of jobs was accumulated and spooled from cards to tape "off line," the tape was moved to the main computer, the jobs were run, and their output was collected on another tape that later was taken to a stellite computer for off line tape-to-printer output. used then picked up their output at the submission windows.

Toward the end of this period, as random access devices became available, tape-oriented operating system began to be replaced by disk-oriented systems. With the more sophisticated disk hardware and the operating system supporting a greater portion of the programmerís work, the computer system that users saw was more and more removed from the actual hardware - users saw a virtual machine.

The second generation was a period of intense operating system development. Also it was the period for sequential batch processing. But the sequential processing of one job at a time remained a significant limitation. Thus, there continued to be low CPU utilization for I/O bound jobs and low I/O device utilization for CPU bound jobs. This was a major concern, since computers were still very large (room-size) and expensive machines. Researchers began to experiment with multiprogramming and multiprocessing in their computing services called the time-sharing system. A noteworthy example is the compatible Time Sharing System (CTSS), developed at MIT during the early 1960s.

The Third Generation, 1964-1979

The third generation officially began in April 1964 with IBMís announcement of its System/360 family of computers. Hardware technology began to use integrated circuits (ICs) which yielded significant advantages in both speed and economy.

Operating system development continued with the introduction and widespread adoption of multiprogramming. This marked first by the appearance of more sophisticated I/O buffering in the form of spooling operating systems, such as the HASP (Houston Automatic Spooling) system that accompanied the IBM OS/360 system. These systems worked by introducing two new systems programs, a system reader to move input jobs from cards to disk, and a system writer to move job output from disk to printer, tape, or cards. Operation of spooling system was, as before, transparent to the computer user who perceived input as coming directly from the cards and output going directly to the printer.

The idea of taking fuller advantage of the computerís data channel I/O capabilities continued to develop. That is, designers recognized that I/O needed only to be initiated by a CPU instruction - the actual I/O data transmission could take place under control of separate and asynchronously operating channel program. Thus, by switching control of the CPU between the currently executing user program, the system reader program, and the system writer program, it was possible to keep the slower mechanical I/O device running and minimize the amount of time the CPU spent waiting for I/O completion. The net result was an increase in system throughput and resource utilization, to the benefit of both user and providers of computer services.

This concurrent operation of three programs (more properly, apparent concurrent operation, since systems had only one CPU, and could, therefore execute just one instruction at time) required that additional features and complexity be added to the operating system. First, the fact that the input queue was now on disk, a direct access device, freed the system scheduler from the first-come-first-served policy so that it could select the "best" next job to enter the system (looking for either the shortest job or the highest priority job in the queue). Second, since the CPU was to be shared by the user program, the system reader, and the system writer, some processor allocation rule or policy was needed. Since the goal of spooling was increase resource utilization by enabling the slower I/O devices to run asynchronously with user program processing, and since I/O processing required the CPU only for short periods to initiate data channel instructions, the CPU was dispatched to the reader the writer, and the program in that order. Moreover, if the writer or the user program was executing when something became available to read, the reader program would preempt the currently executing program to regain control of the CPU for its initiation instruction, and the writer program would preempt the user program for the same purpose. This rule, called the static priority rule with preemption, was implemented in the operating system as a system dispatcher program.

The spooling operating system in fact had multiprogramming since more than one program was resident in main storage at the same time. Later this basic idea of multiprogramming was extended to include more than one active user program in memory at time. To accommodate this extension, both the scheduler and the dispatcher were enhanced. The scheduler became able to manage the diverse resource needs of the several concurrently active use programs, and the dispatcher included policies for allocating processor resources among the competing user programs. In addition, memory management became more sophisticated in order to assure that the program code for each job or at least that part of the code being executed, was resident in main storage.

The advent of large scale multiprogramming was made possible by several important hardware innovations. The fist was the widespread availability of large capacity, high speed disk units to accommodate the spooled input streams and the memory overflow together with the maintenance of several concurrently active program in execution. The second was relocation hardware which facilitated the moving of blocks of code within memory without an undue overhead penalty. Third was the availability of storage protecting hardware to ensure that user jobs are protected from one another and that the operating system itself is protected from user programs. Some of these hardware innovations involved extensions to the interrupt system in order to handle a variety of external conditions such as program malfunctions, storage protection violations, and machine checks in addition to I/O interrupts. In addition, the interrupt system became the technique for the user program to request services from the operating system kernel. Finally, the advent of privileged instructions allowed the operating system to maintain coordination and control over the multiple activities now going on with in the system.

Successful implementation of multiprogramming opened the way for the development of a new way of delivering computing services-time-sharing. In this environment, several terminals, sometimes up to 200 of them, were attached (hard wired or via telephone lines) to a central computer. Users at their terminals, "logged in" to the central system, and worked interactively with the system. The systemís apparent concurrency was enabled by the multiprogramming operating system. Users shared not only the systemí hardware but also its software resources and file system disk space.

The third generation was an exciting time, indeed, for the development of both computer hardware and the accompanying operating system. During this period, the topic of operating systems became, in reality, a major element of the discipline of computing.

The Fourth Generation, 1979 - Present

The fourth generation is characterized by the appearance of the personal computer and the workstation. Miniaturization of electronic circuits and components continued and large scale integration (LSI), the component technology of the third generation, was replaced by very large scale integration (VLSI), which characterizes the fourth generation. VLSI with its capacity for containing thousands of transistors on a small chip, made possible the development of desktop computers with capabilities exceeding those that filled entire rooms and floors of building just twenty years earlier.

The operating system that control these desktop machines have brought us back in a full circle, to the open shop type of environment where each user occupies an entire computer for the duration of a jobís execution. This works better now, not only because the progress made over the years has made the virtual computer resulting from the operating system/hardware combination so much easier to use or, in the words of the popular press "user-friendly."

However, improvements in hardware miniaturization and technology have evolved so fast that we now have inexpensive workstation-class computer capable of supporting multiprogramming and time-sharing. Hence the operating systems that supports todayís personal computers and workstations look much like those which were available for the minicomputers of the third generation. Examples are Microsoftís DOS for IBM-compatible personal computers and UNIX for workstation. However, many of these desktop computers are now connected as networked or distributed systems. Computers in a networked system each have their operating system augmented with communication capabilities that enable users to remotely log into any system on the network and transfer information among machines that are connected to the network. The machines that make up distributed system operate as a virtual single processor system from the userís point of view; a central operating system controls and makes transparent the location in the system of the particular processor or processors and file systems that are handling any given program.


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