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Page 114
where the
call makes a seek to byte 3 of the file. What does
contain after
the read has completed?
Suppose that a 10-MB file is stored on a disk on the same track (track 50) in consecu-
tive sectors. The disk arm is currently situated over track number 100.
How long will
it take to retrieve this file from the disk? Assume that it takes about 1 ms to move the
arm from one cylinder to the next and about 5 ms for the sector where the beginning of
the file is stored to rotate under the head. Also, assume that reading occurs at a rate of
200 MB/s.
What is the essential difference between a block special file and a character special
In the example given in Fig. 1-17, the library procedure is called
and the system
call itself is called
Is it essential that both of these have the same name?
If not,
which one is more important?
Modern operating systems decouple a process address space from the machine’s physi-
cal memory.
List two advantages of this design.
To a programmer, a system call looks like any other call to a library procedure.
Is it
important that a programmer know which library procedures result in system calls?
Under what circumstances and why?
Figure 1-23 shows that a number of UNIX system calls have no Win32 API equiv-
alents. For each of the calls listed as having no Win32 equivalent, what are the conse-
quences for a programmer of converting a UNIX program to run under Windows?
A portable operating system is one that can be ported from one system architecture to
another without any modification. Explain why it is infeasible to build an operating
system that is completely portable. Describe two high-level layers that you will have in
designing an operating system that is highly portable.
Explain how separation of policy and mechanism aids in building microkernel-based
operating systems.
Virtual machines have become very popular for a variety of reasons.
they have some downsides. Name one.
Here are some questions for practicing unit conversions:
(a) How long is a nanoyear in seconds?
(b) Micrometers are often called microns. How long is a megamicron?
(c) How many bytes are there in a 1-PB memory?
(d) The mass of the earth is 6000 yottagrams. What is that in kilograms?
Write a shell that is similar to Fig. 1-19 but contains enough code that it actually works
so you can test it. You might also add some features such as redirection of input and
output, pipes, and background jobs.
If you have a personal UNIX-like system (Linux, MINIX 3, FreeBSD, etc.)
that you can safely crash and reboot, write a shell script that attempts to create an
unlimited number of child processes and observe what happens. Before running the
experiment, type
to the shell to flush the file system buffers to disk to avoid

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