The layer between your hardware and software. It manages disk input/output, memory allocation, graphic acceleration, hosting device drivers and various other resources.

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6
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1answer
118 views

How do non-realtime OSes capture audio without dropouts when sample rates are so high?

If I plug a line or USB microphone into my PC, I can record audio at 44.1kHz. That's one sample of audio about every 23 microseconds. The audio wave must be sampled and played back precisely or it ...
6
votes
4answers
781 views

Where can I download previous versions of Microsoft Operating Systems?

Like Windows ME, Windows 98, Windows NT and others. I want to test and compare operating systems for my satisfaction of learning new things.
6
votes
1answer
3k views

Theoretically possible to run two operating systems simultaneously?

A friend of mine asked a question that got me thinking. Is it possible (theoretically, I assume it hasn't been done) to run two operating systems simultaneously on the same computer? Not in the sense ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Kernel and User mode distinguishing

Who is responsible for determining that the process is in the Kernel mode or User mode? I know kernel knows which process is belong to what space, but how the CPU determines that? I mean should CPU be ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

What does BeOS have to offer to todays users? [closed]

The operating system BeOS was in active development between 1995 and 2001. POSIX compatible while not being unix based it was optimized for working with digital media. Does this operating system ...
6
votes
1answer
173 views

Is there a way to save the installed app list on Windows 8 RP?

I'm testing Windows 8 RP. Installed tens of apps from market. What I wanna know is, is there any way to save (or maybe sync with Windows Live account) installed app list, and install these saved ...
6
votes
2answers
13k views

2GB limit on 32bit operating systems

Does the 2GB limit on 32-bit operating systems mean that each process can only access 2GB of memory or that all processes together can only use 2GB of the physical memory in total? So, is the 2GB ...
6
votes
1answer
287 views

Possible to Boot install OS (Ubuntu/Windows 7) from hard drive folders/partition?

So I've been installing OSes from USB for sometime. Now when I am using Ubuntu mainly with Windows sometimes, I wanted to have a way to have multiple OS installers in 1 USB or even internal hard ...
6
votes
2answers
21k views

Is it possible to buy Windows 8 online as a digital download?

Is it possible to buy windows 8 online as a digital download? (the full install non-upgrade version) Similar to the way windows 8 upgrade can be bought as a digital download from ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How long will a USB key with an OS installed on it last? [closed]

I've heard numerous times that installing an OS on a USB key is a bad thing to do, as USBs typically have a certain number of writes before dying, and installing an OS on it will wear it out (unless ...
6
votes
3answers
928 views

Current operating systems for an 80286 PC [closed]

I just managed to resurrect an old 80286/10MHz PC with 2 MB of RAM that had died from an expired PSU capacitor. I am looking for an operating system that could run on that hardware. Preferably ...
5
votes
9answers
2k views

Running Linux inside Windows XP, ie no dual booting

What are the best options that allow running a Linux distribution, such as Ubuntu inside Windows XP, i.e. within a window? By "best" I mean quick startup time, low memory requirement, good graphical ...
5
votes
3answers
713 views

Why can't computers boot instantly?

Computers have been around for quite some time. So what is stopping us from making computers boot instantly like regular home appliances and other devices? Is it even possible? I know there is ...
5
votes
3answers
317 views

How does operating system software maintains time clocks?

This may sound a bit less relevant but I couldn't think of a better place to ask this question. Now consider this situation, you install an OS on your system, set the timezone and time, do some stuff ...
5
votes
6answers
484 views

Why 32bits OSs can't address more than 3.2/3.2 gb of memory?

Don't know if this is the right place to ask this question. I've been reading that 32bit OSs (like the Ubuntu i'm running right now) can't adress more than 3.2gb or 3.3gb of RAM memory. I remember ...
5
votes
5answers
282 views

Linux/Unix in Windows

What would be the best way to get the full-blown Unix/Linux bash inside Windows? I don't mean the Virtual Machine, but rather only the terminal with mounted NTFS drives. This way I could use the ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the meaning of those numbers in the second column after typing “ls -l”?

drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Jun 29 16:44 db drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Jun 29 16:44 djproject -rwxr-xr-x. 1 root root 38 Jun 29 16:44 index.html drwxr-xr-x. 2 root root 4096 Jun 29 16:44 jobs ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Understanding “Flat memory model” and “Segmented memory model”

I am trying to understand Flat memory model and Segmented memory model. Are Flat memory model and Segmented memory model determined by CPU architecture or OS or both? Or are they not determined by ...
5
votes
11answers
4k views

What is the oldest Windows operating system to run on a modern (2007-2009) computer? [closed]

As I'm soon wiping my computer clean to install Windows 7, I had an idea of trying out some older operating systems on new hardware to see how the user experience is (especially regarding boot time ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Difference between SIZE and SIZE ON DISK on a pc? Why is SIZE ON DISK always greater? [duplicate]

I created a simple text file. I saw its size. it was 0 bytes. Then i entered alphabet 'a' and checked the size of it. IT says: Size : 1 bytes Size on disk: 4.00 KB(4096 bytes) What is the ...
5
votes
4answers
12k views

ISO image of Operating Systems

What is meant by an ISO image of a Operating System? How can I make an ISO of an OS? When would you use ISO images of an OS?
5
votes
2answers
225 views

32-bit to 64-bit skipping 48-bit?

Computer architecture upgraded from 16-bit to 32-bit to 64-bit. What was the logic for skipping 48-bit? What reasoning was used to upgrade to 64-bit and not some other exponent? The following tables ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

What do the terms “asynchronous” and “synchronous” mean, with respect to the definition of an interrupt?

Quoted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interrupt: an interrupt is an asynchronous signal indicating the need for attention or a synchronous event in software indicating the need for a change ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

10,000 RPM HDD (WD VelociRaptor) vs SSD for OS?

I currently have a 10,00RPM 150GB Raptor that I use for Vista. I'm about to upgrade to Windows 7, and while doing that I thought I'd buy another drive and install Ubuntu 9.10 on it. I don't want to ...
5
votes
7answers
745 views

List Of Free OS Or Technical Books [closed]

In the spirit of this question on stackoverflow.com I would like to compile a list of open source/creative commons/public domain technical guides. My original thought was to list books only for ...
5
votes
5answers
479 views

Old Technologies About Floppy

I have a floppy disk with an unknown FS-(FileSystem). I want to make a copy from it but I can't because both Windows and Linux seem to be unable to read from it. I tried many of the most popular apps ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

How do multi-core CPUs work?

I know, vague question title, but my main question is, does 1 core have to execute only one program at a time? Does the "multitasking" at the CPU level work by switching between tasks, and if so, why? ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

How to port Firefox OS to ordinary computers?

I loved the B2G project. But unfortunately it only works with smartphones (ARM architecture). Although, some people are hacking its code in order to port it to other platforms (it's the case in this ...
5
votes
4answers
573 views

Operating System with tag-based filesystem

Is there an OS that, instead of a hierarchical filesystem based on directories, uses tags? A problem with directory hierarchies is that a file often belongs into more than one category. Some systems ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Serial mouse does't work without restart, but USB mouse will. Why?

When I connect a USB mouse to a working system, it will work fine but serial mouse isn't recognized by the system? To get the serial mouse working, I need to restart the system. Why is this?
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Platform vs operating system

I have been using the term platform and operating system to mean the same until now. For example: Windows and MAC are two platforms or operating systems. When it comes to different versions of windows ...
5
votes
3answers
259 views

Are operating systems able to run on different hardware?

My friend boots Linux from an external hard disk (500 GB). My question is he installs the operating system for one particular motherboard processor; the system may have additional stuff like a ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Tools to view/edit user space memory of running processes?

Are there any tools to view/edit user space memory of running processes on Linux? It would be a great learning tool.
5
votes
2answers
2k views

If “top” indicates CPU is spending 10% on %wa (iowait), does that mean the CPU is idle?

I am referring to the Linux top command. If it indicates 10.4% was spent on wa, does that mean 10.4% CPU was available for other processes? top - 09:40:45 up 178 days, 34 min, 1 user, load ...
5
votes
4answers
35k views

An operating system wasn't found

When I boot my computer, it boots fine. When I restart it though, I get the following error: An operating system wasn't found. Try disconnecting any drives that don't contain an operating system. ...
5
votes
3answers
8k views

How to install OpenWRT on an x86 computer with SATA hard drive

I've tried to install OpenWRT Backfire 10.03.1-rc6 x86_generic combined ext2 on my x86 PC, but the boot process stops while "waiting for root device /dev/sda2". Forums have advised me to build a ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Which Linux distribution is Google Chrome OS based on?

I'm interested to know which Linux distribution the upcoming Google Chrome operating system will be based on. Does anyone know?
4
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a free version of Red-Hat Linux for home desktops?

Is there a free edition of Red-Hat for home desktops?
4
votes
5answers
331 views

What OS to use, or build myself, to just show a browser after starting up?

I was reading about Linux and found out that you can apparently custom build your own operating system. The thing is, it all sounds great for what I would like to do but my knowledge in that area is ...
4
votes
2answers
936 views

Windows NT after Windows 9x

Windows NT 4.0 was the last "NT"-labeled operating system, but the NT naming convention is still used - 5.0, 6.0, 10.0, etc. Mike Meyers says Windows 2000 was the first step toward changing this ...
4
votes
8answers
68k views

How to Install Windows XP over Windows 7?

I have a Dell laptop that came pre-installed with Windows 7. When I try to install Windows XP on it, Windows 7 does not allow me to. I don't want a dual boot system, I just want Windows XP on my ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

How does an OS communicate with other hardware components?

How can a program running on a CPU (mostly OS) access other PC hardware? Such as Graphic card, HDD and so? From what I read, in DOS, this was done using BIOS calls, specifically the INT instruction. ...
4
votes
7answers
7k views

What is a fast and modern OS for an old iBook G3?

I have a couple old iBooks G3 with 800 MHz, 256MB RAM and a CD drive. I am looking for suggestions of what would be the best OS to install. The OS should have a modern web browser and be fast. ...
4
votes
2answers
509 views

device driver and kernel

Are device drivers part of a OS kernel, or outside the kernel, or some are part of the kernel and others are outside the kernel? If the third is correct, what devices' drivers are usually part of ...
4
votes
4answers
412 views

What operating system can I use to turn my old computer into a home server?

I have a old desktop computer that I want to make a home server for file sharing purposes. It has 512 MB RAM and few GB of hard drive. Which operating system should be reasonable for this kind of slow ...
4
votes
1answer
230 views

Installing Windows 1.04

I have Windows 1.04 on seven 5¼" disks, and I have a Dell from 2000 with a 5¼" floppy drive connected up. Now with the first disk in, and with the BIOS set up to boot from A:, after the normal Dell ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

OEM Operating System for an Existing PC

Say that I'd recently purchased 10 PCs from a retailer, but ordered them without any OEM operating systems, am I then at a later date allowed to go back to the same retailer and purchase 10 copies of ...
4
votes
4answers
369 views

What are the risks (if any) of installing an older version of Linux

My machine has limited RAM capacity. Newer Linux distributions seem to require more memory (often 1 GB or more) and seem to consume more than 500 MB on itself. Is it safe to use an older version of ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

is it possible to set hidden attribute on file/folder for windows from linux?

I want to hide 1 folder in my pen drive for Windows but from Ubuntu, is it possible if yes then how?
4
votes
3answers
1k views

External hard drive how to format it?

I just bought a hard drive of 500GB that I want to use on Mac OS X and GNU/Linux but be able to use some file on Windows. Basically I have to deal with FAT32 (That doesn't support file over 4GB), ...