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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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 ...
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7answers
854 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

Difference between programs compiled for different OS

On a compiled code standpoint what is the difference between a program compiled for one os vs another (Linux vs windows for instance). Doesn't the program run directly on the cpu? Or is it because the ...
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5answers
581 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 ...
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4answers
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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? ...
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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 ...
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1answer
13k views

How do preferred and alternate or multiple DNS servers work?

I was considering adding 8.8.8.8 to the end of my adapter's list of DNS servers as a backup in case everything fails, when it occurred to me that I don't really know how secondary and tertiary DNS ...
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4answers
692 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

What does an ACPI BIOS configure during boot?

When a PC boots with an ACPI BIOS, what does it exactly do? I understand that the point of ACPI is to allow the OS to control hardware resources and power management but before the OS is loaded ...
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1answer
3k 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?
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1answer
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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.
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280 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 ...
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1answer
1k views

How does SSH tunneling work at low level?

I am interested in the exact mechanism that occurs when an SSH tunnel is stablished. Supposing we have 3 computers: LOCAL host, INTERMEDIATE host, and REMOTE host, with this topology: Localhost --- ...
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2answers
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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 average:...
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1answer
2k views

Windows 10: Error accessing certain settings

I've just completed a clean install of Windows 10 Pro on my Thinkpad W520 (4270cto) and I've noticed a strange error that occurs when attempting to adjust certain system settings. For example, if I ...
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1answer
18k views

how to fix empty turn windows features on or off

I am running win 7 home premium, and now I see my windows and features list is always empty, i tried many solutions but nothing did it. I tried this last thing but failed to solve as well
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3answers
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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 ...
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5answers
337 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 ...
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4answers
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Redirect stdout while a process is running — What is that process sending to /dev/null

I've run a command and redirected it's output via > /dev/null Now that it's been running significantly longer than I expected I want to see what it's doing. Is there a way to re-redirect the ...
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4answers
10k 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. ...
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5answers
1k views

Why do modern pre-emptive multitasking OSs hang when the CPU is loaded?

This is an open-ended question, with many possible answers, but perhaps there's one big thing I'm overlooking. If not, perhaps this question should be community wiki. I don't use other OSs often ...
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7answers
8k 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. ...
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2answers
731 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 ...
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4answers
448 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 ...
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3answers
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What is RPC and why is it so important?

From the beginning, I've heard that you never, ever disable the Remote Procedure Call service in Windows. Doing so leads to horrible things that used to be hard to overturn (I believe that it's no ...
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3answers
332 views

What is the Linux equivalent of FAT and how does it relate to block devices?

New to Linux and am having a tough time understanding some basic OS concepts. What is the Linux version of FAT, and how does it relate to these so-called "blocks" or block devices?
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1answer
255 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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4answers
418 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 ...
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2answers
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What is the difference between RTM, GA and GOLD versions?

I am absolutely puzzled here: What is the difference between RTM, GA(Gerneral Availability) and final GOLD version? For example for Windows 8: RTM - Microsoft sends this version to ASUS, Acer, ...
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4answers
3k 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?
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3answers
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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), ...
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4answers
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Is it possible to set PATH on Mac OS X Lion without restarting?

Is there a way to set the PATH on /etc/paths without the need to reboot your Mac? I know I can do it using an alias but it's not permanent. For example, I want to set the PATH for MySQL.
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Minimal OS for running virtual machines

Is there a minimalistic operating system built purely for the purpose of running virtual machines (preferrably open source / otherwise free)? If not, let's say I decided to do something like Linux ...
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2answers
613 views

Can someone explain to me how the CPU finds the source of an interrupt in OS theory?

I am currently doing a module in Operating Systems theory and I have a few concepts that I am unable to grasp - would this be the right place to ask questions ? My main question is about interrupts. ...
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3answers
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What does it really mean when CPU usage is 0% in the Windows Task Manager?

I don't know if there's any instruction that could make the CPU idle. And I also notice that there's a System Idle Process that use 99% of the CPU when the CPU usage is shown to be 0%. What is this ...
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2answers
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Where are Page tables stored

My question is "where are the page tables stored: in physical memory (RAM) or as some data structure in User space". PS: What I have understood so far: A process memory layout has few segments ( ...
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1answer
8k views

what is the use of bootnxt file in windows 8 installation disc

while exploring the installation media of windows operating system i could see the following list of files : Boot mgr - the boot sector loads the Windows Boot Manager (hidden system file BOOTMGR in ...
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2answers
302 views

How does windows 8 prevent BIOS access

I am trying to get a better understanding of how BIOS and operating systems work. From what I understand, BIOS is a basic piece of software that is the first thing to be run when a computer turns on ...
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1answer
128 views

What are the differences between “enterprise” and “home” Linux distributions?

Simply as the title says, what are the main differences between these two kind of distributions? Being Linux basically suited to be tailored to each own preferences and fully customizable in every ...
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4answers
391 views

The technical reasons to make 64 bit OS slower

From this post, I read the following comment. If you only have 2GB, I recommend you install 32 bit version, 64 bit will be much slower (because of several technical reasons about 64 bit ...
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2answers
111 views

What does gate mean in the Multics operating system?

I read Multics operating system. In the segment descriptor word (book) there is one part for number of gates for the segment. What does gate mean? I know the process can enter a higher-privileged ring ...
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votes
2answers
7k views

File sharing user limits

Each OS has a limit to the number of users that can access a computers shared folders at one time. XP has 10, 7 has 20. At one time I thought I saw a site where the limit for most OS's were listed. I'...
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2answers
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How to install Windows 8 in a system which has Ubuntu 12.04 and Windows 7 installed already?

I have a system in which I have installed Windows 7 first. I then installed Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) to the system. Now, the boot manager is GRUB and everything works fine as Ubuntu ...
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1answer
9k views

How to reduce Windows 8 system size?

Windows 8 consumer preview version is released. Anybody try out to reduce Windows 8 size? I have verified the method for Windows 7 is cannot workable on Windows 8.
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2answers
3k views

Difference Between Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded

What is the diiference between Windows XP and Windows XP Embedded environment and pros/cons of both these environments.
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1answer
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Does Operating System modify BIOS in any way?

I am reading the book: How Computers Work: The Evolution of Technology and in Chapter 4 the author says: The operating system does not work alone. It depends not only on the cooperation of other ...
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Booting from USB with UEFI bios to install Windows 8.1

I have a Lenovo 11e Yoga laptop. I have installed a new, blank SSD in the system and now I want to reinstall Windows 8.1 (which is what the laptop came with). I created a bootable USB stick using ...
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1answer
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How can I force the boot menu to always show up at start up without pressing F10?

I have Visual Studio 2010 installed on Windows 7 on one hard disk and Visual Studio 2012 installed on Windows 7 on another hard disk in the same computer. When I start up my system, I want the boot ...
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1answer
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Can I run Windows on a Macintosh (Mac Mini) computer as the default OS like any other PC?

I do not want to use mac OS at all, I just like the hardware. I dont want to use Paralels or Boot Camp. I think that it is possible because both Macintosh OS and Windows run on x86 or x64.