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Introduction to Operating Systems If you are taking an undergraduate operating systems course,
 

Summary: 2
Introduction to Operating Systems
If you are taking an undergraduate operating systems course,
you should already have some idea of what a computer pro-
gram does when it runs. If not, the course is going to difficult
so you should probably drop the course, or run to the nearest
bookstore and quickly consume the necessary background ma-
terial (both Patt/Patel [PP03] and Bryant/O'Halloran [BOH10]
are pretty great books).
So what happens when a program runs?
Well, a running program does one very simple thing: it exe-
cutes instructions. Many millions (and these days, even billions)
of times every second, the processor fetches an instruction from
memory, decodes it (i.e., figures out which instruction this is),
and executes it (i.e., it does the thing that it is supposed to do,
like add two numbers together, access memory, check a condi-
tion, and so forth). After it is done with this instruction, the
processor moves on to the next instruction, and so on, and so
on, until the program finally completes1
.

  

Source: Arpaci-Dusseau, Remzi - Department of Computer Sciences, Department of Computer Sciences, University of Wisconsin at Madison

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences