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CS439: Principles of Computer Systems

Homework 2, Part 1

Due: 9:45a Thursday, September 11, 2014

Part 1 of the homeworks must be submitted electronically. Please refer to the homework turnin instructions.

  1. What are "privileged instructions"? Name three situations in which privileged instructions are required.
  2. From Anderson and Dahlin, Ch1 question 1:
    Suppose a computer system and all of its applications are completely bug free. Suppose further that everyone in the world is completely honest and trustworthy. In other words, we do not need to consider fault isolation.

    • How should the operating system allocate the processor? Should it give all of the processor to each application until it no longer needs it? If there are multiple tasks ready to execute at the same time, should it schedule the task with the least amount of work to do or the most? Justify your answer.
      You may assume a uniprocessor.
    • How should the operating system allocate physical memory between applications? What should happen if the set of applications does not all fit in memory at the same time?
  3. From Anderson and Dahlin, Ch1 question 2:
    Now suppose the computer system needs to support fault isolation. What hardware and/or operating support do you think would be needed to protect an application's data structure in memory from being corrupted by other applications? Assume more than one application may reside in memory at a time.
  4. A typical hardware architecture provides an instruction called return from interrupt, which is abbreviated by something like rti. This instruction, which is usually only available while the machine is running in kernel mode, switches the mode of operation from kernel mode to user mode.

    • Explain under what circumstances this instruction would be used by the operating system.
    • What happens if an application program executes this instruction?
  5. Given the following piece of code:
       main(int argc, char** argv)
       void forkThem(int n)

    How many processes are created if the above piece of code is run?

  6. What differentiates a program, an executable, and a process?