Microcomputer Systems Guide in Operating Systems
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Microcomputer Systems Guide in Operating Systems

Microcomputer Systems Guide in Operating Systems

 Monitors and Operating Systems

The title "monitors and operating systems" refers to a set of system programs that provide three major functions:

  1. A logical interface between the hardware and the software.
  2. A logical interface between the user and the software.
  3. A logical interface between the user and data stored on "external" storage devices such as tape or diskette.

If the set of systems programs are stored in ROM and only ROM, then it is called a monitor that normally controls the execution of all programs. Moreover,all programs use the monitor during execution. Typical monitor capabilities are:

  1.  Automatic startup from ROM.
  2. Handling standard input from the keyboard and output to the video display.
  3. Examining and changing,moving, and comparing the contents of memory.
  4. Examining and changing the contents of registers.
  5. Saving the contents of memory on tape and reading the contents of memory from tape.
  6. Running and listing programs.
  7. Loading and saving programs from tape.

Monitors are normally associated with reasonably small microcomputer systems that utilize tape cassettes for storing program and data.

When the set of systems programs are stored on disk storage and utilize a disk or diskette for storing programs and data, then it is called an operating system. Like a monitor, an operating system controls the execution of all programs and all programs used the operating system during execution. Typical operating system capabilities are classed into three categories: program management, data management, and user services. Program management facilities concern the following functions:

  1. Loading programs from disk.
  2. Running programs from disk.
  3. Saving programs from disk.

Data management facilities involve the following:

  1. Storing data files and programs in disk by name.
  2. Copying files.
  3. Erasing files from disk.
  4. Renaming files.
  5. Providing disk input/output operation.

User service facilities involve the following:

  1. Managing the catalog of programs and data file names.
  2. Initializing disk.
  3. Establishing system parameters.

In disk based microcomputers, both monitor and operating system facilities are commonly available to the user, providing the convenience of a ROM based system with the power of a disk operating system. 

Utility Systems

Two software elements are available in most computer systems to aid the user in writing and debugging programs: an editor and a debug package. An editor is a text processing system that permits a program to be entered into the system,changed, and listed with a minimum of inconvenience. Once the program file is constructed, editor commands permit textual modifications to be made to the program text at the statement level without requiring that the user re-enter a complete program line.

A debug package assists the user in correcting program errors by supplying a means of tracing program flow and displaying intermediate results on a conditional basis. Editors and debug packages are commonly regarded as part of the operational environment for program development.

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