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1. Differentiate between Printers and Plotters?

a. Printer Device used to apply inked images of alphanumeric or

other symbolic characters to paper, or to duplicate an illustration;
graphic design, or photographic image on paper.
b. Plotter A plotter is a graphics printer that draws images
with ink pens. It actually draws point-to-point lines directly from
vector graphics files. Plotters are restricted to line art, rather than
raster graphics as with other printers.
c. Difference
(1) Printer is raster and Plotter is vector.
(2) Usually the plotter makes the line you’re printed continuously,
without spacing like the printer.
It's depends on the resolution of your printer type, higher the
resolution more smoothly the line but still have spacing
between the dot.
(3) Plotters are generally used to plot (print) Auto CAD drawings
.The paper sizes can vary as one can have custom paper size.
ie; A0, A1 sizes etc. A plotter has a special function sort-off in
which it cuts the paper to the specified customization.
In a printer u either have paper sizes: letter-size \ A3 or A4.
(4) A plotter is a vector graphics printing device that connects to a
computer. Plotters are restricted to line art, rather than raster
graphics as with other printers. They can draw complex line art,
including text, but do so very slowly because of the mechanical
movement of the pens. When computer memory was very
expensive, and processor power was very slow, this was often
the fastest way to produce color high-resolution vector-based
artwork, or very large drawings efficiently. A computer printer,
or more commonly a printer, produces a hard copy (permanent
human-readable text and/or graphics) of documents stored in
electronic form, usually on physical print media such as paper
transparencies. Many printers are primarily used as computer
peripherals, and are attached by a printer cable to a computer
which serves as a document source. Printers are designed for
low-volume, short-turnaround print jobs; requiring virtually no

setup time to achieve a hard copy of a given document.
However, printers are generally slow devices and the cost-per-
page is relatively high.

2. What is the purpose of Project Management software? Give one


Project management as we know it today has evolved in order to plan, coordinate,

and control the complex and diverse activities of modern industrial, commercial, and
management change projects. The purpose of project management is to foresee or
predict as many of the dangers and problems as possible and to plan, organize, and
control activities so that projects are completed as successfully as possible in spite of
all the risks. Much of the development in project management methods took place in
the second half of the twentieth century, spurred by impatient project purchasers
(who wanted their projects finished quickly so that their investments could be put to
profitable use as soon as possible). Competition between nations for supremacy in
weapons and defense systems played a significant role in the development of project
management techniques, and the process has been accelerated by the widespread
availability of powerful, reliable, and cheap computers. Project management is more
effective when it makes use of these sophisticated techniques and facilities and, in
this sense, is a highly specialized branch of management.

a. Knowledge Base. The basic idea behind a knowledge base is to

automate customer support by organizing product support information
into an easy-to-find, easy-to-access format. The knowledge base can
be used by customer support personnel to find answers to common
customer complaints, or can be put out on the web, allowing the
customer to do their own searching.

b. Trouble Ticketing. Trouble-ticketing systems usually confine

themselves the fairly simple domain of tracking independent work
items, and possibly assigning them to one of several people. Tasks are
treated independently of each other, and usually have a very limited
set of states: "open", "in-progress", and "closed". Older systems tend

to be email based, newer ones are web/Java based, sometimes
integrating email.

c. Help-Desk Management/Call Tracking. Most Help-Desk

Management systems are similar to Trouble-Ticketing systems, except
that they add a variety of customer tracking features. Minimally, these
include an address-book which logs detailed customer relationship
info, so that support staff can understand how past relationships with
the customer went, can recognize high-priority/important customers
quickly, and understand customer quirks for special treatment. Call
tracking systems usually include search capabilities for locating related
calls or trouble tickets, and/or referencing FAQ's based on the problem

d. CRM -- Customer Relationship Management. There are two very

different types of systems that are both commonly called 'CRM' by the
trade press and the industry. CRM-Support systems are used to help
support personnel 'know their customer'. At a minimum, such systems
provide 'contract management': they track whether a given customer
has actually purchased a support contract, what type of a contract it is
and how much time/incidents are left before the contract expires. They
frequently rate customers by importance, priority, friendliness, and
special treatment the customer may need. CRM-Marketing systems are
used to gather the names, addresses, desires and interests of
customers. These databases of consumer preferences can be mined for
statistical information about consumer habits.

e. Bug Tracking. Bug-Tracking Systems are similar to Trouble-

ticketing systems in that they track independent tasks. However, bug
tracking systems usually define a greater number of roles and
responsibilities, (e.g. "programmer", "integrator/builder", "tester",
"tiger-team manager"), and limit the powers of each role in advancing
the task to its next state.

f. Resource & Asset Management, Parts & Vendors. Resource

management and asset management systems are typically used to

track hardware inventory and repair histories. By 'hardware' or
'assets', we mean anything expensive enough to track: PC's, cars,
trucks, machinery, aircraft, rental equipment, etc. Parts tracking
systems include not only a contact database for vendor support, but
can also automatically generate a bill-of-materials, suggest
alternate/replacement parts, and otherwise assist in the pricing of the
parts needed to manufacture an item.

g. Workflow Management. Workflow Management systems are

similar to Bug-Tracking systems in that they also define a variety of
roles and authorities. However, they tend to be more strongly
integrated with document management systems, allowing different
roles to create, modify and deliver version-controlled documents.

h. Project Management. Project Management Systems distinguish

themselves from all of the above in that they track inter-related tasks
and usually provide a mechanism for scheduling and reserving
resources, as well as automatic minimization of time-lines or costs by
re-arranging schedules. Resource allocation is a well-known NP-
complete problem, and there are many complex algorithms that have
been discovered to try to efficiently solve this problem.

j. ERP - Enterprise Resource Planning. ERP systems have a way of

promising "all of the above". Usually, (but not always), ERP systems
are a collection of tools and libraries that, in principle, can be
configured and modified to create any of the above systems. They
often include a financial subsystem as well.

3. How do ink jet printers’ works?

Inkjet Printers are one of the most widely used and cheaply available printers in this
modern technology world.

a. Operation. The ink from the nozzles is sprayed out in the form of
series of drops while they pass over the paper.Liquid ink mixed with
color is sprayed uniformly on paper/plastic or any other printing media
to form the desired image.While the print head scans every page in

horizontal stripes, the printer's motor assembly moves from left to
right and back again. Meanwhile the paper is rolled in vertical stripes.
This operation is repeated while printing every word.After printing the
whole line the printer moves the paper up enabling to print the next
line. This inkjet printer is pretty fast since it prints a vertical row of
pixels at a time. It takes around half a second to print a line. Inkjet
printing, like laser printing, is a non-impact process. Ink is emitted
from nozzles while they pass over media. The operation of an inkjet
printer is easy to visualize: liquid ink in various colors being squirted
onto paper and other media, like plastic film and canvas, to build an
image. A print head scans the page in horizontal strips, using the
printer's motor assembly to move it from left to right and back again,
while the paper is rolled up in vertical steps, again by the printer. A
strip (or row) of the image is printed, then the paper moves on, ready
for the next strip. To speed things up, the print head doesn’t print just
a single row of pixels in each pass, but a vertical row of pixels at a
time. For most inkjet printers, the print head takes about half a second
to print the strip across a page. On a typical 8 1/2"-wide page, the
print head operating at 300 dpi deposits at least 2,475 dots across the
page. This translates into an average response time of about 1/5000th
of a second. Quite a technological feat! In the future, however,
advances will allow for larger print heads with more nozzles firing at
faster frequencies, delivering native resolutions of up to 1200dpi and
print speeds approaching those of current color laser printers (3 to 4
pages per minute in color, 12 to 14ppm in monochrome). In other
words, declining costs for improving technology. There are several
types of inkjet printing. The most common is "drop on demand"
(DOD), which means squirting small droplets of ink onto paper through
tiny nozzles; like turning a water hose on and off 5,000 times a
second. The amount of ink propelled onto the page is determined by
the print driver software that dictates which nozzles shoot droplets,
and when. The nozzles used in inkjet printers are hairbreadth fine and
on early models they became easily clogged. On modern inkjet
printers this is rarely a problem, but changing cartridges can still be
messy on some machines. Another problem with inkjet technology is a

tendency for the ink to smudge immediately after printing, but this,
too, has improved drastically during the past few years with the
development of new ink compositions.

b. Basic Parts. There are few basic parts.

(1) Print head is the core part of any inkjet printer. It contains a
series of nozzles which is used to spray ink.

(2) Cartridges are containers that hold ink whether black or color
used for printing.

(3) Stepper motor- used to move the paper left to right and back
again assisting in printing.

(4) Cloth belt: is used to attach the stepper motor to the print

(5) Any movement has to be controlled to gain an optimum

outcome. Hence a stabilizer bar is used to monitor and control
the movement of the print head assembly.

(6) Paper feed assembly this is the tray where you can feed the
papers for printing.

(7) Rollers are used to pull the papers from the tray and feed them

4. How can you differentiate between flat panel displays based on


A very thin display screen used in portable computers. Nearly all modern flat-panel
displays use LCD technologies. Most LCD screens are backlit to make them easier to
read in bright environments. They can be divided into two general categories Volatile
and Static. The term set-top box will become something of a misnomer in the near
future, as most displays will become too thin to allow a box to place on top of them.
As the price of plasma & LCD displays has plummeted and their image quality has

improved, they are popping up in homes everywhere. Although they are the darlings
of the media and the generic for flat panel display in the minds of many, plasmas are
about to be in a serious fight with other technologies for the flat panel crown.

Flat Panel Display Technologies.

a. LCD Displays. A liquid crystal display ,LCD is a thin, flat display

device made up of any number of color or monochrome pixels arrayed
in front of a light source or reflector. It is often utilized in battery-
powered electronic devices because it uses very small amounts of
electric power. Each pixel of an LCD typically consists of a layer of
molecules aligned between two transparent electrodes, and two
polarizing filters, the axes of transmission of which are (in most of the
cases) perpendicular to each other. With no liquid crystal between the
polarizing filters, light passing through the first filter would be blocked
by the second (crossed) polarizer.

The surface of the electrodes that are in contact with the liquid crystal
material are treated so as to align the liquid crystal molecules in a
particular direction. This treatment typically consists of a thin polymer
layer that is unidirectionally rubbed using, for example, a cloth. The
direction of the liquid crystal alignment is then defined by the direction
of rubbing.

b. Plasmas Displays. Plasmas generally have an edge in the ability to

produce deeper blacks and more saturated colors than LCDs. The basic
idea of a plasma display is to illuminate tiny, colored fluorescent lights
to form an image. Each pixel is made up of three fluorescent lights -- a
red light, a green light and a blue light. Just like a CRT television, the
plasma display varies the intensities of the different lights to produce a
full range of colors. Plasmas are also better at producing full motion
video than LCDs because of the response time of the LCD panels,
although this difference is disappearing. The central element in a
fluorescent light is plasma, a gas made up of free-flowing ions
(electrically charged atoms) and electrons (negatively charged
particles). Under normal conditions, a gas is mainly made up of

uncharged particles. That is, the individual gas atoms include equal
numbers of protons (positively charged particles in the atom's nucleus)
and electrons. The negatively charged electrons perfectly balance the
positively charged protons, so the atom has a net charge of zero.

c. Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. Organic light-

emitting diode (OLED) displays are attractive because they are bright,
efficient, and thin enough to be flexible. But they are currently limited
to use in small displays, such as those in mobile phones. That's in part
due to the failings of one piece of the device, a transparent electrode
used to light up the display. Now researchers at the University of
Michigan have developed a new type of electrode that could help clear
the way for large, flexible OLED displays.OLEDs consist of organic
semiconductor layers sandwiched between two electrodes, one of
which must be transparent to allow light to escape. Today's displays
use a transparent film of indium tin oxide (ITO), but this material is
expensive, fragile, and inflexible, which makes it unsuitable for large-
area flexible displays. It can also degrade the organic light-emitting
layers. Recently developed technology being offered is Organic Light
Emitting Diode (OLED) previously used in cell phone displays and car
stereo systems. Phillips, Samsung, and Seiko-Epson have prototypes
using OLED. This technology is very attractive as it has its own light,
requiring no backlight, and a better contrast. It has a wider viewing
angle comparable to a plasma display. OLED uses about half the power
of a LCD and is much thinner than either the plasma or the LCD. The
refresh rate is much faster than traditional LCD so this will prove to be
better for imaging. The OLED sets have fewer parts and can be
manufactured easily. Ease and simplicity in manufacturing means that
prices will probably be kept low.

d. Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display, SED. Another new

technology is Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display, SED, and
the carbon Nanotube. Canon began research and development of SED
in 1986, using a similar principle as Cathode-Ray Tube, CRT. The
major difference is in thickness, with the SED being only 1-2 inches
thick. SEDs have great color – deep and vivid – and a quick motion

response. Contrast ratio is about 5 times that of CRT. This promises to
be a quite popular because it is thin, low in cost, and requires minimal

5. What is an RGB value? What does a value of (130,0,255) and

(255,255,255) mean.

RGB values are the red, green, and blue intensity values for many of the colors you
might wish to use in web design. Each intensity value is on a scale of 0 to 255. The
hexadecimal code for each color is also used; you can use these codes in HTML for
any attribute that takes a color value. For example, to create a web page with
aquamarine text. The HTML standard also provides for 16 named colors; these colors
are marked with an asterisk (*) in the table below. Projection of primary color lights
on a screen shows secondary colors where two overlap; the combination of all three
of red, green, and blue in appropriate intensities makes white.
In the RGB color scheme, there are 256 possible values for each of the red, green,
and blue components of a color pixel on a computer screen. In RGB notation, each
color value ranges from 0 (no color) to 255 (full color). A full color value combines a
red, a green, and a blue value. The RGB color model is an additive color model in
which red, green, and blue light are added together in various ways to reproduce a
broad array of colors. The name of the model comes from the initials of the three
additive primary colors, red, green, and blue.

Here are a few examples of RGB color values:

RGB(130,0,255) is close to Dark Violet (Red:[148] Green:[000] Blue[211])

RGB(255,255,255) is white

6. What does the color depth indicate?

The amount of data used to represent a color is called color depth. It is a computer
graphics term describing the number of bits used to represent the color of a
single pixel in a bitmapped image or video frame buffer. This concept is also
known as bits per pixel (bpp), particularly when specified along with the
number of bits used. Higher color depth gives a broader range of distinct
colors. The combination of the display modes supported by your graphics
adapter and the color capability of your monitor determine how many colors it
displays. For example, a display that operates in Super VGA (SVGA) mode
can display up to 16,777,216 (usually rounded to 16.8 million) colors because
it can process a 24-bit-long description of a pixel. The number of bits used to
describe a pixel is known as its bit depth.

With a 24-bit bit depth, eight bits are dedicated to each of the three additive primary
colors -- red, green and blue. This bit depth is also called true color because it can
produce the 10,000,000 colors discernible to the human eye, while a 16-bit display is
only capable of producing 65,536 colors. Displays jumped from 16-bit color to 24-bit
color because working in eight-bit increments makes things a whole lot easier for
developers and programmers.

Simply put, color bit depth refers to the number of bits used to describe the color
of a single pixel. The bit depth determines the number of colors that can be
displayed at one time. Take a look at the following chart to see the number of colors
different bit depths can produce:


1-bit 2 colors 2 (2)

2-bit 4 colors 2 (2x2)

3-bit 8 colors 2 (2x2x2)

4-bit 16 colors 2 (2x2x2x2)

5-bit 32 colors 2 (2x2x2x2x2)

6-bit 64 colors 2 (2x2x2x2x2x2)

7-bit 128 colors 2 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2)

8-bit 256 colors 2 (2x2x2x2x2x2x2x2)

16-bit 65,536 colors 2


24-bit 16,777,215 colors 2

True color. Since typical RGB uses three 8-bit channels, it adds up to a 24-bit
color depth. When available, full 24-bit color is called true color. A true-color monitor
displays every pixel's color exactly. The option often appears as Millions of Colors in
monitor settings, because it adds up to 16,777,216 RGB combinations. Likewise, a
true-color image file records the full range of colors precisely.

High color. True color allows more hues than the eye can distinguish, so most
operating systems offer the option of 16-bit high color (Thousands of Colors on
Macintosh). In high color, the monitor actually displays only 32 distinct levels of red,
32 of blue, and 64 of green. The visual difference is almost unnoticeable, but
reducing the color depth to 16 bits per pixel boosts video performance. And running
your computer system in high color won't affect your image data; most applications,
such as Photoshop or a Web browser, still use the full 24-bit values. The data gets
rounded off only when displayed on the monitor. That's why there are no high-color
image file formats.

Indexed color. Older, less powerful computer hardware and certain file formats
can handle only 8 bits per pixel. 8 bits can't hold much information for three
channels, so 8-bit environments use indexed color. With indexed color images, the
system or image file maintains a color table, or palette, of up to 256 colors. The 8-bit
value for each pixel identifies which of those colors to use--the computer equivalent
of painting by numbers. Indexed color lets 8-bit displays and images simulate true
color, since the palette colors themselves are 24 bits deep.

Direct color. As the number of bits increases, the number of possible colors
becomes impractically large for a color map (a 20 bit depth would require more
memory to store the colormap than is required to store the pixels themselves).
So in higher color depths, the color value typically directly encodes relative
brightnesses of red, green, and blue to specify a color in the RGB color model.

a. 8-bit direct color. A very limited but true direct color system, there
are 3 bits (8 possible levels) for both the R and G components, and the
two remaining bits in the byte pixel to the B component (four levels),

enabling 256 (8 × 8 × 4) different colors. The normal human eye is
less sensitive to the blue component than to the red or green, so it is
assigned one bit less than the others.

b. 12-bit direct color. In 12-bit direct color, there are 4 bits (16
possible levels) for each of the R, G, and B components, enabling
4,096 (16 × 16 × 16) different colors. This color depth is sometimes
used in devices with a color display, such as mobile telephones and
other equipment.

c. 32-bit color. "32-bit color" is generally a misnomer in regards to

display color depth. While actual 32-bit color at ten to eleven bits per
channel produces 4,294,967,296 distinct colors, the term "32-bit
color" is most often a misuse referring to 24-bit color images with an
additional eight bits of non-color data.Systems using more than 24-
bits in a 32-bit pixel for actual color data exist, but most of them opt
for a 30-bit implementation with two bits of padding so that they can
have an even 10-bits of color for each channel, similar to many HiColor

7. What do you mean by resolution in monitors? Why does the image

appear smaller as the resolution in increased?

The term resolution refers to the clarity or sharpness of an image. Monitor resolution
is measured in pixels on the screen, expressed as a matrix (width by height). A 640
x 480 resolutions means that the screen is 640 pixels wide by 480 tall. The more
pixels a monitor can display, the higher its resolution and the clearer the image
appears. A computer monitor is made of pixels (short for "picture element"). Monitor
resolution is measured in pixels, width by height. 640 x 480 resolution means that
the screen is 640 pixels wide by 480 tall, an aspect ratio of 4:3. With the exception
of one resolution combination (1280 x 1024 uses a ratio of 5:4); all aspect ratios are
the same.
Each pixel must be made up of three separate colors, there are smaller red, green,
and blue dots on the screen that make up the image. The term dot is used to refer to
these small elements that make up the displayed image on the screen. In order to
use different resolutions on a monitor, the monitor must be able to support
automatic changing of resolution modes. Most monitors today are capable of

changing their displayed resolution under software control. This allows for higher or
lower resolution depending on the needs of the application. A higher resolution
display shows more on the screen at one time, and the maximum resolution that a
monitor can display is limited by the size of the monitor and the characteristics of the
CRT (cathode-ray tube). In addition, the monitor must have sufficient input
bandwidth to allow for refresh of the screen, which becomes more difficult at higher
resolutions because there is so much more information is sent to the monitor.

Resolution and image size

Higher settings of resolution are not always a better way because they can cause
objects on the screen to appear too small. Increasing resolution means a smaller
pixel size (that allows more pixels to fit in a given screen size) As the resolution of a
monitor is increased the no of pixels on the screen increase that is the ppi (total
number of pixels in the horizontal and vertical direction) increases and the dot pitch (
the distance between phosphor dots of the same color of adjacent pixel) decreases
hence the size of an image d You can see by the chart below how screen size and
effective resolution are linked. Compare a 15-inch monitor and a 21-inch monitor,
both set to 800 x 600 pixels: the 15-inch will have a higher resolution. Larger
monitors must contain smaller pixels in order to maintain the same resolution, but
when a smaller monitor is set to a high resolution, the images would be much too
small to read. A 14-inch monitor set to 640 x 480 is very readable, while a 21-inch
needs at least 1024 x 768.

If you want to increase an image's width and height, or resolution, then uncheck the
Resample Image box. Now any changes you make to the image's width and height
will change the image's resolution, and vice versa:

a. If you decrease resolution, the width and height will increase

b. If you increase resolution, the width and height will decrease
c. If you increase the width or height, the resolution will decrease
d. If you decrease the width or height, the resolution will increase

Here are some recommended resolutions for the different screen sizes:

14" 15" 17" 19" 21"






8. Which characteristics of Windows make it a popular OS compared to

other OS available in the market?

A computer is a machine which consists of physical equipment AND the equally

important virtual machinery, the basis of which is the Operating System. When
getting a computer it is important to get the right hardware and the right Operating
System. What's the best operating system? It's not the same for one person as the
next. Choose something that is right FOR YOU. It's also worth noting that a computer
can have more than one operating system on it. Mine currently (2001/01) has three.

Types of Operating Systems. It is particularly important to make an informed

choice and not to be fooled by hype into having the default just because it's
fashionable at the time. Operating systems each have their own merits, and all have
different good and bad points. The following is a list of operating systems available
for the PC:

a. LINUX - It's UNIX on the PC and other computers. This makes any
computer VERY MUCH more powerful. It's the opposite of the
"dumbed-down" computing which is a current fad (2001/01). Linux
gives YOU the power to do what you want, rather than just assuming
you conform to some ordinary notion of a user. Linux makes your PC
like a mainframe, and is especially good for programming. In my
opinion this is very good. If you want to be in control, this is for you.

b. Microsoft Windows. This is what many salesmen will assume
you want, but it's not the only choice.

c. QNX. Complete real-time operating system available with an Internet

exploration browser included. This is the operating system which
British Telecom are using (2001/06) in their Multiphones

d. Atheos. A relatively new GUI multi-tasking operating system

available on the PC. Pervasive multi-threading. See .
AtheOS is a free desktop operating system under the GPL license.
AtheOS currently (2002) runs on Intel, AMD and other compatible
processors and supports the Intel Multi Processor architecture.

e. Gnu Hurd. The long-awaited GNU kernel for Unix.

f. Linspire. Lindows - runs Linux and Windows programs, but time

will tell what becomes of it.

g. ReactOS. It's almost exactly like Microsoft Windows, except it's

free. (open source).

h. Vis Op Sys. VISual OPerating SYStem: small, fast, home-brewed,

open source OS kernel for x86.

j. Amoeba Operating System. Amoeba - worth a closer look.

k. Plan9. Another interesting item.

l. Hyper OS. Allows multiple Windows operating systems on a

computer AND allows Linux on multi-boot.

m. Symphony OS. "Unity, Beauty, Simplicity".

n. MSDOS. This has the advantage of the command line interpreter,

but it's never been as clever as Unix. As regards versions, 5 was better
than 4, 6 was better than 5, etc, but the best version was 6.22, and
they got worse after that, 7 being not as good as 6.22.

Comparison of Operating Systems. Today, computers are an integral part of

most businesses. Much like a fork list, the company truck or filing cabinets,
businesses recognize computers as a necessary tool to make the business work.
Unfortunately, most businesses are not in a position to make as informed a decision
on computers as on other needed tools. This is because computer systems are more
complicated than other business choices.

In this article I will share my experience as a systems design specialist and systems
programmer for government and industry.

a. The Computer Mix. Most businesses today are running a mix
of computer types and computer operating systems to get their work
done. For example, Intel Pentium and equivalent computer systems
running Windows 95 are very common on office desktops but other
types of computers may be used for graphic arts work, point of sale
systems or connectivity to the Internet. In fact, it is very possible that
you are not even aware of what type of computer hardware and
operating system is contained in a dedicated system performing a
specific function for your company.

b. Common Business Platforms. First, what do I mean by a

platform? This is a combination of the computer equipment (hardware)
along with the operating software (operating system) that offers the
computing capabilities. On top of this platform you would run the
applications software (word processors, spreadsheets, databases,
dedicated applications) that you need to run your business. One
confusion is that you will sometimes see a specific hardware/software
combination discussed here (such as MacOS on a Apple Macintosh)
but, in other places, you will see operating systems choices on one
hardware platform (such as DOS, Linux, SCO UNIX and Windows95 all
on the same hardware) as well as hardware choices (such as Digital
Alpha and Intel Pentium) for one operating system. This is because
some operating systems only run on one type of hardware but other
operating systems are more portable.

c. Legacy Systems. The term ``Legacy System'' is generally used to

refer to older systems such as mainframes. They are already installed,
perform some needed functions but are no longer being considered as
a new solution. They still need to be discussed because it may be
necessary to support these systems in the computer mix of the office
for some time to come. Common examples of such systems are

(1) IBM mainframes which run proprietary IBM operating systems

(2) Unisys and other mainframes with their own proprietary

operating systems

(3) Digital VAX systems running VMS

d. UNIX Systems. UNIX started out as a product of AT&T who then

licensed the source code and trade-name to various vendors. Today,
UNIX is a brand that belongs to X/Open and the original source code is
owned by The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO). Any vendor that meets
testing requirements and pays a fee can use the UNIX name. In
parallel with this effort, a standard called POSIX was developed that
defines what makes a UNIX-like system. Thus, being POSIX-compliant
means the operating supports a standard set of interfaces. It is
relatively easy to port Applications software written for a POSIX-
compliant system to other POSIX-compliant systems. It does,
however, mean that the source code for the application must be
available to do the port. The proprietary issue here is generally that a
specific vendor has developed a version of the operating system that

only runs on their hardware. While it is based on original UNIX source
code, modifications that make it run on specific hardware and
enhancements are not available. Examples of these systems are:

(1) HP/UX for Hewlett-Packard computer systems

(2) Solaris for Sun and SPARC-compatible computer systems

(3) IRIX for Silicon Graphics computer systems

(4) Digital UNIX for Digital Alpha computer systems

(5) AIX for IBM computer systems

e. BSD Systems. The non-Linux answers are related to BSD UNIX.

What is BSD UNIX? Starting in the 1970s, the University of California
at Berkeley, licensed UNIX from AT&T and did significant work on it.
This resulted in two development paths: what became known as
System V UNIX (from the AT&T path) and BSD UNIX.

f. Linux. Linux started out as a project of a single individual,

Linux Torvalds. [You probably want to insert a link to what is Linux
here]. What made Linux different from any other operating system
development project is that thousands of people--from students to
computer professionals--got involved in the development. While the
ideas of UNIX and POSIX capabilities were always the basis,
development was very pragmatic. Where BSD development tended to
suffer from the ``not invented here'' syndrome, Linux development
was much more inclusive. This means that capabilities that were used
in other systems were integrated into Linux development. This
portability is significant because

(1) Linux can grow with you. For example, if you are running a web
or file server on Intel-based hardware and you need a higher
performance system, you can upgrade to a system based on
the Sun SPARC or Digital Alpha.

(2) Linux can grow with the future. New hardware is being
introduced every year. The Linux community has already
proved it will port Linux to new computer architecture from
multiple vendors.

(3) These capabilities include:

(a) TCP/IP connectivity

(b) Drivers for many serial, ISDN and Frame Relay


(c) Appletalk for Mac/Linux connectivity

(d) SAMBA for Microsoft Windows/Linux connectivity

(e) IPX protocol support for Novell Netware/Linux


g. Interoperability. It is very likely that you will need more than one
type of system to perform all the tasks for your company. For
example, your accounting system is unlikely to run on the same type
of computer system and your World Wide Web server.

h. Maintainability. Being able to maintain the systems you choose is

vital. There are many technical considerations here and many

j. Non-proprietary. The choice of non-proprietary operating systems

can make it much easier to upgrade hardware as new technology
becomes available.

k. POSIX compatibility. The most prominent operating system

standard is POSIX. Selecting an operating system that complies with
the POSIX standard offers the best chance of long-term growth and

OS Comparision Table

The table below offers a quick feature comparison. It is only a guide. There is, of
course, a lot more to the selection process than can be represented in this table or
even this complete article. Another thing that is not shown is what is included with
the operating system. For example, Linux and *BSD come with a wealth of
development tools, applications and utilities that would cost thousands of dollars if
needed for any of the other platforms.

Platform Comparison Chart

Connectivit Multi- Multi- Non-

System Stability Scalability POSIX
y user platform proprietary
Legacy Medium-
Poor Good Yes No No No
System Huge
MS-DOS None Poor Small No No No No
Poor Poor Small No No No No
SMB Only Fair Small Insecure No No No
Windows Small-
SMB+ Fair Yes Yes, 2 Some No
NT Medium
UNIX Excellent Excellent Small-Huge Yes Yes No
*BSD Good Excellent Small-Large Yes No Yes Yes


Linux Excellent Excellent Small-Huge Yes Yes Yes