Book Review: Operating System Concepts

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Operating System Concepts, 7th Edition is written by Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Baer Galvin, Greg Gagne isn’t a book about how to use a computer or how to use a particular operating system. Operating System Concepts is a book about the basic low level and some high level concepts of how the different operating systems actually work, some of the major problems faced, and some of the different solutions used by operating system programmers. The intended audience is senior undergraduate students. Readers of the edition I used are expected to understand C programming and have a very good understanding of techniques, hardware, and different technologies. Conveniently, I was required to read the book for COMP314 at Athabasca University.

The book isn’t always an easy read, often it felt dry and sometimes very slow moving, and I can admit there were many times I had to read and reread sections because I didn’t quite understand the concept being discussed. I’ve found a few errors in some of the diagrams, sample pseudo code, and a have of the example programs. Many of the practice problems are very good although I did find it very frustrating that the solutions are not in the back of the book and must be given by the professor/teacher edition of the book.

Overall, using just this book and some course notes from Athabasca I felt that I really learned a lot about the underlying operating systems that I use day to day and can appreciate even more why sometimes things aren’t always as smooth as I liked. I was a little disappointed that virtual machines and virtualization weren’t covered more in the book.

Author: Brian Cline

Brian is a programmer living in Niagara Falls with ten years of development experience. He is passionate about automation, business process re-engineering, and gamification. For the last six years or so, he has been working with Salesforce and JavaScript.

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