Writing Assignment: OS IssuesDue Thursday, 4/23 in class
Goals for this Assignment
- Explore the techical, legal, and social issues around operating systems
- Find resources for learning about operating systems
- Practice writing about technical topics
AssignmentFor this assignment, you should pick an issue related to operating systems, research it, and write a paper about it. The topic is up to you, but it must relate to operating systems. Some possible topices include:
- Why is Microsoft Windows the dominant operating system? Why is it more successful on desktops then servers? What are the benefits and drawbacks of having a dominant OS?
- Why has Linux been so successful as an open source project? What are the strengths and weakenesses of Linux?
- Why are we (1) still researching operating systems, after 40 years, and (2) why haven't we gotten them right? What is so hard about operating systems?
- What coming trends will impact OS design, and how? Some examples include web applications (e.g. GMail and Google Spreadsheets), the use of cell phones (e.g. IPhone) as a general-purpose computing platform, and the introduction of computers to the billions of people who cannot afford current desktops computers.
- What are recent approaches to improving operating systems, and how well do they work? Some examples include recent work on file systems (e.g. Speculator), reliability (e.g. Nooks, Rx).
- Virtual machines, such as VMware and Xen, have taken off in popularity. What kinds of new usage models and features do they provide? What kinds of computer uses do they help?
What to turn inYou should write your paper in 12 point font with 1 or 1.25 inch margins and double spacing. The paper should be at least six pages (text onto the sixth page). Please include your name and a title on the paper. All documents you draw material should appear in a bibliography and should be referenced in the text. I expect that anything not cited is your original writing. Copying text without attribution will be consider plagiarism.
Please submit a your paper on paper in class on Thursday, April 23rd..