A super brief intro (more later)
An operating system (OS for short)
is a collection of software routines which control access to
a computer's physical resources (disk drives, keyboard, CPU time, etc.).
Some popular operating systems are MacOS, Linux, Solaris, Microsoft
Windows Me, Microsoft Windows 2000, BeOS and OS/2.
Each computer in this lab is equipped with two
different OS's: RedHat Linux 7.1 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Edition.
When you switch on (or reboot) one of these machines, you get to choose
which OS takes control. About 15 seconds after you switch the power on
(or about 30 seconds after you order a restart) you should see a menu
of OS choices...
Logging on under RedHat Linux
Logging on under Windows 2000
Project Suggestion #1:
Install an "alternative" OS.
This project entails (at the least):
- Finding a computer on which to install the OS.
(I may or may not be able to acquire GCC equipment for you
for this project.)
- Collecting all necessary information about your hardware.
- Doing preliminary research to choose an appropriate "alternative" OS.
(In particular, you must choose an OS which can run on the computer you
will be working with!)
- Acquiring the OS software.
- Performing the OS installation... including the configuration of as
many peripherals as possible.
- Writing a report on your efforts. The report should include
explanations for all your choices, and (more importantly) descriptions
of all the problems you encountered and how you solved them.
Provisos and cautions:
- If you mess up, you could lose valuable data on your computer.
- Worse yet... you could even damage your hardware.
(Neither GCC nor myself will assume any liability for lost data or
- If everything goes smoothly, your report is likely to be boring...
and your instructor is not likely to be impressed.
- If everything goes wrong, you're likely to become very frustrated.
The Web is chock full of information about OS options.
Try a search with your favorite web search engine, or just start with
IndexOS - The Index of Alternative Operating Systems
The GCC library has several Linux specific titles. Try a catalog
search using "Linux" as a keyword.