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POS 420 Week 3 DQs

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POS420: DQ’s for Week 3
Discussion Question 1 - Week 3 (Saturday):
Why do some describe UNIX as the most flexible operating system?
During the past 40+ years, UNIX has evolved into a powerful, flexible
and multipurpose operating system. As it has been implemented in its many
variants, UNIX serves as the operating system for all types of computers,
including personal computers and engineering workstations, multiuser
microcomputers, minicomputers, mainframes, and supercomputers, as well
as special-purpose devices. To understand how to use any or all of them
requires one to understand only the basic theoretical model upon which
UNIX is built. Additionally, there are several features common to all UNIX
systems that make them so popular. These include open source code,
cooperative tools and utilities, multiuser and multitasking abilities, excellent
networking environment, and portability.
Open Source Code:
The source code for variants of UNIX has been made available to users
and programmers, which allows for a great range of adaptability. This
openness has led to the introduction of a wide range of new features and
versions that have been customized to meet the special needs of individual
users and programmers. New features are constantly being developed and
added for various versions of UNIX that are compatible with earlier
versions.
Cooperative Tools and Utilities:
The tools and utilities are the simple commands that one can use to carry
out a specific task or small programming languages that can be used to build
scripts to solve problems. Perhaps the most important aspect is that the tools
are intended to work together and are available as add-ons; many of which
are free of charge.
Multiuser and Multitasking Abilities:

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UNIX can be used with many users or a single user and can also carry out
more than one task at a time. For example, a user can run a program that
checks the spelling of words in a text file while also simultaneously reading
an e-mail.
Excellent Networking Environment:
UNIX offers programs and utilities that provide services needed to build
networked applications. It has proved to be useful in client/server
computing where machines on a network can be both clients and servers at
the same time. Additionally, UNIX has been the base system for the
development of Internet services and for the growth of the Internet.
Furthermore, UNIX provides an excellent platform for web servers.
Portability:
UNIX’s portability results from being written almost entirely in the C
programming language. Because of this, it is possible to move applications
from one system to another with little to no effort.
UniForum Association (1995). UNIX: The Real Success Story. Retrieved
September 30, 2010, from http://www.uniforum.org/web/pubs/pubs4.html.

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