Part VII. Special-Purpose Systems

Our coverage of operating-system issues thus far has focused mainly on general-purpose computing systems. There are, however, specialpurpose systems with requirements different from those of many of the systems we have described.

A real-time system is a computer system that requires not only that computed results be "correct" but also that the results be produced within a specified deadline period. Results produced after the deadline has passed—even if correct—may be of no real value. For such systems, many traditional operating-system scheduling algorithms must be modified to meet the stringent timing deadlines.

A multimedia system must be able to handle not only conventional data, such as text files, programs, and word-processing documents, but also multimedia data. Multimedia data consist of continuous-media data (audio and video) as well as conventional data. Continuous-media data—such as frames of video—must be delivered according to certain time restrictions (for example, 30 frames per second). The demands of handling continuous-media data require significant changes in operatingsystem structure, most notably in memory, disk, and network management.

Get Operating System Concepts, Seventh Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.