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Thread: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

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    Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    hi there,

    tl;dr version:
    Modern Operating Systems by Tanenbaum vs Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi book for learning Operating Systems? Which one better? 20 year old history making book about history, or the recent work in progress and todays modern and hip os and pc?

    Where would i start? Because i tend to mention alot of things to make the picture more clear. Maybe to many things sometimes.
    Basically im trying to study Graduaat Informatica. Something Flemish, google it if you want. But basically its evening adult nearly higher education. And i have followed already maybe nearly like a half of the modules. Out of around ten or something. And some of them i got thru and some not.
    First of all lets say im kinda highly not satisfied with the fact that we dont learn any Open Source there at all. And that i have to use ancient degradated unethical (kind of or somewhat) M$ technology. And lets make things straight. Im not a fanatic at all. And sorry for this kind of maybe strong terms. And basically its good for me as long as it works. But still this is professional almost high education and not a tiny bit of Open Source even mentioned there at all? How do i have to understand that? I can understand that Open Source might be more of an exception then the norm from the point of view of ordinary people. But this is a professional serious education level. Not some basics of using mouse.
    But ok lets get more straingt to the point. My question is actually about learning something and a view books.

    Now, not so long ago i have started to learn programming. So to get going i bought some books. Because the lessons are actually somewhat to fast and chaotic or maybe better said kinda unstructured. It took me a while to figure out that the book we get at school is not that good. I have read view first chapters. Most part of the theory i already knew. Because im highly into Linux.
    So later i found that there are better C# books online (head first). So i ordered one and started reading this one. Which actually is indeed much better then the one from school. But at the moment when i discovered this good book. We were already somewhat past the half of the course and at this moment i wasnt completely following anymore.
    Like 10 years ago i have already had some lessons of c++ at secondary school. But this only turned me off because i was an immigrant who didnt even yet figured out how to speak native language in a new country, let alone start to program in c++ while at the moment i only installed windows for the first time in my life.
    But this C# actually got me interested. Because unlike the most rest of the modules i followed here this one is very practical. Which i like very much. Maybe there have to be some balance, but still.
    When i studied c++ i also got introduced to Linux via some Gento and Suse 8 something as i recall. But since not everything (or atleast network and multimedia) worked out of the box i dint use it back then. Only re-discovered Linux later when the Ubuntu came out. Then i switched completely to Linux. Later i had to again use Windows because at school this is used. I also learned some Fedora i a meanwhile a view years ago. At some professional courses while i was looking for work.


    So now, after i discovered that books can have good or bad credibility same way the good or bad teachers can have influence on how you will like or dislike some subject whole your life after him. The teacher who is passionate or uncaring about his subject. And the whole schools can have different reputations to. Which is obvious.
    And since im highly interested in Operating Systems. I have also looked at the book which we got at school about operating systems. (havent actually read it) Thats the module i have followed before the Programming. And i didnt found any information on this book. And actually since ive read pretty much about Linux. I know that there is one very interesting book about operating systems which is special in the world of operating systems. Its the Tanenbaums Modern Operating Systems book which Linus have read before starting Linux. And since ive read on the wiki (gcc or glibc page i think) that Richard Stallman even considered Tanenbaums compiler(s) for the GNU i think as much as Linus and RMS are not the last people in the Operating Systems also Tanenbaum is not the last one. So reading his book would be worth it.

    So i ordered the Modern Operating Systems book of ebay for like a view euros. Why not.
    But then when the book arrived. And i was looking at it. And was thinking that the book is actually 20 years old. I actually tought havent Linus wrote any books? So i discovered that there are two. And they are actually very not technical.

    But now, if you are a linux user most probably you already know what Raspberry Pi is. The best toy for learning Linux. So i was actually wondering isnt it better to just get playing with the Raspberry Pi and read the Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi guide? Instead of the 20 year old book with some operating system development history lessons.
    This is actually the main question i wanted to ask.

    Thank you very much for your attention,
    Sincerely yours,
    Nikolai
    The truth will set you free!

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nikolai D. View Post
    But now, if you are a linux user most probably you already know what Raspberry Pi is. The best toy for learning Linux. So i was actually wondering isnt it better to just get playing with the Raspberry Pi and read the Getting Started with the Raspberry Pi guide? Instead of the 20 year old book with some operating system development history lessons.
    This is actually the main question i wanted to ask.

    yes. in a way. btu thgen again it's also good to know a bit about history, so you do not make the same mistakes all over again in the future..
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    Are you rich? Most of us are not rich. We need to get employment. It make sense to be taught skills that employers require from their employees. Then we stand a good chance of getting a job.

    Microsoft's operation system and programs have been the most widely used of all operating systems and programs for many, many years. If a person wants to be employed as an IT administrator then they will need qualifications in Microsoft products. A school or book that teaches a person that kind of thing is not necessarily a bad school or book.

    Years ago I started to learn solid state electronics. Before I knew it technology had advanced into Integrated Circuits and even further. It is difficult to keep up with progress. I know a lot about relays. A little bit about transistors. A very small bit about digital ICs. And everything since then has passed me by.

    The same is true in the field of programming. A person could spend a lot of time learning a certain programming language only to find that another programming language has become popular.

    A newspaper is out of date the minute it comes off the printing press. Technical books are out of date by the time they are put on the shelves of the library. Everything that I learned about the solar system and the universe when I was a teenager has been modified and corrected by newer discoveries.

    This is life.

    You could spend your time getting practical experience with the Raspberry Pi. And all you will be is an expert on the Raspberry Pi. Another device might become more popular.

    When our motor vehicle needs repairs, who do we go to? The man that can give us a history of the motor car? Or the man that can give us a scientific explanation of how the internal combustion engine works? Or the man that has learnt through practical work experience how to fix motor vehicles? I know which one I would go to.

    That does not mean that the motor machanic lacks an interest in the history of motor vehicles or a understanding of how the machine works. He/she can be interested in all things. But which qualifications and skills will help him or her get employment?

    Regards.
    Last edited by grahammechanical; June 21st, 2013 at 03:17 PM.
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    It all depends on what you want to do. Personally I am mostly self taught, and I've spend several years learning whatever peaks my fancy. If you want to learn about operating systems, get yourself a computer that you don't depend on for everyday task, and start installing different operating systems.

    If you want to learn programming, first decide what operating system you want to create applications for, then find out what language most of the programs are written in, and learn that.

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    Tannenbaum's book covers the structure and implementation of operating systems. You need programming skills (C) to read the code, but it not merely a programming book. It is by no means a "history" book just because the first edition was published 20 years ago. If one wants to learn the core fundamentals of Unix, for example, the best place to start is with the publications of its creators, written 30-40 years ago.

    If the Raspberry book is one of those common collections of howto's and recipes, then I'd question its value as a learning tool.

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    "Learning Operating Systems" is a very vague goal. What sort of information are you really after?

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    If you would like to go into Operating System development, I suggest learning C and Assembly. If you would like to develop applications, you may learn languages such as Java, C++, C#, Python, Ada, etc.

    Also, here is possibly the best resource on learning about how the Linux kernel works. This will help you very much so.
    http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
    Last edited by King Dude; June 24th, 2013 at 08:56 AM.

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    Quote Originally Posted by King Dude View Post
    Also, here is possibly the best resource on learning about how the Linux kernel works. This will help you very much so.
    http://www.linuxfromscratch.org/
    Linux from Scratch (LFS) is much more on the packages used in building a core Linux system than actually how the kernel works. My Linux journey started from LFS after twiddling around with wubi and the knowledge I gained of what exactly gets Linux running was immeasurable-and I'm still learning!

    But to learn about the kernel, I wouldn't recommend LFS. LFS is about the underlying packages and not the kernel. There's nothing much about the kernel than configuration. My best recommendation for learning about the kernel would be the book 'Modern Device Drivers' and/or the kernel newbies website at a more basic level.

    I'd sure recommend LFS as a starting point for getting used to Linux, but not to operating systems in general. Its a steep learning curve, but it thought me more of Linux than I'd ever known, but so why not! But be clear of your goal.

    All the best, whatever path you choose!

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    An Operating System is one of the most complex pieces of software in the world to write. The path towards the ability to implement one is long and difficult, unless you happen to be a genius, anyway. As a first step, you should become comfortable at programming in at least one language, preferably more. In addition, C or C++ should be one of the languages you learn. Personally I recommend starting with something easier to learn such as Python and then move on to C. Once you are comfortable with your ability to write relatively complex applications, you will probably have a better idea of where to go next.

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    Re: Studying the Operating System World (and Programming etc) question(s)? :)

    UNIX has been around for over 50 years. I believe a 20 year old book will still be relevant.

    If your goal is to learn low level hardware, Raspberry PI is perfect for this. If your goal is to learn programming, I happen to believe web apps will remain relevant in the future, HTML5/Javascript/CSS will be your guide and any language of your choice for the back end, currently I'm really enjoying Ruby.

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