Linux Journal: A Look at Linux CapabilitiesMar 17, 2000, 01:30 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Phil Hughes)
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"This week, I want to take a look at some features of the Linux operating system which make it stand out from what you find in the basic offerings from Microsoft. If you have a UNIX background, these features will be expected."
"First, Linux is a preemptive multi-tasking operating system. Let me explain this in two parts. First, multi-tasking means that the operating system can perform more than one job at once. Or, more accurately, appear to perform more than one job at once. If your computer only has a single CPU then it really can only do one task at a time. What the Linux kernel does is schedules tasks based on a priority scheme and switches between them so that it appears all the tasks are running at once."
"Why would you want to do this? Let's say you are using a text editor to edit a document. You might want to grab a web page with your browser or upload a data file to another system while you are working interactively with the editor. To Linux, this is just a simple job of switching between running your text editor and the file transfer program or browser as needed."
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