Seeking White Papers on PC Architecture (Hardware and Software)
From: Steven O. (null_at_null.com)
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 2004 18:09:03 GMT
I need to get some semi-technical background on PC architecture,
hopefully without having to read an entire book. I'd do a search on
Google, but we all know that searches lead to about 10,000 hits, so
I'm hoping someone can steer me to the kind of document I am looking
Basically, I am seeking one or possibly two white paper type
documents. Length might be anywhere from about 10 to 30 pages. I
need to understand both:
(1) The basic electronic architecture of the standard personal
computer, that is, how the CPU, BIOS, RAM, buses, disk drives,
external ports (serial, parallel, USB, etc.), and support chips
(keyboard, video, etc.) interact. Some discussion of interrupts and
ports would be helpful, though perhaps that goes under item (2), which
(2) The fundamentals of operating system architecture. This could be
covered by a white paper that addresses only MS Windows, or only
Linux, or a paper that covers both (and perhaps compares their design
and internal structure). I'd like to know about the layers within the
operating system, the boot process, how multitasking is handled, and
any other generally relevant issues.
My own background is a B.A. in physics and math, plus, in recent
years, about a dozen courses on computer programming at the freshman
and sophomore level. I do tech writing for a living, and have at
least a rudimentary grasp of electronics. So you see, the paper or
papers can be a little techie, but not Masters or PhD level, please.
Again, one white paper that covers both hardware and software would be
fine, or separate white papers on each would also work. In case it's
not clear, I'm hoping to get freebies here, the kinds of white papers
that are either put out by corporations to inform their customers, or
perhaps by Open Source outfits.
Any leads (as in, links to download sites) would be much appreciated.
(By the way, I am primarily interested in PC architecture and related
operating systems; but any white papers on the Mac might be
interesting for general background, and for comparison.)
P.S. If you want to e-mail direct, you can find my e-mail address by
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