Cengage Learning

Higher Education

Understanding Operating Systems, 4th Edition

  • Ida M. Flynn University of Pittsburgh
  • Ann McIver McHoes Carlow College
  • ISBN-10: 0534423663  |  ISBN-13: 9780534423667
  • 460 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2001, 1997
  • © 2006 | Published
  • Newer Edition Available



The fourth edition of this best-selling book blends operating systems theory and practice in an appealing, well-organized way.

Features and Benefits

  • Presents a two-part approach that begins with operating systems theory and culminates with chapters devoted to specific operating systems including MS-DOS, Windows, Linux, and UNIX.
  • Imparts technical knowledge in a not-so-technical manner, allowing students to grasp the complexities of standalone and networked operating systems quickly and easily.
  • Devotes a brand-new chapter to operating systems security (chapter 11) and is updated for currency throughout.
  • Contains numerous visual diagrams, examples, and illustrations in an updated two-color layout.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Operating Systems Theory
1. Introducing Operating Systems
2. Memory Management: Early Systems
3. Memory Management: Virtual Memory
4. Processor Management
5. Process Management
6. Concurrent Processes
7. Device Management
8. File Management
9. Network Organization Concepts
10. Management of Network Functions
11. Security and Ethics
12. System Management
Part 2: Operating Systems in Practice
13. MS-DOS Operating Systems
14. Windows Operating Systems
15. UNIX and Linux Operating Systems
A: Command Translation Table
B: Guide to Microsoft Acronyms
C: Guide to Graphical User Interfaces
D: ACM Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct
E: Innovators
F: Timeline of Operating System Releases


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

IR: A,B,C,D,E,F  (ISBN-10: 1418836117 | ISBN-13: 9781418836115)

Student Supplements

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Ann McIver McHoes

Ann McIver McHoes has been writing about computers for 25 years including, with the late Ida M. Flynn, the first four editions of Understanding Operating Systems, two of which won awards from the Text and Academic Authors Association. On an adjunct basis, her teaching assignments have included undergraduate classes at Carlow University and graduate courses at Chatham College.