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multitasking

Posted on 1999-06-24
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What does one mean by multitasking,multiprocessing,multiprogramming?

Do they mean the same thing?
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Question by:arut
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5 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 2011157
multitasking:
   several tasks (processes) are executed simultaneously somehow, on multiprocessor machines this could be true, but on a single processor mashine, the processes are simply switched very often, so that a (human) user can imagine they are running simultaneously

multiprocessing:
   another term for multitasking, probably

multiprogramming:
   hmm, need to know in which context it is used; probably the same as above
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Accepted Solution

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chris_calabrese earned 100 total points
ID: 2011158
Multitasking means that the system can load more than one program into memory at a time and switch between tasks when the task that's currently running blocks to wait for I/O.  Most modern multitasking systems also switch tasks every once in a while whether the current task is blocked or not to keep one process from hogging the system.  This is called pre-emptive multitasking.

Multiprogramming is basically the same thing as multitasking, though some people mean pre-emptive when they say multitasking, and non pre-emptive when they say multiprogramming.

Multiprocessing, on the other hand, means that the system has multiple CPU's and distributes multiple processes over the multiple processors.

This is orghaganol to multitasking/programming in that you could have all of the following scenaries:
  a.  single cpu, single tasking - Think DOS
  b.  single cpu, multi tasking - Think Win95 or early Unix
  c.  multiple cpu, single tasking - one job runs code on multiple processors - think early Crays
  d.  multiple cpu, multi tasking - Think NT or modern Unix systems


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Author Comment

by:arut
ID: 2011159
THE DISTINCTION MADE BETWEEN MULTITASKING/MULTIPROCESSING IS NOT CONVINCING.I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
MULTITASKING/MULTIPROCESSING W.R.T A SINGLE CPU,BASICALLY IT
BOILS DOWN TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TASK AND A PROCEES
ON A SINGLE CPU.
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Expert Comment

by:chris_calabrese
ID: 2011160
First, don't use CAP's, since they're too difficult to read.

Meanwhile, multi-processing refers to the ability to schedule multiple programs/tasks/processes (these terms are somewhat interchangeable) on multiple CPU's.  There is no such thing is as a multiprocessing single CPU machine.
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Expert Comment

by:ahoffmann
ID: 2011161
chris, first I was impressed by your definitions. Now you're going to say something like I did ;-)
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