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Part: II Basic FreeBSD Administration > Storage Systems and Backup Utilities

Hour 8. Storage Systems and Backup Utilities

Every operating system in use today is what was once referred to as a Disk Operating System, or DOS. The idea is that unlike some operating systems, which worked entirely from self-contained instructions on silicon chips (in ROM or firmware), a DOS allowed the user to swap in new instructions on disks—which at the time were either eight-inch floppy disks in flimsy plastic jackets, or else “hard disks” in sealed containers with much larger capacity. The disks could contain new programs to run, data for those programs to work with, or even other disk-based operating systems to run the programs. The key was versatility and expandability beyond what was sealed into a computer's case. Just swap in new disks to expand your computer's capacity as much as you like.

The situation today is about the same, except that the array of “disks” that we can use in our computers is vastly greater and more diverse. We now have optical discs (CDs, DVDs, magneto-optical media), customized proprietary media like Iomega's Zip and Imation's SuperDisk, tape drives, and network drives—to say nothing of the ubiquitous hard disk and the dependable 3.5-inch floppy.


  

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