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Generic Device Names in a Multiprocessor System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000043343D
Original Publication Date: 1984-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 13K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Giangarra, PP: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A technique is described whereby a conflict in the use of device names is eliminated. When an existing operating system is extended to a multiprocessing environment, many commonly used programs have device names that use standard displays and printers. Where each device has a unique device name, the use of these names on nodes other than the first one may lead to undesirable results. By providing generic device names and permitting the user to use these names to refer to either devices on the node or devices remote from the node, the conflict is avoided. It is natural to develop programs that refer to basic devices - DISPLAY or PRINTER - as shown in Fig. 1, to avoid excessive customization. However, when multiprocessor systems are introduced, as in Fig. 2, the problem of which device should be DISPLAY and PRINTER arises.

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Generic Device Names in a Multiprocessor System

A technique is described whereby a conflict in the use of device names is eliminated. When an existing operating system is extended to a multiprocessing environment, many commonly used programs have device names that use standard displays and printers. Where each device has a unique device name, the use of these names on nodes other than the first one may lead to undesirable results. By providing generic device names and permitting the user to use these names to refer to either devices on the node or devices remote from the node, the conflict is avoided. It is natural to develop programs that refer to basic devices - DISPLAY or PRINTER - as shown in Fig. 1, to avoid excessive customization. However, when multiprocessor systems are introduced, as in Fig. 2, the problem of which device should be DISPLAY and PRINTER arises. To maintain uniqueness of the device names, only one device in the entire configuration may have a particular name, as shown in Fig. 3, where somewhere in the system on one particular node, there is a single device with the name. If the operator of system B types a command that uses devices DISPLAY and PRINTER, he may have to move to system A to enter commands to that program. Also, if the operator of system A is running the same program, the system B operator may not be able to run the program at all. To avoid the problem of name conflicts and to provide control, the use of generic device names is implemented. To prevent confusion, the names DISPLAY and PRINTER are used only as generic names, not as true names. The generic name assignments are made relative to a particular node in the multiprocessing system, depending on the system configuration, to permit different nodes to use generic device names in various ways. Examples of the use of generic device names are shown in config...