The Digital Research Initiative
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Part One

What Makes UNIX Special?

As discussed earilier, UNIX is particularly powerful due to its preemptive multitasking abilities. This allows UNIX to be used to handle many large and complicated tasks, which often are made up by several smaller tasks. This also allows UNIX to handle small, routine tasks easily.

UNIX system are also reknown for their networking abilities. Since there is a vast variety of computer companies, there is a vast variety of networking protocols, and supporting all of these is a difficult task. UNIX, however, is capable of this. For example, a UNIX machine can support Apple Macintosh networks as well as PC and UNIX networks, which is quite a task for most systems.

When you combine the networking and multitasking abilities of UNIX, you get a system which is best used as a server to many different users on foreign computers. Scores and hundreds of different users can "remotely login" (rlogin) to a UNIX system via a network. (Generally, remote login sessions are term-only.)

Also, because of these capabilities, UNIX systems are well-suited to be Web servers, particularly for high-traffic sites. UNIX performs in theis area far better than Windows NT servers.

Yet another feature of UNIX is its email abilities. UNIX assigns each user a "login name," which is used to identify that person in the system. It is possible then to send messages to users, and it will be saved untill the user "logs into" the UNIX system. This is where electronic mail comes from: More on that in the What Does Have to Do With Me?

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