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System Software two mark questions and answers - CS2304

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Please find the two mark questions with answers below for system software - CS2304 subject related to computer science engineering (CSE) branch. Please do cross refer it before using it. These is for the anna university syllabus - regulation 2008. Please feel free to share you feedback and comments so that i can improve this blog.

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1. Define system software.
It consists of variety of programs that supports the operation of the computer. This
software makes it possible for the user to focus on the other problems to be solved with
out needing to know how the machine works internally.
Eg: operating system, assembler, loader.

2. Give some applications of operating system.
- to make the computer easier to use
- to manage the resources in computer
- process management
- data and memory management
- to provide security to the user.
Operating system acts as an interface between the user and the system

3.Define compiler and interpreter.
Compiler is a set of program which converts the whole high level language
program to machine language program.
Interpreter is a set of programs which converts high level language program to
machine language program line by line.

4 Define loader.
Loades into the main memory and makes it ready for execution.

5 What is the need of MAR register.
MAR (memory address register) is used to store the address of the memory from
which the data is to be read or to which the data is to be written.

6 Draw SS instruction format.

7. Give any two difference between base relative addressing and program counter relative
addressing used in SIC/XE.

Base relative addressing

Here the target address is calculatedusing the formula
Target address = Displacement + [B]
B-base register
Displacement lies between 0 to 4095

8.Define indirect addressing
PC relative addressing
Here the target address is calculated using the formula
Target address = Displacement + [PC]
PC-program counter
Displacement lies between –2048 to 2047

In the case of immediate addressing the operand field gives the memory
location.The word from the given address is fetched and it gives the address of the
Eg:ADD R5, [600]
Here the second operand is given in indirect addressing mode.First the word in
memory location 600 is fetched and which will give the address of the operand.

9.Define immediate addressing.
Eg: ADD #5
In this instruction one operand is in accumulator and the second operand is a
immediate value the value 5 is directly added with the accumulator content and the result
is stored in accumulator.

10.Give any two difference between CISC and RISC architecture.
 11. What is the result of the following statement?
ADD 6(immediate) to R (indirect)
Here 6 is the immediate data and the next value is indirect data.ie the register contains
the address of the operand. Here the address of the operand is 5 and its corresponding
value is 7.
6 + [R] = 6+ [5] = 6+ 7 =13

13. Give any two difference between SIC and SIC/XE.
Here only five registers are used.A,X,L,SW and PC
There is no floating point hardware
Only one instruction format is used
Two different addressing modes are used

Here there are nine registers.A,X,L,SW ,PC,B,S,T and F
Floating point hardware is used
Four different type of instruction formats
Here there are many addressingmodes

14.Following is a memory configuration:

15. What is the name of X and L register in SIC machine and also specify its use.
A-accumulator Used for arithmetic operation.ie in the case of arithmetic operations one
operand is in the accumulator,and other operand may be a immediate value,registre
operand or memory content.The operation given in the instruction is performed and the
result is stored in the accumulator register.
L-linkage register
It is used to store the return address in the case of jump to subroutine
(JSUB) instructions.

16.What are the instruction formats used in SIC/XE architecture? Give any one format.

17.Consider the instructions in SIC/ XE programming

What is the value assign to the symbol NEW.
In the line 10 the address is 1000 and the instruction is RESW 4.It reserves 4
word (3 x 4 =12) area for the symbol LENGTH.hence 12 is added to the LOCCTR.
Thus the value of the symbol NEW is 1000+12 =100C.

18.What is the difference between the instructions LDA # 3 and LDA THREE?

19.Differentiate trailing numeric and leading separate numeric.
The numeric format is used to represent numeric values with one digit per byte. In
the numeric format if the sign appears in the last byte it is known as the trailing numeric.
If the sign appears in a separate byte preceding the first digit then it is called as leading
separate numeric.

20.What are the addressing modes used in VAX architecture?
Register direct, register deferred, auto increment and decrement, program
counter relative, base relative, index register mode and indirect addressing are the various
addressing modes in VAX architecture.

21.How do you calculate the actual address in the case of register indirect with immediate
index mode?
Here the target address is calculated using the formula
T.A =(register) + displacement.

22.Write the sequence of instructions to perform the operation BETA = ALPHA + 1
using SIC instructions.

23.Write the sequence of instructions to perform the operation BETA = ALPHA+5
using SIC/XE instructions.

24.What is the use of TD instruction in SIC architecture?
The test device (TD) instruction tests whether the addressed device is ready to
send or receive a byte of data.The condition code is set to indicate the result of this test.
Setting of < means the device is ready to send or receive, and = means the device is not

25.Define software.
It is the set of programs written in any of the programming languages. Software is
divided into 2 types.
- system software
- application software


26. Define the basic functions of assembler.
- translating mnemonic operation codes to their machine language equivalents.
- Assigning machine addresses to symbolic labels used by the programmer.

27. What is meant by assembler directives. Give example.
These are the statements that are not translated into machine instructions,but they
provide instructions to assembler itself.

28.What is forward references?
It is a reference to a label that is defined later in a program.
Consider the statement
10 1000 STL RETADR
80 1036 RETADR RESW 1
The first instruction contains a forward reference RETADR.If we attempt to translate the
program line by line,we will unable to process the statement in line10 because we do not
know the address that will be assigned to RETADR .The address is assigned later(in line
80) in the program.

29.What are the three different records used in object program?
The header record,text record and the end record are the three different records
used in object program.
The header record contains the program name,starting address and length of the program.
Text record contains the translated instructions and data of the program.
End record marks the end of the object program and specifies the address in the program
where execution is to begin.

30.What is the need of SYMTAB(symbol table) in assembler?

31. What is the need of OPTAB(operation code table) in assembler?
The operation code table contain the mnemonic operation code and its machine
language equivalent.Some assemblers it may also contains information about instruction
format and length.OPTAB is usually organized as a hash table,with mnemonic operation
code as the key.

32.What are the symbol defining statements generally used in assemblers?

33.Define relocatable program.
An object program that contains the information necessary to perform required
modification in the object code depends on the starting location of the program
during load time is known as reloadable program.

34. Differentiate absolute expression and relative expression.
If the result of the expression is an absolute value (constant) then it is known as
absolute expression.,
If the result of the expression is relative to the beginning of the program then it is
known as relative expression.label on instructions and data areas and references to
the location counter values are relative terms.

35. Write the steps required to translate the source program to object program.
- Convert mnemonic operation codes to their machine language equivalents.
- Convert symbolic operands to their equivalent machine addresses
- Build the machine instruction in the proper format.
- Convert the data constants specified in the source program into their internal
machine representations.
- Write the object program and assembly listing.

36.What is the use of the variable LOCCTR(location counter) in assembler?
This variable is used to assign addresses to the symbols.LOCCTR is initialized to
the beginning address specified in the START statement.Aftre each source statement

37. Define load and go assembler.
One pass assembler that generate their object code in memory for immediate
execution is known as load and go assembler.Here no object programmer is written
out and hence no need for loader.

38.What are the two different types of jump statements used in MASM assembler?
- Near jump
A near jump is a jump to a target in the same segment and it is assembled
by using a current code segment CS.
- Far jump
A far jump is a jump to a target in a different code segment and it is
assembled by using different segment registers .

39.What are the use of base register table in AIX assembler?
A base register table is used to remember which of the general purpose registers
are currently available as base registers and also the base addresses they contain.
.USING statement causes entry to the table and .DROP statement removes the
corresponding table entry.

40. Differentiate the assembler directives RESW and RESB.

41.Define modification record and give its format
This record contains the information about the modification in the object code
during program relocation.the general format is

42 .Write down the pass numbers(PASS 1/ PASS 2) of the following activities that occur
in a two pass assembler:
a. Object code generation
b. Literals added to literal table
c. Listing printed
a. Object code generation - PASS 2
b. Literals added to literal table – PASS 1
c. Listing printed – PASS2
d. Address location of local symbols – PASS1

43. What is meant by machine independent assembler features?
The assembler features that does not depends upon the machine architecture are
known as machine independent assembler features.
Eg: program blocks,Literals.

44. How the register to register instructions are translated in assembler?
In the case of register to register instructions the operand field contains the
register name.During the translation first the object code is converted into its
corresponding machine language equivalent with the help of OPTAB.Then the
SYMTAB is searched for the numeric equivalent of register and that value is inserted into
the operand field.

Eg: 125
B4-macine equivalent of the opcode CLEAR
10-numeric equivalent of the register X.

45. What is meant by external references?
Assembler program can be divided into many sections known as control sections
and each control section can be loaded and relocated independently of the others.If the
instruction in one control section need to refer instruction or data in another control
section .the assembler is unable to process these references in normal way.Such
references between control are called external references.

46.Define control section.
A control section is a part of the program that maintain its identity after
assembly;each control section can be loaded and relocated independently of the others.
Control sections are most often used for subroutines.The major benefit of using
control sections is to increase flexibility.

47.What is the difference between the assembler directive EXTREF and EXTDEF.
EXTDEF names external symbols that are defined in a particular control section
and may be used by other sections.
EXTREF names external symbols that are referred in a particular control section
and defined in another control section.

49.Give the use of assembler directive CSECT and USE
CSECT - used to divide the program into many control sections
USE – used to divide the program in to many blocks called program blocks

50.What is the use of the assembler directive START.
The assembler directive START gives the name and starting address of the
program.The format is
PN –name of the program
1000-starting address of the program.


51. What are the basic functions of loaders
Loading – brings the object program into memory for execution
Relocation – modifies the object program so that it can be loaded at an address
different from the location originally specified
Linking – combines two or more separate object programs and also supplies the
information needed to reference them.

52. Define absolute loader
The loader, which is used only for loading, is known as absolute loader.
e.g. Bootstrap loader

53. What is meant by bootstrap loader?
This is a special type of absolute loader which loads the first program to be run
by the computer. (usually an operating system)

54. What are relative (relocative) loaders?
Loaders that allow for program relocation are called relocating (relocative ) loaders.

55. What is the use of modification record?
Modification record is used for program relocation.Each modification record
specifies the starting address and the length of the field whose value is to be
altered and also describes the modification to be performed.

57. Relocation bit method
If the relocation bit corresponding to a word of object code is set to 1,the
program’s starting address is to be added to this word when the program is
relocated. Bit value 0 indicates no modification is required.

58. Define bit mask
The relocation bits are gathered together following the length indicator in
each text record and which is called as bit mask.For e.g. the bit mask
FFC(111111111100) specifies that the first 10 words of object code are to be modified
during relocation.

59. What is the need of ESTAB.
It is used to store the name and address of the each external symbol. It also
indicates in which control section the symbol is defined.

60. What is the use of the variable PROGADDR.
It gives the beginning address in memory where the linked program is to be
loaded.The starting address is obtained from the operating system.

61. Write the two passes of a linking loader.
Pass1: assigns address to all external symbols
Pass2: it performs actual loading, relocation and linking.

62.Define automatic library search.
In many linking loaders the subroutines called by the program being loaded are
automatically fetched from the library, linked with the main program and loaded.This
feature is referred to as automatic library search.

63. List the loader options INCLUDE &DELETE.
The general format of INCLUDE is
INCLUDE program_name (library name)
This command direct the loader to read the designated object program from a library and
treat it as the primary loader input.
The general format of DELETE command is
DELETE Csect-name
It instructs the loader to delete the named control sections from the sets of programs

64.Give the functions of the linking loader.
The linking loader performs the process of linking and relocation. It includes the
operation of automatic library search and the linked programs are directly loaded into the

65. Give the difference between linking loader and linkage editors.

68. What is meant by static executable and dynamic executable?
In static executable, all external symbols are bound and ready to run. In dynamic
executables some symbols are bound at run time.

69. What is shared and private data?
The data divided among processing element is called shared data. If the data is
not shared among processing elements then it is called private data.

70.Write the absolute loader algorithm.
Read Header record
Verify program name and length
Read first text record
While record type != ‘E’ do
Moved object code to specified location in memory
Read next object program record
Jump to address specified in End record


71. Define macro processor.
Macro processor is system software that replaces each macroinstruction with the
corresponding group of source language statements. This is also called as
expanding of macros.

73. What are the directives used in macro definition?
MACRO - it identifies the beginning of the macro definition
MEND - it marks the end of the macro definition

74. What are the data structures used in macro processor?
DEFTAB – the macro definitions are stored in a definition table ie it contains a
macro prototype and the statements that make up the macro body.
NAMTAB – it is used to store the macro names and it contains two pointers for
each macro instruction which indicate the starting and end location of macro
definition in DEFTAB.it also serves as an index to DEFTAB
ARGTAB – it is used to store the arguments during the expansion of macro

75. Define conditional macro expansion.
If the macro is expanded depends upon some conditions in macro definition
(depending on the arguments supplied in the macro expansion) then it is called as
conditional macro expansion.

76. What is the use of macro time variable?
Macro time variable can be used to store working values during the macro
expansion. Any symbol that begins with the character & and then is not a macro
instruction parameter is assumed to be a macro time variable.

77. What are the statements used for conditional macro expansion?
IF-ELSE-ENDIF statement
WHILE-ENDW statement

78. What is meant by positional parameters?
If the parameters and arguments were associated with each other according to
their positions in the macro prototype and the macro invocation statement, then
these parameters in macro definitions are called as positional parameters.

79. Consider the macro definition
#Define DISPLAY(EXPR) Printf(“EXPR = %d\n”,EXPR)
Expand the macro instruction DISPLAY (ANS)
Ans.: Printf (“EXPR = %d\n”, ANS)

80. What are known as nested macro call?
call. In the nested macro call, the call is done by outer macro and the macro
called is the inner macro.

81. How the macro is processed using two passes?
Pass1: processing of definitions
Pass 2:actual-macro expansion.

82.Give the advantage of line by line processors.
? it avoids the extra pass over the source program during assembling
? it may use some of the utility that can be used by language translators so that
can be loaded once.

83.What is meant by line by line processor
This macro processor reads the source program statements, process the
statements and then the output lines are passed to the language translators as they are
generated, instead of being written in an expanded file.

84. Give the advantages of general-purpose macroprocessors.
? The programmer does not need to learn about a macro facility for each
? Overall saving in software development cost and a maintenance cost
85.What is meant by general-purpose macro processors?
The macro processors that are not dependent on any particular programming
language,but can be used with a variety of different languages are known as general
purpose macro processors.
Eg.The ELENA macro processor.

86. What are the important factors considered while designing a general purpose
? comments
? grouping of statements
? tokens
? syntax used for macro definitions

87.What is the symbol used to generate unique labels?
$ symbol is used in macro definition to generate unique symbols.Each macro
expansion the $ symbol is replaced by $XX,where XX is the alpha numeric

88.How the nested macro calls are executed?

89.Mention the tasks involved in macro expansion.
? identify the macro calls in the program
? the values of formal parameters are identified
? maintain the values of expansion time variables declared in a macro
? expansion time control flow is organized
? determining the values of sequencing symbols
? expansion of a model statement is performed

90.How to design the pass structure of a macro assembler?
To design the structure of macro-assembler, the functions of macro preprocessor
and the conventional assembler are merged. After merging, the functions are structured
into passes of the macro assembler.


91. Define interactive editor?
An interactive editor is a computer program that allows a user to create and
revise a target document. The term document includes objects such as computer
programs, text, equations, tables, diagrams, line art, and photographs any thing that one
might find on a printed page.

92. What are the tasks performed in the editing process?
4 tasks
1. select the part of the target document to be viewed and manipulated.
2. Determine how to format this view on-line and how to display it.
3. Specify and execute operations that modify the target document.
4. Update the view appropriately.

93. What are the three categories of editor’s devices?
1. Text device/ String devices
2. Button device/Choice devices
3. Locator device

94. What is the function performed in editing phase?
In the actual editing phase, the target document is created or altered with a set of
operations such as insert, delete, replace, move and copy.

97. Define Locator device?
Locator devices are two-dimensional analog-to-digital converters that position a
cursor symbol on the screen by observing the user’s movement of the device. The
most common such devices for editing applications are the mouse and the data
What is the function performed in voice input device?
prove to be the text input devices of the future. Voice recognizers are currently
available for command input on some systems.
What are called tokens?
The lexical analyzer tracks the source program one character at a time by making
the source program into sequence of atomic units is called tokens.

98.Name some of typical tokens.
Identifiers, keywords, constants, operators and punctuation symbols such as
commas and parentheses are typical tokens.

99. What is meant by lexeme?
The character that forms a token is said to be a lexeme.

100. Mention the main disadvantage of interpreter.

The main disadvantage of interpreter is that the execution time of interpreted
program is slower than that of a corresponding compiled object program.

101. What is meant by code optimization?
The code optimization is designed to improve the intermediate code, which helps
the object program to run faster and takes less space.

102. What is error handler?
The error handler is used to check if there is an error in the program. If any error,
it should warn the programmer by instructions to proceed from phase to phase.

103. Name some of text editors
? line editors
? stream editors
? screen editors
? word processors
? structure editors

104. What for debug monitors are used?
Debug monitors are used in obtaining information for localization of errors.

105. Mention the features of word processors.
? moving text from one place to another
? merging of text
? searching
? word replacement

106. What are the phases in performing editing process?
a. Traveling phase
b. Filtering phase
c. Formatting phase
d. Editing phase

107. Define traveling phase.
The phase specifies the region of interest. Traveling is achieved using operations
such as next screenful, bottom, find pattern.

108. Filtering phase.
The selection of what is to be viewed and manipulated in given by filtering.

109. Editing phase
In this phase, the target document is altered with the set of operations such as
insert, delete, replace, move and copy.

110. Define user interface?
User interface is one, which allows the user to communicate with the system in
order to perform certain tasks. User interface is generally designed in a computer to
make it easier to use.

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