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AtebYngNghymraeg t1_janz5kf wrote

Which is also where we get the idea of "booting" a computer.


byllz t1_jape02i wrote

And it makes sense. The operating system is a program. For it to run, like any program, it needs to be read from disk, placed into memory, and then executed. "What is the problem?" You may ask. "Computers run programs all the time." The problem is that the procedure to read the disk, load a program into memory, and execute it is part of the operating system. If the operating system isn't running yet, how is it going to get the operating system running? It seems as impossible as pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.


MEaster t1_jarrb8q wrote

For those wondering how this is solved, a simplified explanation is that when the processor leaves its reset state, it starts executing from a fixed address in memory, which is connected to a permanent storage instead of RAM, and which holds a small program that then loads more complex software off a disc.


Gagarin1961 t1_jar2jwn wrote

Yes so the phrase originated as an example of an “Impossible task,” but it’s since become a term for a self starting process.

The linked article reads:

>In general, bootstrapping usually refers to a self-starting process that is supposed to continue or grow without external input.

Computer engineers aren’t referring to an impossible task, just a self starting one. As much as Reddit loves the original usage, the the phrase “pull oneself up by their bootstraps” today means to use what you have to get ahead instead of relying on outside help.