What is an Operating System...4
History of Operating Systems...6
What an Operating System Does...8
Disk and File Systems...16
Graphical User Interface...19
Other Operating Systems ...38
Installing an Operating System...39
Defining the Processes...43
Our body couldn’t function without our brains. The brain tells the various pieces of our body how to work and how to interact. Without a brain, we wouldn’t be able to do anything at all.
An operating system is kind of like the brain of a computer. You have a bunch of hardware like the CPU tower, the monitor, and the keyboard, but without a CPU, they can’t do anything but power up and turn on. The operating system organizes files and lets the hardware know what it should do.
In the early days of computers, there was just one operating system. As computers progressed, the OS turned into MS-DOS, but computers really weren’t capable of doing much without software. Then Bill Gates came along.
With the founding of Microsoft, the computer operating system came into its own and brought computers to new levels of functioning and technology. Although the brand names of operating systems are few, they do perform different tasks depending on the requirements of the computer user.
While the dominant OS today would be Microsoft Windows, there are other types of operating systems that offer different features. Those would include Linux, UNIX, and OS X.
In our technological age, there are operating systems in more than just computers. Many of the sophisticated new cell phones have their own operating systems, and wireless access points have their own OS to provide wireless internet to customers. In fact, the computer in a cell phone today is more powerful than a computer was twenty years ago.
As you can see, the operating system technology has evolved and is continuing to evolve. It seems like Microsoft is always coming out with a new and better operating system which leads people to wonder whether or not the system they are currently using is really the best one.
It can be confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. In the pages of this book, we’ll explore operating system in depth. You’ll learn about
what they do, how they work, and what needs specific systems can meet. Ultimately, the choice is a matter of preference, but it helps to be informed on what you are really getting when choosing an OS.
We’ll show you operating systems uncovered, so read on!
WHAT IS AN OPERATING SYSTEM?
An operating system – commonly referred to as an OS – is a set of computer programs that manage the hardware and software resources of a computer. The OS processes electronic devices with a rational response to commands that are approved by the system.
At the foundation of all system software, an operating system performs basic tasks like controlling and allocating memory, prioritizing system requests, controlling input and output devices, facilitating the network, and managing files. The OS can also provide a graphical user interface for higher functions. Essentially, the OS forms a platform for other system software as well as application software.
The operating system is the most important program that runs on a computer. Without an operating system, your computer would not work. It would not be able to process requests for print, simple calculations, or any other function. It is really the brain that runs the equipment.
For larger system, the OS has great responsibilities than with a PC. In larger systems, the operating system is kind of like a traffic cop. It makes sure that different users and programs running at the same time on different systems don’t interfere with each other. It also acts as a security guard making sure that unauthorized users are not able to access the system.
There are four classifications of a computer operating system. They are:
• Multi-User: Allows two or more users to run programs at the same time. Some operating systems permit hundreds or even thousands of concurrent users
• Multi-Processing: Supports running a program on more than one CPU
• Multi-Tasking: Allows more than one program to run concurrently
• Multi-Threading: Allows different parts of a single program to run concurrently
• Real Time: Responds to input instantly. General-purpose operating systems, such as DOS and UNIX, are not rea