Lesson 9

Operating System Description

  • Course Contents

a) Short History Of Operating Systems
b) Definition and Functions of Operating System
c) Types Of Operating Systems
d) Using the OS to Manage Your Computer
e) Using the OS to Manage Devices, and Programs
f) Troubleshooting Your Devices and Programs
g) Information Security Overview

Short History Of OS Background
Early computers lacked any form of operating system. The user had sole use of the machine and would arrive armed with program and data, often on punched paper and tape. The program would be loaded into the machine, and the machine would be set to work until the program completed or crashed. Programs could generally be debugged via a front panel using switches and lights. It is said that Alan Turing was a master of this on the early Manchester Mark I machine, and he was already deriving the primitive conception of an operating system from the principles of the Universal Turing machine.

The emergence of MS Windows
1975: Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen
1990: Windows 3.0 introduced by Microsoft
1993: Windows NT introduced by Microsoft
1993: IBM introduced OS/2 for Windows, which can upgrade windows to OS/2 environment
1995: Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows 95
1998: Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows 98
2000: Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (ie Windows ME) launched with more features like system restore, moving maker and improved version of Windows Media Player etc
2000: Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows 2000 an Operating system built on Windows NT Technology
Windows server 2000
2002: Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows XP an Operating system built on both Windows ME and Windows 2000 Technologies
Windows server 2003
2006: Windows Vista launched in January 2007
2007: Windows Server 2008

Definition and Functions of OS
Operating System (OS) is a Set/Series of system software programs that manages the overall operation of the computer system, It is an interface/platform between which the user operates the computer through system hardware and software.
1. It enable the user to create and keep track of files, run programs and access peripheral devices
2. It contribute to the feel and look of applications programs that operate under its environment/platform/interface
3. Each computer must have its Operating System; no computer can operate without an OS

Types Of Operating Systems
There are generally seven types, which are:

a) Batch Processing Operating System
Data or programs are collected grouped and processed at a later date. Used mainly for payroll, stock control and billing systems.

b) Real-time Operating Systems
Inputs are processed immediately and affect the outputs immediately – They are used to control machinery, scientific instruments and industrial systems. Example used to control nuclear power plants, oil refining, chemical processing and air traffic control systems.

c) Single User & Single Tasking Operating Systems
These operating systems are designed to manage the computer so that one user can effectively do one thing at a time. The Palmtop and now days mobile phone O.S. are good example of a modern single-user, single-task operating systems.

d) Single User & Multi Tasking Operating Systems
These are the type of operating systems most people use on their desktops and laptops. Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista and the Macintosh (MAC) O.S. are all examples of an operating system that will let a single user have several programs loaded onto RAM at the same time. For example, it is entirely possible for a Windows user to be writing a note in a word processor while downloading a file from the Internet while printing the text of an e-mail message. Users have to switch between running programs in order to use them.

e) Multi User Operating Systems
The multi-user operating systems allow many different users to take advantage of the computer’s resources simultaneously. The operating system must make sure that the requirements of the various users are balanced, and that each of the programs they are using has sufficient and separate resources so that a problem with one user does not affect the entire community of users. Examples of Multi-user OS are UNIX, VMS, Windows NT, Windows 2000 sever, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server. Used in large servers like mainframe computers.

Functions of OS:
Operating System performs three basic functions:
1. Manage Devices
2. Program Control
3. Commands Processing

Manage Devices
It manages devices like printers, screen, keyboard, mouse, disks drives, scanners, internal adapters,
Manage how data are stored in disks, disks spaces, provide efficient and fast data storage and retrieval

Program Control
It is responsible in program loading and prepares a framework for program execution

Commands Processing
This is the part of Operating System which link the user and various commands requires to perform different actions

Assignment # 9
” Define what is an operating system
” Outline three basic function of any OS
” There are five types of OS according to their uses, mention which type of OS used in mobile phone and PDAs
” Define what is meant by windows desktop, wallpaper and icon
” Hide desktop program icons
” Set the desktop and screensaver to Windows XP
” Change desktop font to 14 Italic Tahoma and yellow color
” What is Windows Explorer and what it does?
” Outline the anatomy of the start menu
” Search all images, create a PICHA folder, customize it to Photo Album and save your searched images in it


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