Operating Systems Overview

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Operating Systems Overview

Operating Systems Overview

An operating system refers to computer software that manages a computer’s memory as well as essential functions such as controlling peripherals, scheduling tasks, and application execution. Operating systems also facilitate users to communicate with computers in non-computer language. Therefore, all computer hardware and software are managed by operating systems. Most times, numerous computer processes simultaneously try to access the memory, CPU (central processing unit) and storage. All this is adequately coordinated by the operating system.


Usually, a computer operating system comes pre-installed on the computer and is upgradable. Among the most common of these operating systems are Apple Mac OS X, Linux and Microsoft Window. These operating systems are built with a graphical user interface (GUI), which makes it possible to use buttons, mouse, and menus.

Device management

In device management, drivers manage the motherboard pathway to the hard drive. Drivers are therefore translators between the advanced programming languages and hardware subsystems’ electrical systems. Hence, high priority blocks are frequently allocated to drivers, releasing hardware resources as swift as possible.

Processor management

            Processor management ensures that applications get enough processor time for optimal functionality. This is attained by scheduling the processor’s tasks. In multi-tasking operating systems such as Windows XP, the CPU appears to be carrying out tasks simultaneously as the result of rapid processor management. When two processes are running concurrently, a particular number of CPU-execution cycles are allocated by the OS designates to a single program.

The operating system then duplicates all registers, queues and stacks in use by the processes while taking notes of points where individual processes paused execution. This is rapidly succeeded by the OS loading all the stacks, registers, and queues of the second program and allocating it a particular number of CPU cycles. This is then followed by the steps carried out on the first program.

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