What is an Operating System ?........
The basic definition of an Operating System is as follows :
" An operating system acts as an intermediary ( providing communication) between the user of a computer and computer hardware . "
The purpose of an operating system is to provide an environment in which a user can execute programs in a convenient and efficient manner.
An operating system is software that manages the computer hardware . The hardware must provide appropiate mechanisms to ensure the correct operation of the computer system and to prevent user programs from interfering with the proper operation of the system.
Internally , operating system vary greatly in their makeup , since they are organized along many different lines . The design of a new operating system is a major task. It is important that the goals of the system be well defined before design begins . These goals forms the basis for choices among various algorithms and strategies .
Because an operating system is large and complex , it must be created piece by piece. Each of these pieces should be a well delineated portion of the system , with
Generally a computer system can be divided into four major components :
The Operating System
The Application Programs
The Hardware ------ the central processing unit (CPU) , the memory , and the input / output devices --- provides the basic computing resources for the system .
The Application Programs ---- such as word processors , spreadsheets , compilers , and web browsers ----- define the way in which these resources are used to resolve users computing problems . The operating system controls and coordinates the use of the hardware among the various application programs for the various users .
We can also view computer system as consisting of hardware , software and data . The operating system provides the means for proper use of these resources in the operation of the computer system. It simply provides an environment within which other programs can do useful work .
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