Top of the morning to everyone, first of all we will like to apologise to our readers for not releasing a post last weekend. Now,I guess that’s out of the way(please 😉 ) I guess we can move on to what we have for you today.
In this post, we will be discussing about Operating Systems, in short OS. I can hear lot of groans,like “we are not in school’’ or “this is not a lecture room’’or “I hope this is not another boring lecture’’. I can guarantee you after reading this, you will not have any complaints(I hope x_x).
First of all, what is an Operating System? In Computer Science, it is simply the basic software that controls a computer. It has three major functions:
-It tells computer hardware, such as computer memory, printers, disks, keyboard, mouse, and monitor what to do, how to do it and when to do it.
-It organizes files on a variety of storage media, such as floppy disk, hard drive, compact disc, digital video disc, and tape.
-It manages hardware errors and the loss of data.
Operating systems control different computer processes e.g. running a spreadsheet program like excel or accessing information from a computer’s memory. One very important function is interpreting commands, enabling the user to communicate with the computer.
Operating systems are of two categories: single-tasking and multitasking. The more primitive single-tasking operating systems could run only one process at a time. Take for example, when the computer is printing a document, it cannot start another process or respond to new commands until the printing is completed. (You can just imagine). Fortunately, advances in technology has changed that, all modern operating systems are multitasking and can run several processes simultaneously i.e. you can be preparing a document, copying files and at the same time be playing music on your computer.
I hope you are getting the picture. I am sure if asked to mention a type of OS, many will quickly respond saying: Microsoft Windows. True, it is, but there are others which are uncommon to a lot of people, especially in this part of the world, namely: UNIX, Macintosh (Mac), OS/2 etc.
In this post however, we will be focusing on just 3 types, namely: Microsoft Windows, Macintosh (Mac) and Linux.
Find below a brief history, applications and flaws about this operating systems
In the year 1969, at AT&T Bell Laboratories, UNIX was invented. It is a popular operating system among academic computer users. Its popularity rose due to the growth of the Internet. The Software for the Internet was initially designed for computers that ran UNIX.
Variations of UNIX include:
-SunOS (distributed by SUN Microsystems, Inc.),
-Xenix (distributed by Microsoft Corporation),
-Linux (available for download free of charge. and distributed commercially by companies such as Red Hat, Inc.).
UNIX and its clones support multitasking and multiple users. It consists of a file system that provides a simple means of organizing disk files and lets users control access to their files.
Another plus to this OS is the fact that it is really secure, and less prone to hacking, and it allows low level communication with the hardware, making it the geek’s preference. On the other hand the commands in UNIX are not readily apparent, however, and mastering the system is difficult. Although UNIX is popular for professionals, it is not the operating system of choice for the general public.
In 1984, the Operating system Macintosh was developed by Apple Computer, Inc.; it pioneered the use of a graphical interface which made the computer easy to operate for the novice user.
Mac OS can be divided into two families:
-The Mac OS Classic family, which was based on Apple’s own code
-The OS X operating system, developed from Mac OS Classic family
Apple is known for hiring the best industrial and interface designers around, and it shows in the intuitive nature of the GUI, if you have used an iPhone, iPad or iPod you will understand what I mean. Mac OS is a two-layered system, the attractive GUI sits atop a UNIX core. It’s simply impossible to install a destructive Trojan or virus unless the user explicitly allows it root access via typing in the admin password. On the other hand, all that flashy secure reliable power comes at a price. Macs cost more than machines that run other operating systems. Highly specialized software can be difficult to source for Mac OS, such as industry-specific applications. If you’re a computer gamer, Mac OS isn’t going to do it for you. Boot Camp and Parallels will allow you to run games natively in Windows, but there may be a performance hit. Some games are produced for Mac OS, but the number is very small.
In 1985, the Windows operating system was manufactured by Microsoft Corporation, providing users with a graphical user interface (GUI), which allows them to manipulate small pictures, called icons, on the computer screen to issue commands. Windows is the most widely used operating system in the world. It is an extension of and replacement for Microsoft’s Disk Operating System (MS-DOS). In Windows, the user can move a cursor around on the computer screen with a mouse. By pointing the cursor at icons and clicking buttons on the mouse, the user can issue commands to the computer to perform an action, such as starting a program, accessing or copying a data file.
Variants include: Windows- NT, 95, 98, 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7 etc.
It is highly user friendly, and its software compatibility is high, making it the business man, gamer, and novice’s choice. On the other hand, it has the disadvantage of requiring more hardware—such as faster CPUs, more memory, and higher-quality monitors—than do command-oriented operating systems, and it is not the best when it comes to core security.
Operating systems will continue to evolve. A recently developed type of OS called a Distributed OS is designed for a connected, but independent, collection of computers that share resources such as hard drives. In a distributed OS, a process can run on any computer in the network (presumably a computer that is idle) to increase that process’s performance.
Who knows what next is brewing in the labs in the world of OS, all we can do is wait and see.
Thank you for reading this post and God bless.