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The Purpose Of An Operating System

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An operating system is a system including different programs and data and is installed on a computer or can be installed if there isn’t one. An operating system includes different resources that can be accessed by the user for example, applications such as Google chrome and Microsoft word. Various operating systems have a different layout as they are made by different developers. Some of these developers are Microsoft who created Windows, Linux which is a free or a very low-cost alternative operating system and Apple who created Mac OS.

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An operating system enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate the computer software. All the mechanics in a computer are made functional by an operating system and without this, the user wouldn’t be able to use the programs and access the data on the computer. If an operating system can multitask, so if one application has been running for a long time then it can give the next application a turn. It can choose which application it wants to run at a certain time.

An operating system can also share the internal memory of multiple applications if they are being used by the user for example if Microsoft word and PowerPoint were being used, then it would save the data for those applications, likewise with other applications. Another function of an operating system is to handle input and output devices such as printers, speakers, keyboards etc. This would allow the user to use these devices comfortably as the system is controlling everything.

Operating systems also send messages to certain system operators if any error occurred such as an app failing to function properly and then the operator would try and fix that. It can manage to run a program on two processors. This would speed up the program as it is using the power of two processors instead of one. This is called parallel processing. It can also perform a function where it manages batch jobs such as printing, this would free the certain application of the workload that was created by the user.

An OS will have a file system where all the storage is saved and is organized or can be organized to the user’s preference. Before any data is retrieved from a certain file, the computer needs to know which storage device the file is placed in. Where the file is and how much data is on the file, this is called file management. It is all done to make it a lot simpler for users using different programs collecting a lot of data. Files are stored and deleted by the OS. It’s the job of the OS to find out this information and let the programs know and this is done by creating the files it creates to be organized.

Processor management is the management of the CPU. This means that every program and application needs to be managed properly by the CPU. This is done by giving each application enough time using multiple processors in the process so they function correctly and update regularly. Apps such as Microsoft word, PowerPoint and spreadsheet may seem like they start up straightaway but in hindsight they went through a process where the CPU had to do some work and manage to get the App up and running without any problems. Device management is the management of devices in a computer. The operating system chooses when and when it doesn’t want a certain device to be used. There are many hardware devices that function but they only a function when they are needed.

18 March 2020

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