What Is an Operating System?

In this article, let’s have a look on what is an operating system?

An operating system is the one that manages all the software and hardware of your computer.

An operating system acts as an intermediary between the user of a computer and computer hardware. It provides an environment to the user in such a way, that user can perform tasks in a convenient and efficient way.

Let’s see the functions of the operating systems.

The following are some of the functions of an operating system in a device.

  • Device Management
  • Memory Management
  • Process Management
  • File Management
  • Resource Management
  • Security
  • Convenience
  • Efficiency

Device Management

Device management keeps tracks of all the hardware and software resources. Operating System (OS) manages these resources effectively so that user perform tasks without conflict.

In other words, it manages using drivers so that the software communicates to hardware resources efficiently.

Memory Management

Memory management refers to the management of Main memory or Primary memory.

In other words, memory is the large array of words or bytes, ranging in size from hundreds of thousands to billions, each w/ith its own address.

Main memory is directly accessed by the CPU.

For a program to be executed it must be in the main memory. Deciding which processes and data to move into and out of memory. Allocation and deallocation of memory space as needed.

Process Management

In process management, OS do the management of CPU.

When user requests for a task to be done by the computer, then process needs certain computers resources including CPU time, memory, files, and I/O devices. A program in execution is called process.

An operating system does the following functions with respect to the process management.

  • Creating and deleting both user and system processes.
  • Suspending and resuming processes
  • Providing mechanisms for process synchronization.
  • Provides mechanisms for process management.
  • Providing mechanisms for deadlock management.

The OS takes care of the allotment of CPU to the different processor. When CPU is free, OS selects a process form job queue and allocates the CPU to the process.

When process execution gets completed, OS frees the processor and again selects another process that is in queue for execution.

This selection of process from job queue is done by using various CPU scheduling techniques. Let’s not go much into the scheduling techniques.

File Management

It is one of the most visible components of an OS

This manages all the file related activities such as organization storage, retrieval, sharing, naming, creating and deleting directories to organize files, mapping files onto secondary storage and protection of files.

Resource Management

In case of multi-user or multi-tasking environment, resources like main memory or CPU cycles and files storage are to be allocated to each user or job. Few functions of resource management include management of all kind of resources using schedulers.

Security

Computer security is a very important aspect of an operating system.

OS provides security to the user data and prevents unauthorized access to the computer.

For example, data can be provided by giving passwords to the files. When an unknown user tries to look into the user data, the OS asks for the password thus providing security to the user data.

Convenience

An OS makes a computer more convenient to use.

Efficiency

An OS allows the computer system resources to be used efficiently.

These are few functions of an operating system. Now let’s see the types of operating systems.
Types of OS are as follows.
  1. Batch Operating System
  2. Time-Sharing Operating Systems
  3. Distributed Operating System
  4. Network Operating System
  5. Real Time OS

These are few types of operating systems. Let’s not focus much on this. This was all about an operating system, functions and its types.

Do you know what is computer. To know more about this check out What is Computer?

WHAT IS COMPUTER

Here, let’s have a look at what is computer?

In simple let’s say the computer is an electronic device that generally deals with information or some data. To be more specific let’s look at the definition of a it.

Definition of computer?

A computer is an electronic device that usually takes input from the user and processes these inputs according to the set of predefined instructions (called program) and gives the output(results) and saves the same for future references.

Smiling Woman Using Laptop

Let us see some basic information on computer

Who invented computer?

Many people have contributed to this computing field.

But more of all, Charles Babbage contributed because during the mid-1830s Babbage was the first to developed plans for the analytical engine. Charles Babbage, an English mechanical engineer, and polymath originated the concept of a programmable computer. ‘Father of modern Computer’, Charles Babbage.

Full Form of Computer

There is actually no full form of it. The term computer is not an acronym. Computer word is derived from word compute which means to calculate. But some people say that COMPUTER stands for Common Operating Machine Purposely Used for Technological and Educational Research.

Components of Computer

There are main five components of computer. Those are

  • Input,
  • CPU
  • Output
  • Primary memory and
  • Secondary memory

Input:

It refers to any kind of information or data that is given from the user to the system for processing. Input is usually sent from devices such as a keyboard, mouse, etc. It plays a major role in getting the desired output for any operation.

CPU:

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the part of a system. It’s the main processor or just the processor where it executes the instructions of the program that is defined and written as per the user’s code. In simple it’s a portion of a where it retrieves and executes the instructions.

It performs operations like basic arithmetic, logic, controlling, and input and output operations that are specified by the user in the program. CPU consists of an Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU), a control unit, and various registers that help in executing the instructions.

Output:

Data generated by the computer is referred to as an output. The output is data that a computer sends.Itis the act of producing the required result as per the instructions that are mentioned in the code. The output that is sent by the computer can be in any format, it can be text, audio, image, etc.

Primary Memory:

There are two types of primary memory

  • RAM, or Random-Access Memory
  • ROM, or Read-Only Memory

Memory is an important component of computer determining system performance. It provides space for applications to store and access data.

RAM, or Random-Access Memory

RAM is the super-fast and temporary data storage space that a computer can access right now or after few moments.

In addition, It is generally located on the motherboard of a computer and acts as an internal memory of the CPU.

RAM is a volatile memory which means when your system shut down while you are working or if power shutdown then the data will be completely erased. You cannot retrieve the lost data. RAM data can be modified which is an advantage over ROM which doesn’t allow modification of data.

There are two types of RAM

  • DRAM (Dynamic RAM)
  • SRAM (Static RAM)

ROM, or Read Only Memory

The data stored in ROM is permanent no matter what damage occurs while your working on the system.ROM data is permanent which is called non-volatile memory. Changes or deletion of instructions is impossible in ROM.

Two types of ROM

  • PROM (Programmable ROM)
  • EPROM (Erasable Programmable ROM)

Lets not dig deeper into the types of ROM AND RAM.

Secondary Memory

It stores the data permanently. Secondary memory is non-volatile like ROM. Most importantly, the secondary memory data has to be first transferred to the primary memory since the processor cannot directly access the secondary memory.

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