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Intorduction and Comparing Operating Systems

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Intorduction and Comparing Operating Systems

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[edit section] Operating Systems

  • An operating system controls the different hardware components that make up a computer and provides an interface that a user or an application can use.
  • Operating system function include managing BIOS (programs permanently stored on hardware devices) and memory, interfacing between hardware and software, and performing task requested by the user (such as formatting disks and copying or deleting files).
  • The main components of an operations system are the shell and the kernel.
  • Users interact with an OS by a command-driven, Menu-driven, or icon-driven interface.
  • A thread is a process that the CPU is aware of.
  • OSs, applications, and CPUs all operate in either 16-bit (real) mode or 32-nit (protected) mode, depending on how many bits the CPU can Process at once.

[edit section] Types Of OS

  • The most well-know OSs for microcomputers are DOS, Windows, Unix, Linux, Mac OS, and OS/2.

[edit section] DOS And Windows

  • DOS was replaced by Windows as the most popular OS, but decisions made when DOS was designed still affect Windows 9x/Me today.
  • Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Me are collectively referred to as Windows 9x/Me
  • Windows 9x/Me is a bridge between older and newer OS technologies. It can support both 16-bit and 32-bit applications.
  • The two upgrades Microsoft released for Windows 98 are Windows SE and Windows Me.
  • Widows NT breaks with previous versions of Windows by severing the connection between Windows and DOS and not allowing applications to have direct access to system resources.
  • Windows NT was the first fully 32-bit Windows OS. Windows 2000 and XP are also 32-bit OSs.
  • Windows 2000 is actually a suite of operating systems: Windows 2000 Professional, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2000 Advanced Server, and Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.
  • Windows NT does not support Plug and Play, does not have Safe Mode, and does not have a Device Manager. Windows 9x/Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP support all these.
  • Windows XP attempts to integrate 9x/Me and 2000, while providing added support for digital and networking technologies. The two main versions are Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

[edit section] Unix & Linux

  • Unix was originally written for mainframe computers in the early 1970’s. Today, it is available for other type of computers, such as servers and PCs. It is often used for Internet support.
  • Linux is a variation of Unix that was created by Linus Torvalds. Basic versions the OS are available for free download, and the underlying source code is openly distributed.

[edit section] OS/2 & MAC OS

  • OS/2 was written by IBM in cooperation with Microsoft and is now distributed and maintained by IBM. Systems that use OS/2 include airline ticketing systems, world wide and local banks, and railroads. OS/2 is generally not very popular with PC users.
  • Mac OS is available only on Macintosh computers. It has been widely used in educational markets and with graphics-intensive applications.

[edit section] See Also

[edit section] Page Credits

Page Conceptualized By: jmt5887

Top 5 Contributors to this article

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