An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware and software resources and provides common services for computer programs. Process management is an integral part of any modern-day operating system (OS). The OS must allocate resources to processes, enable processes to share and exchange information, protect the resources of each process from other processes and enable synchronization among processes. The interface between the user and the hardware: An OS provides an interface between user and machine. This interface can be a graphical user interface (GUI) in which users click on-screen elements to interact with the OS or a command-line interface (CLI) in which users type commands at the command-line interface (CLI) to tell the OS to do things. Memory management is the process of controlling and coordinating computer memory, assigning portions called blocks to various running programs to optimize overall system performance. Memory management resides in hardware, in the OS (operating system), and in programs and applications. Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an OS that uses hardware and software to allow a computer to compensate for physical memory shortages by temporarily transferring data from random access memory (RAM) to disk storage. Device management controls peripheral devices by sending them commands in their proprietary machine language. The software routine that deals with each device are called a “driver,” and the OS requires drivers for each of the peripherals attached to the computer.
A device driver is a program that controls a particular type of device that is attached to your computer. There are device drivers for printers, displays, CD-ROM readers, diskette drives, and so on. When you buy an operating system, many device drivers are built into the product. However, if you later buy a new type of device that the operating system didn’t anticipate, you’ll have to install the new device driver. A device driver essentially converts the more general input/output instructions of the operating system to messages that the device type can understand.
Plug and Play (PnP) is a capability developed by Microsoft for its Windows 95 and later operating systems that give users the ability to plug a device into a computer and have the computer recognize that the device is there. The user doesn’t have to tell the computer.
How does the OS coordinate software. Drivers are software created so that the peripheral device that is connected to the computer, can talk to and be controlled by the OS. The OS coordinates the functions of the software applications and peripheral devices by determining and allocating memory resources needed to execute and sending it to the CPU.
BIOS is short for Basic Input Output System. It is much more than the name suggests. One might think that BIOS controls input and output system. But the BIOS does much more, and it is not possible for any operating system to continue without a proper BIOS in place. Today, we will see what is BIOS in computers. A computer’s Basic Input Output System and Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor together handle a rudimentary and essential process: they set up the computer and boot the operating system. The BIOS’s primary function is to handle the system setup process including driver loading and operating system booting.
POST, short for Power On Self-Test, is the initial set of diagnostic tests performed by the computer right after it’s powered on, with the intent to check for any hardware related issues.
A kernel is the core component of an operating system. Using inter-process communication and system calls, it acts as a bridge between applications and the data processing performed at the hardware level. A beep code is an audio signal given out by a computer to announce the result of a short diagnostic testing sequence the computer performs when first powering up (called the Power-On-Self-Test or POST).
You probably know all about Windows. It’s the most popular desktop and laptop operating system in the world and offers the widest compatibility with existing software and hardware. Windows PCs range from laptops that cost only a few hundred dollars often with questionable build quality all the way up to expensive high-end gaming PCs. Windows PCs have excellent compatibility with all the software you want to run. Consumer desktop software, internal business apps, and PC games are all standard and supported on Windows. They’re available at a wide variety of price ranges to suit all budgets. You’re probably already familiar with the Windows desktop environment, which is a plus.
- Microsoft Windows
- Apple macOS
- Linux Operating System
I would recommend using MacOS, on the other hand, Windows 10 is packed with bloatware and many laptops don’t have the attention to detail you find on a MacBook. The trackpads on Windows laptops even expensive ones are generally still inferior to the ones you’d find on a Mac. Most malware is written for Windows systems, so they’re the most vulnerable in the real world. Windows 10 also collects and sends lots of information about your usage to Microsoft, which may concern you.
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Lifewire. (2018). BIOS: Everything You Need to Know. [online] Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/bios-basic-input-output-system-2625820 [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
WhatIs.com. (2018). What is POST (Power-On Self-Test)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. [online] Available at: https://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/POST-Power-On-Self-Test [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
Hope, C. (2018). Computer POST and beep codes. [online] Computerhope.com. Available at: https://www.computerhope.com/beep.htm#award [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].