Operating System (OS)

Operating system is the software that gives life to the physical PC hardware as you see it. MS DOS, Windows, LInux, Novell Netware, Unix, etc.. are all examples of operating systems.

Function of the OS:
Function of the OS is to sit between thousands of programs various users might run on their PCs and the physical hardware. Operating system has another piece of software called device drivers which are hardware enablers and they enable the OS itself to talk to the device for example a printer.

Hence function of the OS is to be understood as a layer of software which sits between and enables your other applications to make use of the PC hardware. Hence its function and utility is completely different from a standard program. when the operating system is started you can say the PC is started.

What is starting of the OS:
This form part of the process of booting your PC. During booting, previously loaded operating system on your hard disk is loaded onto the RAM. If your OS at this stage fails to load up successfully we have reason to fear. Any kind of corruption to the operating system files can develop into such a condition. When you start the PC, one or two initial screen later, you would see the windows symbol (In case of windows OS) and can see hard disk activity for up to a minute; this is when the OS is loading into the RAM.

Various common operating systems:
Microsoft windows rules the desktop overwhelmingly. However Linux’s various flavors like Redhat and Novell has begun to make small headways into PC desktop too. The difference is that Linux is same as windows except for some complexities and inflexibilities. Except for one who is not adventurous type, Linux is still not an option on the desktop.

Patching, patching, patching:
This is the mantra of most OS’s in the last few years, in this era of the net. Various vulnerabilities keep coming out even after the operating system has gone into use for long. Condition has developed to a stage where every time you connect to the Internet your OS connects to the Internet to check for the latest patch. It is strongly advised to always keep your PC fully updated as far as operating system is concerned to protect itself from various Internet threats. Our PC security guide..

Best Links:
How OSs Work
Operating System – explains what an operating system is and provides various examples

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