An operating system (OS) is a collection of software that manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for computer programs. The operating system is a vital component of the system software in a computer system. Application programs usually require an operating system to function. For any computer to function, it must have an operating system (OS). A powered computer with no operating system will only display coded text messages only understandable to the computer itself as the coded text messages will only depict the booting process. When a computer is powered, it searches for an operating system and if it doesn’t find, it will prompt the user to provide the OS. An operating system controls the way in which the computer system functions. In order to do this, the operating system includes programs that * Initialize the hardware of the computer system
* Provide basic routines for device control
* Provide for the management, scheduling and interaction of tasks * Maintain system integrity and handle errors
Operating systems have evolved through a number of distinct phases or generations which corresponds roughly to the decades. The 1940's - First Generations: The earliest electronic digital computers had no operating systems. Machines of the time were so primitive that programs were often entered one bit at time on rows of mechanical switches (plug boards). Programming languages were unknown (not even assembly languages). The 1950's - Second Generation: By the early 1950's, the routine had improved somewhat with the introduction of punch cards. The General Motors Research Laboratories implemented the first operating systems in early 1950's for their IBM 701. The system of the 50's generally ran one job at a time. These were called single-stream batch processing systems because programs and data were submitted in groups or batches. The 1960's - Third Generation: The systems of the 1960's were...
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