Operating Systems and user interfaces

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  • Created by: Jasmin
  • Created on: 07-05-13 14:48

Operating systems

Operating systems are programs that control the hardware directly

Functions of an operating system:

  • Manage and control any devices such as printers, scanners, webcams etc. that are attached to the computer
  • Provide a user interface that makes it easy for the user to load programs, search for files, copy files etc
  • Deal with any errors that occur while the computer is working on a task
  • Provide the interface between the application packages being run and the hardware
  • Allow new hardware or new software to be installed
  • Handle the storage of data
  • Recognise when new hardware has been attached to the computer and load the software needed to control it





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Methods of operation that operating systems have t

Interactive: means that there is a constant dialogue between the computer and the user

  • computer asks the user questions or highlights problems and the user has to acknowledge that they have read the messge or make a response

Multitasking: possible to have several windows open at the same time

Multi - user: allows several users to access the same data at the same time

  • used with networks
  • each person on the network appears to have sole use of the network
  • each user on the network is allocated a slice of the computers time
  • once they have used up this time slice the next person is given a go and so on
  • as the processor of the computer works so fast, each person does not notice that the computers time is being shared
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  • online operating system is an operating system that runs on a web server
  • use it through a web browser software

Processing - may be done a bit at a time (real time processing) or the work may be saved up over a period of time and done in one go (batch processing)

Batch processing:

  • all relevant data collected and processed together
  • ideal for: producing bills for water, gas, telephone, electric, producing monthly bank statements

Real - time processing:

  • system is automatically updated when a change is made
  • system always contains up to date information
  • ideal for booking systems(airline), traffic lights, flood warning systems
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