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explanation of operating systems

Adam Benson

on 31 March 2011

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An operating system is an interface between hardware and the user. An OS is responsible for the control of activities and the sharing of the resources of the computer. OPERATING SYSTEMS (OS) What is an operating system? Examples of operating systems Windows (all varieties) Max OS (a version of Unix) Linux Main tasks of operating systems An operating system has three main functions: OS Platform Statistics An operating system (OS) is software that runs on computers and manages computer hardware resources and provides common services for efficient and secure execution of various application software.

For hardware functions such as input and output and memory allocation, the operating system acts as an intermediary between application programs and the computer hardware, although the application code is usually executed directly by the hardware and will frequently call the OS or be interrupted by it. Operating systems are found on almost any device that contains a computer—from cellular phones and video game consoles to supercomputers and web servers.

Examples of popular modern operating systems for personal computers are (in alphabetical order): GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows and Unix types of OS real time
multi-user/single user
embedded usually event drive to provide predicatable results Multi user (e.g. UNIX) allows many people to to log on and use the computer at one time.
Single user (e.g. Windows) allows a single person to log on and use the computer at one time. Windows vs iPod an OS that runs multiple independant machines through a network making them apprear to function as one larger computer a specialized OS designed to on a specific device Definition of Operating Systems
Examples of operating systems
Others: think of your cell phones Components of an OS The Kernel - this the heart of the OS 1. manage the computer's resources e.g. CPU, memory (hard drive & ram), and applicaitions
2. establish the user interface
3. Execute and provide services for applications software. Program execution - interface between app and hardware

Interrupts - the division of resources (a traffic cop allocating CPU time, memory, etc. )
Modes - protected and supervisor

Memory management/Virtual memory

Multitasking - time sharing

Disk access and file systems - permission to do "C.R.U.D."

Device drivers - how various pieces of hardware talk to one another

Networking - computers with different OS can work together, share files, share hardware (e.g. printers)

Security - internal vs external requests for file access Windows XP (41.15%)
Windows 7 (26.35%)
Windows Vista (14.57%)
Mac OS X (7.07%)
iOS (iPhone) (2.20%)
Linux (1.65%)
As of Feb 2011 from User agent data collected to web servers by web browsers which means number of OS that are used to access web servers, not actual computer OS . =)
Questions to ask when considering what OS to use:
1. What's the budget?
Interms of cost, avaiability, reliability:
2. What's the anticipated application software?
3. What's the anticipated hardware?
4. What are my requirements for support?
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