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Functions of Operating Systems

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chris jackman

on 16 September 2015

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Transcript of Functions of Operating Systems

Type of Operating Systems:

Mac OS x (Apple)
Windows (Microsoft)
Linux (Linux Mark Institute)

iOS (Apple)
Android (Google)

An operating system can often be seen as the most important software to a computer system and without it many users would have problems to even carry out the most basic functions. An operating system allows communication between the user and the computers hardware. Some applications may not be accessible for certain types of operating systems and therefore each operating system may have a potential strength and weakness. Operating systems are seen as Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) which allows users to interact with the computer system with the use of graphics such as icons etc. this is to prevent the user from learning to understand a much more difficult hardware language.

Mac OS x
: This operating system started in
and has run consistent GUI's available for Mac PC users only. This is because the internal hardware to Mac computer systems are different compared to others.

: The Windows operating system started in 1983 but didn't release an official OS until
called 'Windows 1.0' where the competition between Apple and Microsoft first started.

: Linux was initially developed as a free operating system by a Finnish student in
and has become very successful due to the fact the GUI has been installed to more computer systems then any other operating system.

: An exclusive operating system to Apple tablet/phone users which started in
an follows very similar conventions to the computers OS 'Mac OS x'.

: Unlike Apple's iOS operating system, Android is not exclusive to a certain designated phone company and the OS can be installed onto various different mobile devices.

Operating System; Purpose & Examples
A user interface allows a user to communicate with the computer system to command a program to carry out a certain action. In the modern world of technology GUI has become the standard user interface on personal computers.

Graphical User Interface(GUI):
The GUI is a modern approach to a user interface and is seen to be a lot easier to use compared to the 'Command Line' interface. Although it is a lot easier to use, it does require more memory and processing power and therefore can be slower than the 'Command Line' interface if the user is experienced. Experienced users of the 'Command Line' interface can often become irritated with GUI as simple tasks can often take a number of commands to carry out the task, where as the the command line interface could deal with such a task a lot quicker. The main benefit to GUI is the use of WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers) and the use of graphical content allows a much easier understanding for users.

Command Line Interface:
This user interface allows the user to communicate with the computer system through the use of 'commands'. This user interface requires attention to detail as any mistakes within the command will prevent the purpose of the command. The 'command line' was commonly used by those who had a personal computer in the earlier days of the hardware's timeline, and therefore has since become less used compared to the modern 'GUI'. However, one key advantage to this interface is that the computer system doesn't require high specifications to meet the criteria to run the interface and therefore the interface is available for the majority of computer systems.
What are GUI & Command Line systems?
Security is one of the most important functions of the operating system in the view of many computer users. As operating systems have certain integrated security features such as Microsoft's Windows 8 requires a password to be able to log-in. This is a standard approach to basic security by not allowing the risk of any unauthorised access to the computer, if a password was not in place the unauthorised user be able to gain information to private information e.g. bank details, confidential business plans etc. The security within an operating system is also known to identify program threats that may contain a malicious virus which could damage the computer system e.g. decrease overall performance, corrupt files located on the computer system etc. This type of security works along side software utilities; 'anti-virus software' & 'Firewall' to try and provide a safe & secure system for the user.
Operating System Functions:
Machine & Peripheral Management
Memory Management
File Management
Operating System Functions
Operating Systems
Windows 8 | Mac OSX
Types of Peripherals;
Mobile Devices
Machine & Peripheral management allows a user to customise their computer system to a certain extent to potential desired preferences. There are various different features and functions that are customisable for example with the most common manageable feature of being able to change the desktop background (later OS' allow backgrounds to run through a slide show of images). Other customisable functions for example is the ability to change the keyboard functions being able to edit configuration settings of a computer system or even editing the settings of peripherals for example Apple's 'iTunes' application on the computer system allow the user to customise iPhone features when the iPhone is synchronized to the application. As operating systems have develop the increase in customisation to machine & peripheral management is expanding more and more throughout the market allowing computer systems to meet the exact preferences of all users. This form of management is mainly most efficient with a disabled user, the machine & peripheral management allow users on most applications and operating systems to run a user guide and active assists.
Machine & Peripheral Management
Memory Management
Main Types of RAM:
Memory management allows a user to acknowledge the amount of RAM that is used and required when running applications, data etc. Some applications require more RAM then others. When applications are running at the same time every application will contribute to take up the RAM of the computer system. Therefore, it is a smart idea for businesses as such to take into consideration the applications they will be running as well as the amount of applications that are running at the same time, considering this will allow the business to identify the correct amount of RAM that needs to be purchased. Example; If a computer system has 1GB of RAM and is running an online game server (Minecraft, Battlefield etc.) it will drastically take up the RAM within the computer system and therefore will reduce the amount of other programs and applications that could run, however, this may depend on the scale of the online server.
File management is a preset software which manages files to an appropriate and suitable locations within the computer system. Designed to manage into individual files or a group of files, by identifying the type of file being saved and storing it in a matched group that other files similar to are also saved. For example File management enables special office documents & records will be saved to the 'Documents' folder. File Management also stores information of the file when it is saved, the information then allows users to view the following saved statistics as: 'Date Modified', 'Type' and 'Size'. This is a very useful function for any user that wishes to identify any software, file etc. that no longer require and allows users to be able to identify the amount of space they make upon deleting the program. Furthermore users are able to carry out other actions other then deleting it, these actions allow users to rename files, move/copy files to another folder which files or even move it to the desktop which is often smart for shortcuts.
File Management
What is a Operating System (OS):
Operating systems introduce a set of various different functions to make the computer system a lot more user friendly. These functions can improve the performance and security of a computer as well as enable a user to edit and design their system to their preferences.

These functions have enabled computers to be a lot easier and without these functions I believe many users wouldn't be able to adapt to the understanding of how the computer works without these functions.
What is a 'User Interface'?
Windows 8
Mac OS X
Functions & Features of OS:
Ease of use
File management
Ability to customize
User support
Stability and reliability
Associated utilities
Device Drivers
What OS is better?
Microsoft Windows Vs
Apple Mac OS X
Winner of Functions & Feautures categories;
Ease of Use; Windows 8
File management: Windows 8
Security: Mac OS X
Ability to customize: Mac OS X
User support: Windows 8
Cost: Windows 8
Stability and reliability: Mac OS X
Associated utilities: Windows 8
The battle of these two worldwide operating systems have been a very long ongoing debate, with both operating systems continuously battling to become the best operating system I have come to a final decision on which operating system I believe is better. In my personal opinion I believe that Microsoft's Windows 8 is the better operating system. The reason for this may be because Windows is a much more established operating system and therefore I believe is a lot more user-friendly all round. I believe that the Mac OS x is a very efficient operating system and do feel that the Mac OS x does win on the graphics design functions. But the decision remains that Microsoft wins the battle, this decision was made upon the effectiveness on operating systems and believe that the ease-of-use plays a very important role within the two operating systems, with such a user-friendly operating system it is very easy for users to find adjust to the operating system and when adjusted are easily taught more about the operating system and it's capabilities. Another reason is that the Windows is also a lot more compatible to different peripherals etc. and believe that Apple is too isolated with individual products.
Each peripheral requires a driver to function, via this function the computer is able to communicate with the external peripheral. There will be a different driver required for the different types of peripheral so therefore when a new peripheral is connected to the computer system, the operating system will install a driver which will allow communication between the components. How a peripheral will work will depend not only on the type of component but will also depend on the operating system. As commonly known the Apple Mac's; keyboard peripheral has different functions and commands compared too Standard Desktops. Each of these peripherals individually carry out their own tasks so therefore device drivers allow users to customise the functions & commands to meet the specific preferences of each user.
Functions & Features of OS:
Ease of use
File management
Ability to customize
User support
Stability and reliability
Associated utilities
Windows 8: Ease of Use
Windows 8: File Management
Windows 8: Security
Windows 8: Ability to Customize
Windows 8: User Support
Windows 8: Cost
Windows 8: Stability & Reliability
Windows 8: Associated Utillities
Mac OS X: Ease of Use
Mac OS X: File Management
Mac OS X: Security
Mac OS X: Ability to Customize
Mac OS X: User Support
Mac OS X: Cost
Mac OS X: Stability & Reliabilty
Mac OS X: Associated Utilities
Windows 8 is a very modern version of operating systems by adjusting to modern technology such as a touchscreen laptops. Windows has always been renown for it's ease of use and even when the operating system becomes difficult to use, users of the operating system are always able to rely on Microsoft's forum page. Windows is the biggest operating system in the market and is probably the best operating system in the user-friendly perspective. However, this is probably because Windows is installed as a default OS on the majority of computer systems and therefore people expect the operating system to be easily adaptable for new users. On the negative side to the user-friendly operating system the operating system will not run if the CPU doesn't meet the correct specifications so therefore many users who haven't upgraded there computer system recently are having the remain on the latest operating systems predecessor Windows 7. The operating system has also had a change within GUI, an those users of Windows 7 and below will remember the 'start button' will find the 8th version does not have a start button so will have to adapt to new functions but due to complaints the latest 8.1 update of the OS has re-introduced the start button.
Windows 8 does provide a very suitable and efficient form of file management available to it's users. Although the locations to folders have changed from 'Libraries' to 'This PC' users have been easily adjusted to this change and therefore continues to have a very simplistic form of file management. Still allowing users to copy/move, print, delete files etc. the Microsoft operating systems has enabled a consistent set of functions throughout the different versions of operating system, making it easy to use for users from another OS of Microsoft to convert to the 8th version.
Security was one function that needed to be improved within earlier generations of Microsoft's operating system. However, has had very positive reviews and feedback about it's major improvement in security. Windows 8 has pleased it's users with a integrated anti-virus software called Windows Defender, of course it is still possible to download another anti-virus software that a user finds more trustworthy. If another anti-virus software is installed the Windows Defender will be disabled as the other anti-virus software has been identified and taken over. The security as previously said is potentially of the most important functions to an operating system and therefore needs to be considered appropriately, with the help of the security functions of the Windows 8 OS, users are able to adjust security even further with many other improvements to the security side of the OS.
Windows 8 introduced a new GUI along with many other feature, but the interface is obviously the most visual change made to the new OS. With the new interface comes along multiple customisable choices being able to edit the menu colour, account display pictures, text colour, application sizes etc. These changes have really interpreted the influence of Touchscreen capability designed for Computer Tablets, Touchscreen laptops etc. The operating system has always offered the most basic abilities to customise their computer systems, being able to change desktop backgrounds, icon sizes and much more. Windows has never allowed users to go into very detailed customisation and compared to other OS are very strict on the limited customisations that are available. Although the newest operating system has introduced various features the interface always remains the same which can become a little boring for users. However, many users don't use a computer system by the look and windows does enable very customisable features for peripherals with no real restrictions.
Microsoft carriers out very professional and friendly user support, by catergorising sections into 'Popular topics' or all 'Catergories', Microsoft answers the majority of user questions via this user support page. However, also enable the option for users to contact 'Ask Answer Desk' if any questions on the user support page are not answered, this won't be necessary for the majority of cases but if it is users are able to contact the team via email which will then be answered with expert advice. Windows is an operating system that has been in the market for a very long time so therefore have managed to build up the support and services provided for their customers. Furthermore user support isn't always necessary because many answers can genuinely be found online through other forums. This is one main advantage that users have with Microsoft Windows is that the operating system is known by many so therefore the majority of users are able to help each other and therefore the operating system enables people to efficiently work together.
Microsoft Windows operating system has been the default operating system for the majority of computer systems for a very long time and when purchasing a computer system is usually provided with the OS. However, if the OS is not installed on the computer system the OS available from Microsoft's can been seen as quite costly. With operating systems such as Linux which is free, users could feel more encouraged to install a free operating system rather then a pay a price which has only increased over the years. Although Microsoft provides free updates alongside the OS purchase, users have begun to question the OS on whether it is worth the generation upgrade. Proven in the modern industry many users have stuck with the Windows 7 OS not just because the new features of Windows 8 aren't suitable to the current computer system they are using, but also because of the price. Cost is one feature of the OS that is not highly praised. Furthermore paying for the OS does allow users the introduction of new applications as some of the newly released applications are not compatible with Windows 7 or below.
RRP: £80+
Windows 8 is a very fast, efficient and fun operating system which over the past few predecessors has seen great improvement within it's reliability and is an operating system that strongly considers a computer systems specifications adjusting the operating system to be compatible with all standards of computers. Although the newest operating system does not install if the CPU does not meet requirements, Windows 8 is a very smooth running and reliable operating system with very minimum unanswered questions. There are never any major errors with Microsoft OS and therefore it is a operating system that has been consitently reliable for users.
Windows 8 has introduced a majority of new associated utillities by entering the tablet/phone market within their computer system. Windows 8 allows various different utilities such as the basic software utilities of anti-virus software and firewalls also allows multiple applications that are also available for tablet/phone users such as games, lifestyle and many more apps. Windows 8 has enabled user to also synchronize their windows phones to the computer system to transfer files from one the mobile to the computer or other way round such as music, images etc. this cross media convergence has enabled device users to bring the world closer together and therefore windows 8 is a very praised operating system and has achieved the success.
Mac OS X similar to Windows is known for it's accomplishment of providing users with a very user-friendly services. Apple however are a lot more dedicated towards making the computer system to use. With different functions and peripherals connected to Mac computers to normal computer systems, Mac OS X does succeed to make the easiest shortcuts and commands provided for the system. Mac OS allows users to easily locate files with a search bar on the top of the GUI, making it easy to find and access files even by searching for keywords. The operating system also allows users to easily use Apple's utilities to install apps and much more, following a similar house style to their established iPhone/iPad software, because of this Mac OS X has seen a great benefit from iPhone/iPad users being able to easily adapt to the functions of the Mac. The only slight disadvantage to the Mac computer systems, is the right mouse click function which (commonly known for default computer users) requires users to use both the keyboard peripheral and also the mouse peripheral to enable to options of a right mouse click.
Mac OS X has a very efficient and user friendly file management, as mentioned in the 'Mac OS X: Ease of Use' textbox, the Mac OS X has a search bar engine so a key feature about file management is that if a user can't remember where the file was saved or sent too then the user can search for it. This makes it very easy for users to access files effectively and potentially quicker then searching through folders upon folders. Furthermore every time a document is saved, something is downloaded etc. it will ask what you would like to name the file that is being saved or downloaded and where it will be saved, this makes it easy for the user to allocate files to a correct folder making it easily located if needed in future.
Security is one function that is very well established with the OS X, providing various different layers of software utilities to prevent and malware from attacking the computer system. Mac OS X has features such as sand boxing which prevents programs from taking any unnecessary action controlling what files they can access and what they launch. Another feature is called Execute Disable which aims to protect the Mac and files, applications etc from malware attacks. Mac OS X is an operating system which is still vulnerable to malware and threats. But these malware attacks can only breach the computer system if the user has downloaded a file from the internet which contains a malware. So therefore if a user wishes to prevent any threatening malware from the computer system, then it is wise for the user to identify authentic applications and possibly read customer reviews.
Mac OS is a operating system which does allow users to make various different customisations. Allowing users to become comfortable with the functions, change desktop backgrounds, adjust hardware settings etc the OS has a very user friendly customisation enabling users to make their computer as easy to use. The Mac OS even allows users to create keyboard shortcuts; making keyboard shortcuts can allow users to make quickly navigate throughout their computer system. users can also clear the launchpad making space and allowing more frequent applications to be placed on the launchpad. Users are also able to change desktop items and customise the log in screen to add personal attractive preferences to the computer system.

The user support to Mac OS is very much alike the windows operating system by providing categories with the majority to most of answers of your questions. However, also run a customer service team which will help Mac users with any problems. Although my personal belief suggests that the Mac OS user support is not as good as windows and I also believe that questions are a lot easier answered via the internet on standard computers and the Mac. However Apple do try and provide a quality service to users and do succeed to carry that on.
Now the Mac OS X has managed to result to debates about the cost of the operating system as many believe that the operating system is free but however is only able to be installed if the user has bought a Mac computer system. Due to this it has caused a lot of contradiction on whether your actually paying for the computer system along with the operating system or the operating system is just free. However, this is also brought up because many believe that in the long run it is still more expensive then purchasing a computer system and Microsoft windows 8.
Mac OS X is at a great advantage to make their product as a reliable and stable as possible because they are create the software and hardware so therefore are able to adjust the two to work in partnership creating a very efficient and effective computer system. Furthermore if Mac OS X does have any problem or bugs with an update, Apple are known for quick responses and bringing out new updates to clear and faults. Mac OS can be considered as a much more reliable operating system then windows 8, providing fully dedicated applications, software etc. to users allows a very efficient use.
Mac OS X has provided all kinds of utilities and applications available for users. By merging the computer systems App Store with the iPhone devices, this allows a great effective communication between devices and expands the potential to Mac users a lot more. Mac OS x has provided a large amount of personal utilities as well as those that are compatible with the mac OS as well as other OS. The utillities that are provided for Mac OS x can help improve the overall performance and help increase the chances of downloading any malware.
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