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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Functions of an Operating systems

Command Interpretation

The Central Processing Unit (CPU) needs to understand a command keyed in a user. It can interpret only binary code, that is, code containing O's and 1's . A command keyed in by a user has to be translated to binary code for the CPU to understand it. An OS performs this task.

Memory Management

Memory management is the mechanism by which an OS handles requests for memory. With the development of highly sophisticated software, memory requirements have increased drastically. An OS has to take care of allocating memory to the various applications running on the system . It has to allocate optimum memory to the applications and clean up necessary data from the memory.

Peripheral Management

An OS has to take care of the devices (peripherals) attached to the computer. It handles the communication between the CPU and the printer or the modem

Process Management

To enable several programs to run concurrently, an OS has to ration out the CPU time. It needs to ensure that all the programs get a fair share of the CPU time and no program monopolizes the CPU time.

The functioning of an operating system depends to a great extent on the computer system on which it is located. Since there are two basic types of computer systems - single user and multi - user - there are two types of operating systems. Before you learn about the details of operating systems, let 's first have a brief look at the two types of computer systems available.

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