Understanding Your Operating System
It’s really not difficult to understand the concept of your operating system. When you consider that it is an integral part of your computer that makes it easier for you to use your system, understanding an operating system can be a simple thing.
Basically, your operating system is the main program on your computer. It is installed with the intent to make operating your computer easier and more user-friendly. Operating systems were developed with you, the user in mind, and make navigating a computer as well as all the programs on it possible for almost everyone – even small children.
Here are a variety of functions that your computer operating system performs:
* Determining what types of software you can install
* Coordinating the applications running on the computer at any given time
* Making sure that individual pieces of hardware, such as printers, keyboards, and disk drives, all communicate properly
* Allowing applications such as word processors, email clients, and web browsers, to perform tasks on the system (e.g., drawing windows on the screen, opening files, communicating on a network) and utilize other system resources (e.g., printers, disk drives)
* Reporting error messages
The OS also determines how you see information and perform tasks. Some operating systems utilize a graphical user interface (GUI), which presents information through pictures (icons, buttons, dialog boxes, etc.) as well as words. Other operating systems can rely solely on text.
Understanding an operating system isn’t crucial to operating your computer, but it can help you when choosing which type of operating system you’ll want on your computer. Most new computers come pre-loaded with Microsoft Windows, but there are a couple of other operating systems that can be installed on your computer. These include:
* Mac OS X – This operating system is used primarily on Apple Macintosh computers and is similar to Windows with its GUI (although the GUI does look different) and the way it operates.
* Linux – This is a UNIX based operating system that is relatively new to the mass computer market. This operating system is generally used by mainframe computers and servers, but it is growing in popularity for personal use as well.
Your operating system is the main software program on your computer made for ease of operating. While its not crucial for you to have a complete understanding of your operating system, it can help you when you are using your computer in the event anything should happen. When you have a basic understanding of your operating system, then you can take steps to correcting a problem.
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