Operating Systems How Do They Work

Chris Stephens By Chris Stephens, 8th Nov 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/vzw_a6u0/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Technology>Computer Software

Once the operating system is loaded, the operating system performs different tasks. There are a total of 6 tasks.

How Operating Systems Work

Once the operating system is loaded, the operating system performs different tasks. There are a total of 6 tasks.

• Processor management – The operating system breaks down the tasks into small manageable chunks of information and prioritizes them before sending to the CPU processor to be processed.
• Memory management – Controls the flow of information in and out of RAM, it will also determine when virtual memory is necessary to be used.
• Device management – It will provide an interface between each device that’s connected to the computer, and it connects the CPU and applications so that the applications can be processed.
• Storage management – The operating system controls where data will be stored permanently on the hard drives and other forms of storage such as USB flash drives.
• Application Interface – Provides a link of communication between the applications and the computer so that data may be exchanges.
• User Interface – The operating system will create a way for you to communicate and interact with the computer.

For an example, you open up a word processing program and type a letter, save it and then print it out. Several components work together to make this happen:

• The keyboard and mouse send your input to the operating system, and gets interpreted and shows text on the screen.
• The operating system determines that the word-processing program is the active program and accepts your input as data for that program only.
• The word-processing program will determines the format of the data, and then the operating system will store it temporarily in the RAM.
• Each instruction from the word-processing program is sent by the operating system to the CPU to be processed. These instructions are mixed with instructions from other programs that are running at the same time. The operating system will oversees all the instructions before sending it to the CPU to be processed.
• During this time, the operating system is sending the information to the graphics card, and choosing what will be displayed on the monitor.
• When you choose to save the word file, the word-processing program sends a request to the operating system, which will load a window for selecting where you wish to save the file and what you want to name it. Once you have chosen the name and file path, the operating system directs the data from the RAM to the appropriate storage device to be permanently stored.
• You click the "Print button." The word-processing program sends a request to the operating system, the operating system translates the data into a format that the printer can understands and directs the data from RAM to the appropriate port on the computer for the printer you requested.
• You open up a web browser and check out a website. Once again, the operating system coordinates all of the data for the software to the hardware. This time, the computer receives input from another source, the Internet, as well as from you. The operating system will combine all of the incoming and outgoing for the computer and the internet.
• You close the web browser and choose to shut down the computer.
• The operating system closes all programs that are currently running. If a program has unsaved information, you're given an option to save it before closing the program.
• The operating system writes its current settings to a special file so that it will boot up next time with the same settings.

There you have it, know you have an idea of how your operating system works.

Tags

Computer, Computer Operating Systems, Computers, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

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author avatar Chris Stephens
I love animals, computers, fixing and troubleshooting, and helping people.

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