An Operating System is software that manages computer resources and delivers consumers with an interface used to access those resources. An operating system processes system data and the user input, and responds by giving tasks and internal system tasks as a service to the users of a system. An operating system achieves basic responsibilities such as governing and assigning memory, arranging system requests, governing output and input devices, enabling computer networking, and file management. Operating systems can be found on anything that have integrated circuits, mobile phones, internet servers, switches, routers, game consoles, network storage, game consoles, and even digital cameras.
The operating system is not always the first code to run when you turn on the computer. The first code on the computer is usually loaded from firmware, which is stored in Flash ROM or known as the BIOS. The firmware loads and launches the operating system kernel, and is accountable for the first graphics or text output displayed on the monitor. The most common desktop operating systems are Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. Linux is most common in server locations where as Windows is most common on desktop computers. The designs of each operating system were motivated from UNIX. UNIX was established by Bell Labs in the late 1960s and produced the growth of a free operating system.
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The launching of a program means that you will usually have to install the programs instructions on the computer. The kernel generates a process by saving some memory, loading the program code off the source of the application, and begin running it. The operating systems kernel also supply info about processes that have been ran and/or is running on the computer. An example of this info may include reserved memory a program is allowed to access, or is using and a unique identifier or the process identifier.
The first days of computing, nearly everything was done on basic hardware. Computers were uncommon and the computers that did exist were technically experiments. Scientists who worked on making the first computers were not only the programmers but they were also the main users of the system. They operated straight from the bare hardware. There was no such thing as an operating system like on today's computers. Computer programmers wrote their applications in assembly language and a running package that had control over the whole computer. Debugging consisted of fixing not only software, but also hardware. In other words, changing the actual computer itself and completely rewriting the applications code.
With the absence of an operating system this meant the computer could only be used by one user at a time. A booking system was the first solution. People would have to sign up for specific time slots to use the computer. The high cost of the first computers meant that it was crucial that computers are used as efficiently as possible. If the user got done with their work early, the workstation sat idle until it was time for the next time slot. If a user's time ran out, they would have to pack up their work at an unfinished state to make room for the next user. The solution to this problem was to have users work on some type of storage device such as punched cards, magnetic tape, or paper tape and give it to a computer technician. The computer technician would then save each file, and then the files would be transferred to another storage device and delivered to the correct user.
Upon the first successes with computer experiments, computers became more and more popular, filling up homes and businesses. When using the first computers each user had to wright their own procedures for input and output devices. It was common for users to write a device driver for every input or output device, then have every user share the same device drivers instead of each user having to wright their own. Several users refused to use shared device drivers because they felt they could develop more efficient device drivers. All of these public codes were organized into collections and could be place into applications if needed. These codes were available and given away for free. This is an early example of open source software development.
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The first major operating system released was called Semi-Automatic Business Related Environment or Sabre for short. Sabre was established by American Airlines and IBM. This was the very first operating system to include system calls, which is the process of a specific application requesting a service from an operating system kernel. At the beginning of 1968 a group of engineers and developers from Mitre Corporation located in Bedford, Massachusetts, created Viatron. Viatron was an intellectual data terminal that controlled an 8-bit microprocessor offered by PMOS technology. One year after in 1969, Viatron manufactured the first 4-bit LSI microprocessor known as the 2140. Currently MOS was used for very few calculators and there wasn't even enough global manufacturing capability to build these computers in mass.
Other corporations saw the advantages of MOS, starting with Intel's 1971 announcement of the first public accessible microprocessor identified as the 4004, a 4-bit CPU. In 1973 Intel announced an even faster microprocessor known as the NMOS 8080. The NMOS was an 8-bit per second CPU. This was the beginning in an extensive succession of microprocessors that have led us to what we currently use today, Intel's quad core i7 processors. In 1974 Motorola joined in on the processor competition with the release of the 6800. The 6800 included index registers, two accumulators, and memory-mapped input/output devices, and in 1975 now today's popular calculator company, Texas Instruments, presented the public with a 4-bit microprocessor.
One of the most popular operating systems introduced in the early 1970s was the DOS/VS, which included a partition table that allowed up to a single space of 16 megabytes, a major upgrade to the former operating system, DOS/360. In 1970, Kenneth Lane Thompson, who worked at Bell labs for most of his career recommended the name "Unix" for the operating system that had been in progress since the middle of 1969. The name was a thoughtful joke on AT&T's previous Multicast development. In 1973 the kernel of UNIX was redrafted in C programming language, now known as C11. Capable of being effortlessly ported to any desktop, UNIX was the world's very first portable operating system. This was a huge benefit for UNIX that directed the company to its well-known use in the multi-platform environments of universities and schools.
Formerly recognized as Quick and Dirty Operating System, or QDOS for short, the operating system was renamed 86-DOS once Seattle Computer Products began licensing the operating system. 86-DOS was an operating system released in 1980 by Seattle Computer Products built to run on the Intel 8086, a 16-bit microprocessor chip. 86-DOS had a command line user interface that made it easy to create and run executable programs. The operating system was purchased by Microsoft in 1981 and became the basis of what was known for the ground breaking operating system, Microsoft Disk Operating System or MS-DOS. In the 1990's and even today, Microsoft has taken two similar directions with its operating systems, one direction being the operating system for the home user, and the other being the professional IT user. Released in 1990, Microsoft Windows version 3.0 was the first version of Microsoft Windows to achieve such a wide, profitable achievement. Over two-million copies were purchased in just the first six months from the initial release of Microsoft Windows 3.0. It introduced enhancements to the user interface and to multitasking abilities. Available on March 1, 1992, Windows 3.1 received a makeover. Support for Windows 3.1 was terminated on December 31, 2001.
Microsoft released Windows NT based on a new kernel on July 1993, and on August 24th 1995, Microsoft announced the release of Windows 95. Microsoft Windows 95 was a brand new, revolutionary version that used multitasking and made advancements to the user interface. Windows 95 was built to replace not only Windows 3.1, but also Windows for Workgroups, and MS-DOS. The next in the consumer line was Microsoft Windows 98 released on June 25th, 1998. As part of its "professional line, Microsoft released Windows 2000 in February 2000. The consumer version following Windows 98 was Windows Me (Windows Millennium Edition). In October 2001, Microsoft released Windows XP, a version built on the Windows NT kernel that also retained the consumer-oriented usability of Windows 95 and its successors. It shipped in two distinct editions, "Home" and "Professional", the former Mainstream support for Windows XP will continue until April 14, 2009 and extended support will continue until April 8, 2014. On January 30, 2007 Microsoft released Windows Vista. Graphical user interfaces evolve over time. For example, Windows has modified its user interface almost every time a new major version of Windows is released.
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