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Operating Systems

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Learning Objectives
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 2 I can identify different operating systems
 4 I can explain advantages and disadvantages of different operating systems
 5 I can recall the features and functions of an operating system.

🏁 Learning Objective 6 :- I can identify different operating systems


Operating Systems

An operating system is the most important software that runs on a computer. It manages the computer's memory, processes, and all of its software and hardware. It also allows you to communicate with the computer without knowing how to speak the computer's "language." Without an operating system, a computer is useless.

You've probably heard the phrase boot your computer, but do you know what that means? Booting is the process that occurs when you press the power button to turn your computer on. During this process (which may take a minute or two), the computer does several things:

  • It runs tests to make sure everything is working correctly
  • It checks for new hardware
  • It then starts up the operating system
  • Lest have a look at some operating systems from the past. Click on the image below to try them out


    Task - Complete the task below

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    Operating Systems

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    Types of Operating Systems

    Operating systems usually come preloaded on any computer that you buy. Most people use the operating system that comes with their computer, but it is possible to upgrade or even change operating systems.

    The three most common operating systems for personal computers are Microsoft Windows, Apple Mac OS X, and Linux.

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    Extension Task

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    Types of Operating systems

    Explain what the three most popular types of Operating systems are and why.


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    🏁 Learning Objective 7 :- I can explain advantages and disadvantages of different operating systems


    Operating Systems advantages and disadvantages

    An operating system, or OS, is a software program that enables the computer hardware to communicate and operate with the computer software. The most well-known operating systems are Windows, Mac OS and Linux, all of which have different versions. Although Windows is a PC-based OS, it can be run on a Mac computer with the help of a programme called Parallels, for example. Generally speaking, here is a brief summary of pros and cons of each major operating system:

    Windows:
    - Can be expensive, especially compared to Linux, which is in most cases free.
    - Easy to use, especially for new computer users, and plenty of help resources are available online.
    - Although Microsoft Windows has made great improvements in reliability with recent versions, it still lags behind its competitors.
    - It has a large library of available software, games and utilities, although many are expensive.
    - Hardware manufacturers all make drivers and support for Windows OS.
    - Openness to virus attacks is a major disadvantage.

    Linux:
    - It is an open source OS, which in most cases is free.
    - Inexperienced computer users may find it more difficult to get to grips with Linux.
    - It is very reliable and rarely freezes.
    - Fewer computer programs, games and utilities are available for Linux.
    - Many programs are free or open source, even very complex ones.
    - There are still some manufacturers that do not offer hardware support for Linux OS, although there are fewer every year.
    - The open source nature of Linux allows more advanced users to customise the code as they wish.
    - Fewer people use Linux, therefore it is more difficult to find someone fully familiar with it, although there are vast resources online.

    Mac OS:
    - MAC computers are more expensive generally than PCs.
    - MAC is a much more secure OS, and is far less open to viruses and malware.
    - Stability is a major advantage - it very rarely crashes, loses data or freezes.
    - Fewer computer programs and games are available for MACs.
    - As most computer components of MACs are made by Apple, there are not many driver issues, unlike with PCs, which are made by many different manufacturers
    - MAC OS is not as customisable as Windows or Linux.

    Task

    Add another slide to your powerpoint with the title

    Advantages and disadvantages of Operating Systems

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    Extension Task

    Add another slide to your powerpoint with the title.

    My preferred Operating System

    Explain which Operating System you prefer and why.


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    🏁 Learning Objective 8 :- I can recall the features and functions of an operating system.


    Operating Systems features and functions

    Features of an operating system

    You now have read about the various kinds of operating systems that are part of computers ranging from a humble mobile phone to a mighty supercomputer taking up an entire building.

    But they share some common features, some of which are more important than others depending on the type of operating system

    Scheduling

    The task of handling how active processes are making efficient use of the CPU processing cycles is called scheduling.

    Memory Management

    The operating system has to make sure that applications are able to run in the amount of memory available and that they do not interfere with one another. There is a separate mini-website on this topic.

    Allocation of resources

    The operating system will provide a working area for each user. This includes

    • Disk space quota for their files ( especially on shared network drives)
    • A personal GUI set up for each user

    Keeping track of usage

    • Print out jobs completed
    • Time spent logged in
    • Other resources used

    Data and User security

    Each user has to be authenticated with an username and password (network and multi-user operating system).

    Their data and files will be kept private from other users, unless they choose to make some shareable with others. The operating system will only allow administrators ('super users') to change parts of the operating system and install applications.

    Managing input / output

    Data and applications are stored on secondary storage devices such as hard disks, optical drives, magnetic tape when not in use. The operating system has a file management system that allows the user to organise their files, to move, delete and copy files as they wish.

    Specialised input devices such as graphics tablets and scanners are also handled by the operating system.

    Handling Network communication

    Data packets traveling to and from the connected computers on the network are handled by the operating system. When an user drags a file from their hard disk to a shared networked drive, they do not care how it happens - the operating system takes care of all the details.

    Task

    Add another slide to your powerpoint with the title

    "Operating Systems features"

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    Functions of an operating system

  • provides the interface between the user and the computer - for example, Windows Vista and Apple OSX.
  • controls the backing store and peripherals such as scanners and printers
  • deals with the transfer of programs in and out of memory
  • organises the use of memory between programs
  • maintains security and access rights of users
  • deals with errors and user instructions
  • allows the user to save files to a backing store
  • issues simple error messages
  • Task

    Add another slide to your powerpoint with the title

    "Operating Systems functions"

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    Extension Task

    Add another slide to your powerpoint with the title.

    My favourite OS features

    Explain what are your favourite features of an Operating system and why.


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    Teacher Date: 2019-11-18


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