IT 101 – Intro to Operating Systems
Welcome to IT 101, where the experts at 2W Tech will tackle a hot topic in the IT industry and break it down for educational purposes. Today’s topic is operating systems.
From the smartwatch on your wrist to the smartphone in your pocket, and even the desktop, laptop or tablet computers you use for work or personal purposes, these gadgets all require an operating system before they can be operated.
Whether it is Windows, Linux or OS, an operating system has a number of functions. One of its main tasks is to act as an interface between the user and the hardware connected to the computer. The operating system also controls software resources, memory allocation and peripheral devices, and common services to computer application software.
The basic functions of an operating system include controlling hardware access, managing files and folders, providing a user interface, and managing applications.
For hardware access, the OS manages the interactions between the applications and the hardware. To access and communicate with each hardware component, the OS uses a program called a device driver. When a device is installed, the OS locates and installs the device driver for that component.
For file and folder management, the OS creates a file structure on the hard disk drive to store data. A file is a block of related data that is given a single name and treated as a single unit. Program and data files are grouped together in a director, and the files and directories are organized for easy retrieval and use.
The OS also enables the user to interact with the software and hardware. Operating systems include two types of user interfaces, command-line interface, where the user types commands at a prompt, and graphical user interface, where the user interacts with menus and icons.
The OS also locates an application and loads it into the RAM of the computer. To ensure that a new application is compatible with an OS, programs follow a set of guidelines known as an application programming interface (API). An API allows programs to access the resources managed by the operating system in a consistent and reliable manner.
No matter what operating system your organization runs, 2W Tech can help you keep your IT infrastructure up and running. Contact us today to determine what OS is best for you.