Functions Performed by Computer Operating Systems:
Sentence - Key Thought:
IS in Charge Here?
to introduce lesson topic
or to generate interest in the topic:
The Operating System (OS),
acts as the master controller
for all of the activities
that take place
within a computer system.
concepts in a paragraph or two:
The operating system is the 'control freak' that controls the operation
of the computer itself - initially taking charge of the computer as it
has been programmed to do for start-up - then, responding and acting on
the wishes of the user. Users interact with the operating system by means
of the User Interface that has been
designed by the software developers--that is the
means of communicating the user's wishes to the operating system
to make it do what
the user wants.
Concept Illustration -- Functions of Operating Systems
an analogy to describe a computer's Operating System
and Describe the main functions of an Operating System
what does an
Operating System Do?
have been compared to
Air Traffic Controllers--ATCs.
One of the recommended
Computer Concepts (5th Ed),
provides the following
for the functions performed
by ATCs and OSs:
programs (including application programs - apps) - Load
programs into memory - RAM
planes in the air
programs that are running in memory -
Keep track of airspace
and runways (resources)
- Deal with interruptions
such as invasions into airspace or ground space
the use of (keep
track of) RAM and disk space (computer
- special keys pressed or hardware interrupts that catch the attention
of the OS:
CD-Drive set to Auto-Play, press of Windows key, etc.
of planes on the ground
of programs stored on disks (storage resources)
planes in the air for landing and on the ground for take-off
(queing) input and output of data flows--examples: print
job spooling, data buffering in communication flows, etc.
care of emergency landings
- Detect equipment
- Deal with press
of: Ctrl - Alt - Del
'Crash Avoidance' interrupt to call up the
'Task Monitor' (refer to earlier lesson for
review) and implement:
Operating System - always in Memory, always at Work
The operating system
is always in memory while the computer is running, running the computer!
It is in charge of all activities on the computer. Even when working in
another application, the operating system is always in overall control.
For example, while
in another application program, various functions are passed on to be
carried out by the operating system:
at least the first few of the following internet resources sites
to review the main functions of computer
Sites to Learn More About Operating Systems
to some excellent websites to learn more about Operating Systems:
- Definitely, link
to the System
Software lessons under Computer Basics in Jan's
Illustrated Computer Literacy 101 - an absolutely outstanding
site for basic computer learning. DO complete
the four lessons under the System Software
heading and then the Quiz.
- Also, go to the
- How Operating Systems Work site and review the first six subtopics
listed on this page to learn more about operating systems.
OSFiles claims it is "the one-stop secret
portal for every x86 Operating System!" From
the author of The Undocumented PC, it is definitely extensive,
with excellent, brief summaries of just about every operating
system that would run on Intel x86 series
of processors - CPUs. Great site - a must visit
to learn about specific OSs.
- The Webopedia
site provides a very extensive list of links that relate to various
of operating systems--operating systems terminology.