Chapter Five: Using System Software
System Software Basics
2 types of software on your computer
Application Software is a system used for everyday tasks at home
System Software is a set of programs that help run the computer and
coordinate instructions between application software and computers
hardware devices
o System software consists of two programs: operating system and
utility programs
What does an operating system do?
Operating System (OS) is a group of programs that controls how your
computer system functions
manages computers hardware, memory, storage devices, monitor and
responsible for the management, scheduling and coordination of tasks
system software includes utility programs. Utility program performs many
of the general housekeeping tasks for the computer
Do all computers have operating systems?
YES . . . OS is critical. Computer cannot operate without it
Are all operating systems alike?
Microsoft Disk Operating System (MS-DOS) (is a single-user operating
system) it was the first widely installed operating system in personal
Icons are pictures that represent an object
Single user to multitask which means to perform more than one process at
a time
Types of Operating Systems (OSs)
Real-Time Operating Systems
Why do machines with built in computers need operating systems?
Real-time operating system (RTOS) allows repetitive series of specific
tasks to be performed in an exact amount of time
Require minimal user interaction
Where else are RTOSs in use today?
Fuel-injection systems, inkjet printers, VoIP phones, and medical devices
What kind of OS controls a simple cell phone?
OS systems that perform one task at a time
OSs for Networks, Servers, and Mainframes
What kind of OS do networks use?
Multiuser OS (network OS) which enables more than one user to access the
computer system at one time by efficiently handling and prioritizing requests
from multiple users
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Server is the computer on a network that manages network resources such
as printers
Examples: Linux and UNIX
UNIX is a multiuser, multitask, OS used as a network OS, primarily with
mainframes, although it is often found on PCs
What other kinds of computers require a multiuser OS?
Mainframe is responsible for storing, managing, and simultaneously
processing data from all users
Supercomputers use these as well
OSs for Mobile Devices
What kind of OS do smartphones use?
Smartphone has productivity features, in addition to features found on
personal media players and cameras, as well it connects to the web
Examples, blackberry, Apple’s Iphone
Do gaming consoles and personal media computers require an OS?
Need a system software with system programs, called firmware, that control
the device as well as other programs that come with the personal media
player of gaming device
OSs for Personal Computers
What is the Microsoft Windows OS?
Began to work with MS-DOS
Windows XP provided networking capabilities
Windows 7, an OS, builds on security and user interface upgrades that the
Windows Vista release provided
What is the difference between the various editions of Windows 7 OSs?
Different editions, for home users, business users, and combination users
32-bit and 64-bit versions
What is the Mac OS?
Mac OS was the first commercially available OS to incorporate a graphical
user interface, with user friendly point-and-click technology
Does it matter what OS is on my computer?
Computers platform is the combination of the OS and processor
Microsoft Windows is not meant for a Mac and the Mac would not under
stand the Windows OS
Boot Camp, with the newest version of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, allows you
to run Windows on a Mac while also running OS X
Can I have more than one OS on my computer?
YES, due to the generous size of the hard drives
Linux is an open source OS designed for use on personal computers and as a
network OS
Linux OS is based on the central programming code of an OS
Where else is Linux used?
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Android (new OS developed by Google), and MeeGo (project between Nokia
and Intel)
Where can I get Linux?
Download for free
Some versions must be purchased
What the OS Does
Way to interact with the computer
Manages processor or CPU
Manages memory and storage
Manages systems hardware and peripheral devices
Provides consistent means for software applications to work with the CPU
The User Interface
How does the OS control how I interact with my computer?
OS provides a user interface which allows you to interact with the computer
Command driven interface is one in which you enter commands to
communicate with the computer system
Menu driven interface is one in which you choose commands from menus
displayed on the screen
What kind of interface do OS use today?
Graphical user interface (GUI) display graphics and use the point-and-click
technology of the mouse and cursor
Processor Management
Why does the OS need to manage the processor?
The OS assigns a slice of its time to each activity that requires the processor’s
The OS must then switch among different processes millions of times a
second to make it appear that everything is happening seamlessly
How exactly does the OS system coordinate all the activities?
Event is an action to which to OS responds
Events can occur sequentially or other events involve two or more devices
working concurrently
OS switches back and forth
Interrupt handler is a special numerical code that prioritizes the requests
OS processes a task assigned higher priority before processing a task
assigned lower priority (preemptive multitasking)
Stack is a location in the RAM which stores a memo of what the CPU was
doing before
What happens if there is more than one document waiting to be printed?
The buffer is another temporary location in the RAM which stores a request if
the printer is trying to be used while it is already in use
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