Functions of operating systems, Necessity of computer...

Operating system functions

Necessity of computer operating system

The computer itself is only able to execute the instruction set that is prescribed to the central processor. To solve specific tasks for information processing, it is necessary to execute a long, definite, ordered sequence of commands, i.e. make a program. For example, to organize data exchange with a disk, you need to use more than a dozen commands, indicating the set of its parameters: block number on the disk, sector numbers on the track, etc., and after the operation is completed, analyze the result of the operation performed in the program. Given that the disk controller is able to recognize more than 20 different options for completing the operation, compiling such a program is a very difficult and time-consuming task. The work of the user with the disk looks equally complicated, since he would have to specify the numerical addresses of tracks and sectors for reading/writing the file. The operating system (OS) relieves programmers and users not only from the need to work directly with the hardware of the disk drive, providing them with a simple file interface, but also takes care of all the other routine operations associated with the management of other hardware devices. With the help of an OS, a computer capable of performing only actions defined by the command system turns into an virtual machine that performs a wide range of much more complex functions. The virtual machine is also controlled by commands, but they are related to a higher level: to open a file with a known name it is enough to run an application program by the command. Such a machine is easier to program, it's easier to work with it than directly with the hardware of a real computer or real network.

The operating system can be represented as a means of resource management of the computer system in order to most effectively use them. The main resources of modern computing systems include processors, main memory, disk drives, printers, timers, data sets, network and other devices. Resources are shared between processes. Process (or task) is the basic concept of most modern OSes and is often briefly defined as the executable program [20]. If the program is a static object (as a file with codes and data), then the process is a dynamic object that occurs in the OS after the user or she runs the program herself.

Resource management includes the solution of such tasks as determining which process, when and in what amount the resource should be allocated; Tracking the state and accounting for the use of the resource; Supply of operational information on whether a resource is available or free and what share of the resource is already allocated. Resource management is an important part of any (and especially multiprogram) OS functions that are implemented using resource management subsystems.

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