Study Notes from Information Technology in the IT Environments Section
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The Operating System
The software that communicates with and controls the hardware is called system software. An important type of system software is the operating system.
Three main functions of the operating system are:
a)Managing the computers resources (eg: send file to printer)
b)Providing a user interface (eg: rather than you typing in instructions to print a file, you click on the printer icon)
c)Providing services to the application software(eg: starts the application software for you)
The operating system is a very important part of the computer system and without it the computer will simply not work. The operating system is typically stored on the hard disk of the computer and gets loaded into the computers memory when the computer is switched on. From then on it intercepts messages from the user and the application program and passes them on to the hardware. In this process it needs to translate the message from a user point of view to language the hardware can understand.
The user commands the software, which in turn communicates through the operating system to the hardware.. All the components are equally important and without any of the three you would not be able to get your work done.
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