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Computer Operating Systems
Computer operating systems have evolved over the years to become one of the most integral software components of a computer system. Without the operating system, being able to use a personal computer would be much more difficult. The operating system allows the user to easily and more successfully navigate the computer system without having to know complicated commands and requests.
In the early days of computers, operating systems weren’t part of the overall system configuration. They came about after the super computers had already been invented. Before operating systems, information was input into the computer with punch cards. The system wasn’t very efficient and required knowledge of punch card machines just to get the desired information from the computer.
Then some programmers had a vision. They thought it would be wonderful if everyone could use a computer without having to know about complicated programming language. They began designing the first computer operating systems, and soon found success.
Today, there are many computer operating systems both already developed as well as currently in development. Most of these operating systems are designed solely with the user in mind. They allow computer operators to simply load programs into their computers and then navigate their system with the point of a mouse and the click of a button.
All computer operating systems have certain processes that they perform “behind the scenes” so that the user doesn’t really know that they are happening. This is called multi-tasking and makes it much easier to use a computer without having to manage resources manually. The operating system does it for you!
Your computer operating system will manage your random access memory, your hard disk memory, the scheduling of tasks, and so much more! It will provide a level of security to your computer so that you don’t have to worry about an outside party gaining access to any of the information on your computer. It will also navigate the various programs that are on your computer when you want to open those programs. Just tell the operating system, and it’ll take care of the rest!
The most popular operating systems today are Microsoft Windows and Apple’s Mac OS X. The technology for most computer operating systems came from these two computer giants and other operating systems have evolved from those. Linux and GNU are two other operating systems that are beginning to take hold in popularity, although they are mainly geared toward the mainframe and network system market.
The computer operating system brought personal computers into our homes and businesses and made it easy for anyone to use a computer. Without the computer operating system, using a computer would remain in the dark ages.
Buying a Computer
What To Do And Why
It isn’t fair, but buying a computer is just plain easier for some than it is for others. Those who’ve purchased and used a computer in the past already have an idea of what they need in a new computer. But those who are new to the computer world could get lost in the myriad of choices available.
The short answer to “What should I buy?” is “The best.” Of course that answer is extremely subjective because “the best” to one person is certainly different to another. Our definition of “the best” is the fastest and the biggest, but even that leaves the computer newbie confused. Here’s a quick rundown of what the computer novice should do and why.
1. Buy a computer that includes basic peripherals. Every computer can be broken down into four major components: CPU unit, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. For the novice, it’s best to buy a computer that has all of these components included so that when it’s taken home, assembling the computer is a simple matter of plugging things in where they belong. Save the individual purchases of these components for those who have more experience.
2. Decide what you’ll use the computer for. If you want to use your computer for cruising the web, sending email, or performing simple word-processing or spreadsheet tasks, a computer with the basic components that we just described should suffice. If you want to use a computer to help with a career in multimedia however, you’re going to need to accessorize your system with a scanner, printer, digital camera, tablet, or digicam for example. If you want a computer to help with a career in music, you will need a quality microphone and set of speakers.
3. Create a budget and stick to it. How much can you afford to spend on a new computer? Although the prices of computers are decreasing, they can still create a hefty expense especially if you need additional peripherals described above. In addition, you’ll need to figure in costs for maintenance, servicing, and insuring.
4. Start comparison shopping and look for the “fastest and biggest.” By “fastest and biggest,” we mean the computer with the fastest processor, the fastest modem, the biggest memory, and the biggest hard drive capacity. Even if you think that you’ll never need the amount of speed or space available on the market today, it’s important to have in the event that you truly do need that much in the future. Having such a large reserve will cut down on costs when the time comes to upgrade for more than what you may settle for in a computer that offers less.
5. Stick with the better-known brands. Venturing off the beaten path with lessor-known brands is again, an adventure for those who have more experience with computers. Although those better-known brands may be a tad bit more expensive, the computer novice will appreciate the comfort in purchasing a computer from a business that has a long record of building quality products, and that has the funds available for fulfilling returns, trades, servicing, and warranties.
6. Select a store. Having an idea of what you want in a computer and what kind of computer that you want, your only task left is to select the place in which you want to buy it. There are a number of places available including computer store outlets, online stores, auction sites, used computer stores, or your friendly neighborhood yard sale. For the computer novice, we recommend buying a computer from a physical store. In a physical store, you have the opportunity to see the computer of interest in person and ask questions. New computer buyers also have access to store warranties, returns, trades, and services.
These suggestions should give the computer newbie a great start in selecting a quality computer for the first time and they apply to either Windows computers or Apple Macintosh computers. After making these decisions and finally selecting one that fits your needs, you can then venture into the fascinating world of software – a world that is just as grand as the world of hardware!