Operating System – The Soul for Hardware’s
Operating System is Software which governs the operation of the hardware. A typical computer consists of CPU (Central Processing Unit), IO (Input / Output) Devices, Storage, Memory etc., to interconnect all these things we need a controller. Operating System exactly does the job of the controller. A bare hardware does not function on its own. It needs the help of the Operating System for its each and every action.
We can compare the operating system with our soul. All of us have soul. Without the soul we all are dead like that operating system is the soul for the computer hardware. Our soul does a lot of internal functions but we are unaware of it. Likewise OS does a lot of internal functions in the computer hardware.
Functions of Operating System:
Like mentioned above Operating System does a lot of functions (internally) to maintain the computer systems stability. We can able to classify the functions into 4 categories.
(1) Memory Management:
Memory is one of the important parts as far as the computer is concerned. It is a temporary storage. The contents of the memory will be available as long as the power is switched on. When the power goes off the memory looses the contents available in it. Some people have the doubts regarding the difference between memory and storage. Memory is temporary whereas the storage is permanent. Storage retains its contents even though the power is switched off. OS performs the memory management by adopting various memory management algorithms. Its main objective is to manage multiple programs in the memory during their execution.
In the real time, black board can be regarded as a main memory. We can use chalk or marker to write contents in the black board. Once we are done, it can be erased and cleaned up, like the memory.
Paper can be regarded as storage. If we use ball point pen to write in the paper then the contents written in the paper remains for a long while. It is one of the real time examples for the storage.
(2) Process Management:
The central processing unit is the most important part of the computer. It is like a traffic controller. The control of the whole system is done with the help of CPU. The major function of the operating system is to maintain and manage central processing unit. OS uses various algorithms like LRU, FIFO to manage processes.
We can take traffic controller standing in a traffic signal as a good example for Process Management. The job of the traffic controller is to process all the traffic without any traffic jam or accident. Likewise the job of the process management is to process all the processes without any collision or deadlock.
(3) Device Management:
Device Management deals with Hard Disk which is the main storage as far as computer systems are concerned. In this the operating system plays a vital role in storing, manipulating, retrieving data from the Hard Disk. All these are attained by Operating System by using various Disk Scheduling Algorithms.
We can take store keeper in any normal stores as an example for Device Management. The job of the store keeper is to store the things which are given to him, whenever needed he picks up the things from where he kept and delivers to the customer. Likewise Device Management stores the data to the hard disk, and retrieves them as and when needed.
(4) File Management:
File Management deals with creating, manipulating, editing, modifying, deleting of files. Almost everybody who uses the computers for their work uses files. So it becomes one of the vital functions for Operating System to carry out these functions in an efficient and effective manner. The File Management does it effectively.
Take Clark or any Executives as example, their primary work will be to create and manipulate important files, Submit them to the high authorities as and when required. Likewise File Management manages files and returns to the user as and when needed. It uses several algorithms for storing and retrieving files from the storage.
All the functions which are mentioned above are core functions of an operating system, except these OS does many more functions. In a single word we can describe an Operating System as a “Supervisor” which supervises all the activities which occurs in any computer systems. Now a days Operating Systems are used in Robots, Cell Phones and many other areas. It delivers optimum service wherever it is used.