Free Essay

The Creation of the Pc

In: Computers and Technology

Submitted By rulucky
Words 917
Pages 4
The SCAMP created by IBM in 1973 started the hardware revolution which led to the creation of the first operating system in 1981 by Microsoft at IBM’s request. By1983, PC Magazine labeled the SCAMP as the “first personal computer” and a “revolutionary concept”. Since then there have been numerous advancements in the ongoing creation of computers during which the operating system evolved into what is known today as Windows, Linux, and the Mac OS X. But what makes these great machines operate? What is their purpose? What are their functions? Multimedia designers, graphic artists, and musicians would argue that the Mac OS X is superior. Gamers, programmers, and businesses might prefer Linux. The average household would say that Windows is the way to go. This being said, we will look into what makes each of these systems differ from one another and look at the pros and cons of each.

To get an understanding of the different operating systems we need to understand the actual meaning of an operating system. The definition of an operating system is a collection of software that coordinates and provides common services for computer programs. Without the operating system, the computer and software would be useless.

With a better understanding of what an operating system is, we can now look at the operating systems purpose or functionality. An important function of the operating system is resource management. This means monitoring the central processing unit, memory, disk drives, and printers. It also provides a user interface. The operating system manages input/output devices such as your mouse, keyboard, and printer. Helps with file management; acts as middle man between the computer hardware and the applications. In the end, the operating system ensures that the system runs smoothly. These are the functions of the operating system. But each operating systems acts differently as to what you can and can’t do. Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X all have played a pivotal role in the creation of the OS.

The first difference in operating systems is licensing freedom which means their license is a “free license”. The license states that anyone is allowed to copy the software, see the source code, modify the code, and redistribute it as long as it remains licensed from the General Public License. The Linux operating system falls into this category whereas Windows and Mac OS X have licensing restrictions or proprietary software. This means that the software is copyrighted. The publisher grants the right to use the software under the “End-User License Agreement” (EULA) but the copy remains the property of software publisher.

Another difference is how each operating system deals with support. Windows and Mac OS X have paid support. Each time you need help with a problem there is a charge for service rendered once your warranty has expired. Linux has online peer community support. The way this works is people volunteer their time to solve issues and then compile all the troubleshooting steps via a community forum for everyone to access. This means you may have a wait or long period of downtime.

There are some differences in the filing systems. Linux has a case sensitive filing system and you can’t use spaces. This means that my_documents, My_Documents, and MY_DOCUMENTS all have different directories; also instead of a space you have to use an underscore in a file or directory name. Windows and Mac OS X are not case sensitive filing system. Also you can use spaces in file or directory names to reach the directory or file you are looking for.

The next big difference in operating systems is necessary hardware and availability for proper operations. Linux is the cheapest, most easily available operating system. There are no restrictive hardware requirements to run the operating system. Windows is next on the list. Although you do have to meet some minimum requirements, you still have access to a wide range of hardware options and flexibility which is relatively cheap. Hardware is readily available and only has to meet some minimum requirements for the installation of the Windows operating system. The cost of the operating system is where they get you. The Windows OS is fairly expensive but still readily available. Then there is Mac OS X which is the most expensive option. It has proprietary software and users are forced to purchase Apple hardware.
Last but not least are the differences in the command line options of these operating systems. In Linux, you have command line freedom. There is the “Rule of Silence” which means when a program has nothing to say, it should say nothing. You will get no confirmation that your command line has finished if it was successful in executing. The only time you will get a message is if there is a problem or error. In the Windows and Mac OS X, you have limited command line. This means you can do minor things from the command line, but you can’t actually see the source code or modify the source code.

I have not personally used all these different operating systems, but merely took the time to look at all the pros and cons of each operating system as is, you didn’t understand what the operating system is and the difference between them. Now you can make a good assessment. I urge you to do more research. Only you can decide which operating system suits your everyday needs be it graphic design, programming, gaming, or just average every day user.

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