20 Chapter 1 The Big Picture Third-Generation Software (1965–1971) During the third generation of commercial computers, it became apparent that the human was slowing down the computing process. Computers were sitting idle while waiting for the computer operator to prepare the next job. The solution was to put the computer resources under the control of the computer, that is, to write a program that would determine which programs were run when. This kind of program is called an operating system . During the first two generations, utility programs had been written to handle often-needed tasks. Loaders loaded programs into memory and linkers linked pieces of large programs together. In the third generation, these utility programs were refined and put under the direction of the operating system. This group of utility programs, the operating system, and the language trans-lators (assemblers and compilers) became known as systems software. The introduction of computer terminals as input/output devices gave the
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