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Dale - Computer Science Illuminated 348

Dale - Computer Science Illuminated 348 - booting the...

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10.1 Roles of an Operating System 321 Hardware Operating system Application software Human users Other system software Figure 10.1 An operating system inter- acts with many aspects of a computer system. resources. It allows application software to access system resources, either directly or through other system software. It provides a direct user inter- face to the computer system. A computer generally has one operating system that becomes active and takes control when the system is turned on. Computer hardware is wired to initially load a small set of system instructions stored in permanent memory (ROM). These instructions load a larger portion of system soft- ware from secondary memory, usually a magnetic disk. Eventually all key elements of the operating system software are loaded, start-up programs are executed, the user interface is provided, and the system is ready for use. This activity is often called
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Unformatted text preview: booting the computer. The term boot comes from the idea of “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps,” which is essentially what a computer does when it is turned on. A computer could have two or more operating systems from which the user chooses when the computer is turned on. This configuration is often called a dual-boot or multi-boot system. Note that only one operating system is in control of the computer at any given time. You’ve likely used one operating system or another before. The various versions of Microsoft Windows (Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows NT, Windows ME) are popularly used for personal computers. The different versions of these operating systems represent the evolving soft-ware over time as well as differences in the way services are provided and managed. The Mac OS is the operating system of choice for computers...
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