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The logical architecture of a computer system is shown in Figure 14.1. As shown
in the figure, the hardware resources are surrounded by the operating system layer,
which in turn is surrounded by a layer of other system software (such as
compilers, editors, command interpreter, utilities, etc.) and a set of application
programs (such as commercial data processing applications, scientific and
engineering applications, entertainment and educational applications, etc.). Finally, the end users view the computer system in terms of the user interfaces
provided by the application programs.
Other System Software and Application Programs
The operating system layer provides various facilities and services that make the
use of the hardware resources convenient, efficient, and safe. A programmer
makes use of these facilities in developing an application, and the application,
while it is running, invokes the required services to perform certain functions. In
effect, the operating system hides the details of the hardware from the programmer
and provides the programmer with a convenient interface for using the system. It
acts as an intermediary between the hardware and its users, providing a high-level
interface to low-level hardware resources, and making it easier for the programmer
and for application programs to access and use those resources.
2. Managing the resources of a computer system. The second important objective
of an operating system is to manage the various resources of the computer system.
This involves performing such tasks as keeping track of who is using which
resource, granting resource requests, accounting for resource usage, and mediating
conflicting requests from different programs and users.
Executing a job on a computer system often requires several of its resources such
as CPU time, memory space, file storage space, I/O devices, and so on. The
operating system acts as the manager of the various resources of a computer
system and allocates them to specific programs and users to execute their jobs
successfully. When a compu...
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- Spring '14