Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The ABC's of your OS

2000. XP. Vista. Snow Leopard. What do all of these have in common? They are absolutely necessary for your computer to even function! Operating Systems (commonly referred to as simply “OS” provide the backbone structure for your desktop, laptop, or notebook computer.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, an operating system is a “program that manages a computer’s resources, especially the allocation of those resources among other programs. Typical resources include the central processing unit (CPU), computer memory, file storage, input/output (I/O) devices, and network connections. Management tasks include scheduling resource use to avoid conflicts and interference between programs. Unlike most programs, which complete a task and terminate, an operating system runs indefinitely and terminates only when the computer is turned off.

So, what’s the latest and greatest in OS’s on the market today?

Windows 7 is the newest operating system for the PC. Check out this introductory video.

If you are a Mac lover, then Snow Leopard is sure to peak your curiosity as the latest OS to hit the scene for the Apple.

The Unix OS is a multi-user system that allows multiple users to take advantage of different resources all at one time! Nice thing about Unix? It is open-source (free) and runs on a variety of computer platforms!

Quite like Unix, Linux is another type of OS that is also open-source and runs on a PC. Who uses Linux? According to, typically the folks most interested in going against the norm of Windows and Mac operating systems…

· People who already know UNIX and want to run it on PC-type hardware;

· People who want to experiment with operating system principles;

· People who need or want a great deal of control over their operating system; and

· People who have personal problems with Microsoft

What's on the OS horizon? Google's newest arrival... the Google Chrome OS. It is in the works and is supposed to change how we look at the OS altogether... Stay tuned for its release...

So, after all is said and done, are you still using Windows 2000 or XP? Don’t feel bad. As long as your computer is performing up to par and your tasks and goals are met – all is well.

*Disclaimer – This post is for educational and information purposes only. Please do not attempt to upgrade any of the district and/or school-owned desktops or laptops. As with all processes and protocols, the Technology Department will handle upgrades, etc. when appropriate.

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