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What is an Operating System?

It is software that tells the computer to do things and it runs run the computer. It decides where things are to be stored on the hard drive, manages the processor and controls the processor time. It also manages the computers memory. It takes in the inputs and sends them to an output device.

Function of an Operating System – use DIV Scrollers

Receives inputs

When a mouse is plugged in, the operating system detects the mouse and tells it where to go and allows the mouse to move around on the monitors screen.

Manage resources

It tells the processor what to do and manages the processors time. It also controls the hard drive and memory storage.

Sends outputs

When an input is put in, the operating systems sends that signal to the output that uses the signal to do things on the monitor screen or printer.

File management

It is where all of the files ae being stored and managing it. When a folder goes to another one for example. 

Memory management

It retrieves all the files from the backing store and sends them to the memory. Memory management is like pigeon holes where people put certain things in a certain hole.

Components/Functions of the Operating Systems – use DIV Scrollers


It is the bit in the middle of the operating system.

Program execution

When it retrieves the program and makes it run.


This interrupts the program. E.G when a printer runs out of ink and it stops it to tell you.


A processor has two different modes, user mode and kernel mode

Memory management

Memory management is the process of controlling and coordinating computer memory

Virtual memory

Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system that uses hardware and software that can temporarily transfer data from ROM to the disk space.


The computer multitasks by slicing up the processor time and giving each task a little bit of time and changing between them.

File access

Allowing what we’re allowed to see and do to certain files. Only certain people can modify and have full control of files and others can only read and are not allowed to delete them.


It’s what gives you access to your files and it doesn’t give you access to other certain files. E.G only staff are allowed on the Staff data.


You can adjust this to allow certain people in your computer and files. They’ll need a password of your choice.

Associated files – use DIV Scrollers

Device drivers

It translates what the computer is saying and what the device can understand.


It’s a computer program that takes a whole program written in high level language and translates it into a machine.

Link editor

It is a computer program that takes object files generated by a compiler or an assembler and combines them into a single executable file.


It is a small program that provides an addition to the capabilities provided by the operating system. They aren’t needed for a computer but help.


They help protect your computer from viruses and trojans. They can’t prevent a virus attack from happening but they can detect it happening and remove the harmful programs.


They protect your computer by detecting spyware and malware. These are harmful programs that can damage your computer


These are files that are copied and when the real version gets attacked they can be replaced by the coped version.

File management

It is the process of administering a system that correctly handles digital data.

Disk repair/defragmenter

It enables users to view and manage the disk drives installed in their computer and the partitions associated with those drives


it says the battery but most importantly it helps to prevent the monitor from being damaged. Stops the image on the screen from being burned in the screen.

User Interfaces – use DIV Scrollers

Command Line Interface – CLI

A user would have to type in the different commands they would like you carry out on the operating system

Menu Driven

It’s an interface consisting of a series of screens which are navigated by choosing options from lists. When you click on one a list of options come down and they send you to other screens.

Graphical user interface - GUI

A visual way of interacting with a computer using items such as windows, icons, and menus, used by most modern operating systems.

Alternative Interfaces


Types of Operating System – use DIV Scrollers

Open Source

Denoting software for which the original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

Original Equipment Manufacturer – OEM

OEMs also make parts and sub-assemblies that are resold to other companies who assemble them into their own finished products.


If you own something, especially something of value, then you have proprietary rights. The word is most often used in relation to new inventions or patents.


Software worksheet

Computer Model 1
Computer model 1

Computer Model 3