Operating Systems. What are they?

The operating system runs on a computer and is the interface between a kernel and the user. The operating system allows you to do something useful with your computer. Without one it would boot up and then you would be able to type on the keyboard and move the mouse but nothing would happen. Computer hardware resources are managed by the operating system, it makes possible for programs to communicate with the computer hardware. The operating system kernel is the actual intermediary between the computer hardware and the software. This handles the loading of device drivers to enable hardware to function when it is plugged in. A multi-tasking operating system is one that makes it possible to run multiple tasks on the one operating system. A multi-user operating system is typically used on a network; this allows multiple users to login to a server and make use of the computing resources at one time.

An operating system is used to allow users to make use of a personal computer as a workstation. This enables the installation of software to make use of the computer for various tasks, such as word processing; and graphics manipulation. Linux is built upon the kernel. This is the interface between the hardware and software. The rest of the operating system; the command-line interface and the GUI runs on top of this and allows the user to make use of the computer. Microsoft Windowstm uses a kernel as well; this also allows the operating system to load drivers and manage hotplugging of hardware. The Linux kernel uses kernel modules that are drivers that are loaded when new hardware is detected; this then allows the hardware to work. Some hardware such as ATI 3D graphics drivers is installed manually after the hardware is installed in the machine. This then builds the actual ATI driver for the particular Linux kernel that you are running.

Components of an operating system
What components does an operating system have?

The main components of an operating system are as follows.

    Device Drivers.
    Interrupts. Running certain code in response to an event.
    Executing programs. Allowing compiled code to be executed on the system to load an application into memory.
Three types of operating systems.
What are the differences between them?

Batch operating system.

This is an operating system that runs a series of tasks in batches. This saves time when the operating system is asked to perform many tasks within a certain time period.

Real time systems.

Real time systems. A real time operating system is designed to handle events as they occur. This is suitable for machinery control and other deployments that require instant responses to user requests. For example; an air traffic control system that has to show the positions of aircraft in real-time to prevent accidents.

Multitasking operating systems.

A multi-tasking system allows the execution of multiple processes and tasks simultaneously. This is required for modern computer systems that run many processes and programs at once to make the computer useful for users who would be running Word; Firefox and maybe a music player at the one time. Each process is given a portion of the CPU time so that they can run alongside each other. Each process is still only running one at a time; but if one process is temporarily stalled; then it gives another process a chance to run. This means that a Hyperthreaded or multicore CPU is more efficient than a single core CPU.

The dual and quad core processors that we use these days are much more powerful than the older Pentium IV Hyperthreaded CPU that was powerful for its time; but a modern quad core i7 CPU is more efficient. Clock speed alone is not the determining factor in selling a CPU. A modern 2.6 GHZ CPU is still more powerful than a 3.06 GHZ Pentium IV CPU from 2003. Efficiency is important for a modern CPU; this allows it to manage many running threads easily.

That is how a multi-core system works; the many cores working together allow a multitasking operating system to perform smoothly and quickly.

Installing and licensing Windows 7 for 50 users.

The best way to license Windows 7 for 50 users is through a volume licensing scheme. A full volume license for Windows 7 will allow 50 users to make use of the Windows 7 operating system on all computers. The Enterprise, Ultimate and Professional editions of Windows 7 are the best candidates for volume licensing. Purchasing new computers and copies of Windows 7 with each one is a good way to enjoy the benefits of software volume licensing. Using Software Assurance to create a volume license to cover the whole site will allow 50 computers to be installed with a copy of Windows 7.

There is a three year outright purchase. You own the software after three years and continue to pay for Software Assurance to keep the deal going. There is also the opportunity for a three year rolling rental of the software. This is cheaper; but you do not own the software. This means that if the license expires you must give up the software. The outright purchase of the software would make the most sense; you have the keys available and you can show them in the case of a software licensing audit. Purchasing an Open Value Subscription (OVS) license for all of the computers would be the best way to make sure all of the machines were covered. There are benefits in terms of extended hot-fix support; new version upgrades and training vouchers, (1,2) per 50 licenses that may be put towards MS approved training courses. This would be helpful if staff training was required and a certification or two would help them in the workplace. The Software Assurance method is easier than purchasing OEM licenses for 50 computers. That is an option; but Software Assurance has many benefits as outlined above.

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