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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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The Core Functions of an Operating System

The OS is the software program that really understands the hardware and knows how to work with it. Because the OS is so knowledgeable, the programs, the hardware devices, and the user don't have to be as aware. Table 5.1 provides an overview of the five key functions of the OS. Each will be covered in turn.

Table 5.1. Operating system functions
Operating system functionExample
System supervisionmanages memory, starts and controls processes
Services to hardwaredrivers for various devices (drives, displays, etc.)
Services to softwaresupport to other programs such as the user inter-face (UI), file systems, etc.
Communications servicesredirects requests for information from the local system to an external one; ...

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