An operating system (OS) plays a critical role in running a computer. The technology is software that manages the machine’s resources, particularly their allocation (Unwana, Udoh & Umoh, 2022). An example of the management task done by an OS is scheduling resources to prevent interferences and conflicts. A computer’s programs run simultaneously and need to access the storage, central processing unit, and memory. The OS coordinates all these resources to ensure that each program gets what it requires. Additionally, an operating system allows users to communicate with the machine without knowing its language. A computer that lacks an OS cannot perform the aforementioned essential roles. The paper discusses the three resources managed by an operating system, including input/output devices, file storage, and memory.
The main jobs of a computer are input, output, and processing. When browsing or editing files, individuals need to read or key in some information. Computers operate several devices, including disks, human interfaces such as keyboards, tapes, and transmission devices that allow interactions between users and hardware. These devices have varying functionalities, speed, and control methods. An operating system manages input/output (I/O) by organizing I/O operations and devices. The operating system’s mainboard contains a device driver that controls access to the input and output tools (Unwana, Udoh & Umoh, 2022). The drivers are found in each piece of hardware with directions of use. Each gadget transfers signals through the air or over the cable to communicate with the operating system. On the other hand, peripheral tools use connection points called ports to link with the machine.
The operating system also manages files with different extensions by organizing them on the storage drive, allowing easier viewing. Before retrieving data from files, computers should know the amount of data, how it is organized, and the storage device (Dinneen & Frissen, 2020). The OS provides a file system that maintains this information for different programs. The file system provides a uniform interface for data storage and retrieval. Further, the operating system determines how the files are stored, edited, deleted, and read. The tool detects any errors in file names and informs users. The operating system specifies the file attributes, including size and location on the disk, to help people understand its value. Moreover, it highlights the operations and access permissions users can perform on files and the logical file storage methods in a computer.
Lastly, the memory management function of the operating system includes moving processes between the main memory and the disk during process execution. The functionality subdivides the memory into different processes to manage operations and ensure efficient utilization. According to Unwana, Udoh, and Umoh (2022), the OS keeps track of all memory locations, whether they are free or have been assigned tasks. It checks the amount of memory allocated to different processes and decides the time of allocation. In addition, it monitors whenever memory is freed and updates its status (Liu, Xie & Yang, 2017). Finally, the OS performs swapping, whereby it transforms every process in the main memory, runs it for some time, and returns it to the disk.
To conclude, the OS is the most critical software in a computer system. It manages the numerous resources required to complete tasks such as Input/Output devices, file storage, and memory by allocating them to a specific program and user. The OS organizes the Input/Output operations and pieces of hardware, allowing easier use, and determines the storage, editing, closing, and opening of data files. Moreover, it assigns the files different features and locations to ensure quick access. In terms of memory management, the OS enables an individual to utilize computer memory efficiently by moving processes between the man memory and the disk depending on the need.
Dinneen, J. D., & Frissen, I. (2020). Mac users do it differently: The role of operating system and individual differences in file management. In Extended Abstracts of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-8).
Liu, L., Xie, M., & Yang, H. (2017). Memos: revisiting hybrid memory management in modern operating system. Cornell University.
Unwana, T. E., Udoh, E. I., & Umoh, V. O. (2022). A Study of the importance of operating system (OS) in a computer system. Journal of Computer Science Review and Engineering, 1(1), 1–12.