About Operating Systems

 Computer Operating System (OS). What is an Operating System?

"Operating system not found”. What is a computer operating system? You may wonder… Just after you built your computer and powered it on. Computers need of an operating system in order to work. When you build a custom computer you have to select and buy also an OS. Except that you already own one from a previous purchase or it just happened to have an OS installation CD or DVD in your home.

When you buy your computer part by part from different sellers, obviously you don’t have the possibility to get your computer already built and with a fresh installation of an OS. These are tasks that you have to perform and I will show you how. But let’s see first what an operating system is and what it does.
The computer operating system is installed in the hard drive. The operating system’s location is used every time the computer boots up and loads the necessary OS files to memory. When loading is completed the computer is ready for use.

What an Operating System Does ?

A computer operating system is just a program. It is not so simple though. The operating system is responsible to use the hardware components of the computer so to create a working environment for the user. This working environment is a user interface where the user can give tasks to the computer. These tasks may be specific instructions, programs, services and more.
To put it simpler the working environment of the computer OS is what you see when you power on your PC after the OS loading screen. If your OS is-Windows then the working environment is the desktop screen.
The OS manages the computer resources and shares them to the running tasks and services. When the computer operating system starts it actually loads hundreds of tasks and services. These are loaded to the computer memory and stay there as long as the OS is running. All these tasks are used for supporting the user intentions.
An OS is considered good when it can manage the computer resources efficiently. Windows XP is considered the best operating system from Microsoft up to now because of its efficient memory management. From the other hand Windows Vista was a total failure from the same perspective. That’s why Windows 7 came up so early after Vista. Windows 7 have a decent memory management and they are very promising.
Computer OS is a ground for running other programs. Every program is designed to run to a specific OS or more computer operating systems of the same company though. For example some programs may be compatible with some Windows series but not compatible with MAC OS or Linux operating systems.
The user’s running programs cooperate with the operating system. They ask for resources and the OS manages to cover their demand.
If you run too many programs then the available computer resources decrease dramatically and the computer will be sluggish, even crash in some cases. As the computer OS try to serve all the programs it runs out of resources (e.g. memory) being unable to support all these tasks closing them violently.
The computer OS try also to prevent unstable situations by deciding to perform specific tasks without the user’s consent in some cases. It even crashes the whole system with a Blue Screen of Death to prevent hardware damage.
Let’s see now some popular operating systems:

Microsoft Operating Systems

Microsoft is the most popular developer of computer operating systems. It has the greater share of the pie as their operating systems are greatly promoted throughout the world. This fact combined with their user-friendliness makes them the first choice of every new user.
Microsoft has many times criticized for adopting monopoly tactics and releasing incomplete operating systems that are vulnerable and unstable. This is the reason of the daily release of security patches, updates and service packs. Some of the most popular Microsoft operating systems are listed below:

•        Ms-DOS
•        Windows 95
•        Windows 98
•        Windows XP
•        Windows 2000
•        Windows Vista
•        Windows 7

Linux Operating Systems

Linux is an open source operating system that it was developed by Linus Torvalds and developers from all over the world. It began as a hobby but now it is a very strong opponent to the commercial companies. Linux gains popularity every year and as a result hundreds of Linux editions have come out from many developers.
Although, Linux distributions are not so user-friendly as Windows or MAC, they are free. This is because Linux is an open source operating system. Another advantage of an open source OS is that every program that is designed for this computer OS is also free. Some popular Linux distributions for the mainstream users are the following:
•        Debian GNU/Linux
•        Gentoo Linux
•        Mandriva
•        SUSE Linux
•        Fedora
•        Ubuntu Linux

Apple or MAC Operating Systems

Apple wanted to differentiate from Microsoft’s approach to computer OS and it was the first company that designed a fully graphical interface for their computer operating systems. When MS-DOS had just a command line waiting the user to start writing, the MAC operating system offered only a graphical environment without a command line support. Apple designed two families of MAC operating systems, the MAC OS and the MAC OS X.
Apple’s operating systems are characterized from the easiness of use and the beautiful visuals. They offer a very nice and easy to use environment. Some versions of MAC OS X are listed below:
•             10  “Cheetah”
•             10.1 “Puma”
•             10.2 “Jaguar”
•             10.3 “Panther”
•             10.4 “Tiger”
•             10.5 “Leopard”
•             10.6 “Snow Leopard”
We saw what a computer operating system is; we described what it does and how it works and we saw some of the most popular computer operating systems. Now that you know some basics it is now time to install your operating system.

Posted by Gurneet Singh on 12:54 0 comments

Computer Building Guide

Computer Building Guide

In this computer building guide we will talk about all the steps that are required for building your own computer from scratch. These steps cover everything you need to do starting from opening the hardware parts boxes up to powering up the computer.

Details on how to install the hardware parts can be found at the relevant pages and not here. In this guide we are going to describe only what you have to do. Follow any links that you can find in this article if you want for more how-to install guides or check the relevant menu on the left.

After an extensive market research you bought the best hardware components for the money and few minutes ago the courier delivered you several boxes that contain all these hardware. 

So let’s see what you need to do first before you start building your own computer.
It is important to follow the steps of the computer building guide with this particular order.

1.  Check the Boxes   

First thing to do is to open all the boxes and check that everything is fine. This means that the box is sealed, hardware is placed in sealed bags and supporting material is in place. If you have any concerns about this then call immediately the shop and ask for explanations. As long as you are sure that everything is as it should be you can continue with the computer building guide.

2.  Install the CPU to the Motherboard

Ok now you can begin building your own computer. First, install the CPU onto the motherboard. Apply thermal compound on the top surface of the CPU and then place it carefully into the motherboard’s socket. Install the CPU cooler and you are done with this step.

3.   Install the Motherboard’s back plate I/O to the PC case

Inside the motherboard’s box you will find the rear panel I/O of the motherboard. This looks like a thin metal plate with many holes of different shapes. These holes correspond actually to the layout of the motherboard that is nothing more of a series of ports and connectors.

Rear Plate I/O

Install this to your PC case. If there is another rear I/O plate in your case, just replace it with your motherboard’s one. Also, if you have bought any extra fans this is the right moment to install them.
4.   Install your Motherboard in the PC case

Now it is time to install your motherboard in your PC case. Screw the bolts in your PC case where the motherboard will be installed and then align the motherboard bolt holes. Check also that the layout of the motherboard fits perfectly the rear back plate and that the connectors have passed to the back of the PC case. Secure the motherboard in the PC case with the bolts.

5.   Install Computer Memory (RAM)

Take the RAM modules and install them in the memory bank. Be sure to check that you install them correctly. Notice the notch that the RAM module has and align it with the notch of the memory slot. Apply pressure to the module until it locks.

6.   Install Internal Storage Devices (HDD)

Mount hard drives to the 3.5″ bays and optical devices to the 5.25″ bays and connect them to the motherboard. From now on you must do a good wire management or else in the end your computer will look like a mess with all these cables.

7.   Install Graphics card and PCI devices

Last hardware components that you will install will be the video card in the PCI express x16 slot and then any PCI devices you may have bought such as a sound card or a TV tuner card or any other PCI device.

8.   Install Computer Power Supply and Connect the Components

To install the computer PSU. The location of the PSU is standard and you will understand immediately where it must be installed. Align the PSU with the PC case bolt holes and screw the bolts to secure the computer power supply unit. After that connect all the internal hardware components that require power supply.

9.   Close the PC case and connect the Computer

The last step of the computer building guide is to close the PC case and connect the computer with all the external and peripheral devices. Connect them to the rear plate I/O and plug your computer to the electricity socket. Your new computer is ready to serve.

This concludes the computer building guide. As you can see it is a very easy and straight-forward process. Besides it is also fun to build a PC. For more information on how to install hardware parts check also the relevant guides.

Posted by Gurneet Singh on 13:57 0 comments