OPERATING SYSTEM - FUNCTIONS

  • Handles input and output
  • Selects and controls the operation of the hardware devices such as keyboards, mice, scanners, printers etc.
  • Recognises hardware device such as pen drive, camera etc. when they are attached to the computer and automatically loads the software (device driver) it needs to control the device.
  • Supervises the running of other programs
  • Provides a way for application programs like word processors, spreadsheets etc. to work with the hardware.
  • Handles the storage of data
  • Keeps track of all the files and folders on the disk.
  • Maximises the use of computer memory
  • Decides where in memory the program instructions are placed.
  • Ensures the parts of the program needed frequently are put in fastest part of the memory.
  • Handles interrupts and decides what action to take
  • Alerts the user when errors like printer cannot print because of paper jam or it has run out of paper.

 

OPERATING SYSTEM - INTERFACE
Interface is used by the Operating System for interacting with the user.
Commonly used interfaces are:
Command Line Interface (CLI)
Graphical User Interface (GUI)

 

COMMAND LINE INTERFACE (CLI)
Advantages:

  • For an experienced user typing in commands using CLI is quicker than moving the mouse or clicking.
  • Uses less disk space than GUI when stored
  • Requires lesser memory (RAM) when being used.
  • Does not need powerful hardware like processor, graphics card to run a CLI.

Disadvantages:

  • User needs to remember commands and their syntax.
  • Commands must be issued in a specific order otherwise commands will be rejected.
  • Difficult to operate for a beginner.

 

GRAPHICAL USER INTERFACE (GUI)
Advantages:

  • User friendly - very easy to use for the novice user
  • Has features such as Windows, Icons, Menus and Pointers (WIMP)
  • No need to remember commands and its syntax.
  • Can be operated using point and click method. 

 

Disadvantages:

  • Takes more storage space on the disk.
  • Requires more memory (RAM) when being used.
  • Powerful hardware like processor, graphics card are needed to run latest version of a GUI.
  • Experienced user might find that typing in commands is quicker than moving the mouse or clicking.

 

Expected Questions:

Q: Graphical User Interfaces are very popular interfaces that are used with computers, mobile phones and other portable devices.

(a) Give three features of a graphical user interface [3]

Q: All computers need an Operating system.
(a) Explain what an operating system is. [2]
(b) List three functions of an operating system. [3]
Q: Name any one device other than computer and mobile that has GUI.
Q: List any two benefits of having this interface. [3]

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