Operating Systems: A Computer Story

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If I say computer operating system, Windows—the most used operating system on the planet—would be the first that comes to mind. Nowadays, everyone has a personal computer that they can easily use without any special training or knowledge, thanks to the user-friendly operating systems out there. In the past, things were not that easy though; let us take a look at the operating systems from the beginning until now.

It is hard to imagine computers without operating systems, but that is actually how it was. An operating system’s job is to make the computer function; it connects the programs to the hardware. In the past, every program had to have the codes necessary to make the computer function; as computers became more advanced, so did the different operations. It became inconvenient for every program to run as an operation system and an application; a need for an operating system emerged.

IBM, a well-known computer company, created the first operating system in 1956 to run an IBM mainframe computer; other mainframe owners did the same and created their own operating systems. There was not a single operating system that was used on all computers; programs still had to be modified to function on different operating systems.

Nowadays, Microsoft is famous for Windows, but Windows was not their first operating system. Their first was known as MS-DOS; short for Microsoft Disk Operating System. MS-DOS is different from the operating systems you know; users who used MS-DOS could navigate or open their files using command lines. It was like writing a simplified code to make the computer function; for example, if you need to run notepad, you will have to write “notepad”. It is completely different from the graphic user interface that we use nowadays; now, you can see what you want and just click on it, but in the past, you had to memorize the commands.

Microsoft Windows, more or less, revolutionized our world; we do not have to know commands by heart. We owe the Graphic User Interface, also known as GUI, to Alan Kay, Douglas Engelbart, and others who developed it in 1981; Microsoft Windows and different user-friendly interfaces are based on it. User-friendly interfaces have developed from using a mouse to click on the icon that you need, to touch-screens that allow you to directly click on what you need.

What does the future hold for us? Forbes magazine has already asked that question and the answer they came up with was: Blockchain Operating System. Blockchains are blocks to store data; they are used, for example, for banking transactions. Once data is stored, it cannot be altered; if you paid for an item online, the block is saved, and you will not have to pay twice.

A blockchain operating system is a virtual operating system that links your device, computer, or cellphone, to the cloud; it makes transfer of data easy, immutable, and safe, as it is not controlled by any entity. In simple English, a blockchain operating system avoids the inconvenience of having different devices and isolated data. It somehow links everything together; it will make life easier, from signing your contracts online, to maybe linking your kitchen to the store so that you never run out of any item. Well, we will not wait for long; the future is almost here!

References

c3scripts.com

computerhope.com/jargon

computerhope.com/msdos

computerhope.com/windows

forbes.com/what-is-a-blockchain-operating-system

forbes.com/what-will-the-operating-system-of-the-future-look-like

maketecheasier.com

quora.com

whoishostingthis.com


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SCIplanet is a bilingual edutainment science magazine published by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Planetarium Science Center and developed by the Cultural Outreach Publications Unit ...
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