Operating Systems: An Introduction

Just to make a little distinction between the BIOS/EFI ([Basic Input Output System/Extensible Firmware Interface] which I will cover more with Computer Hardware) and the main OS (Operating System) that people run their application(s) or commands on/through.

Many people have opinions on operating systems. Some are very loyal to only one brand while others are open-minded to see the benefits and cons of the different options.

The main three OS (there are many, but in my opinion, all fall in the three) are Microsoft’s Windows, Apple’s Mac OS, and the third I will label as Unix/Linux. Each one has history, evolution, and were proprietary from its beginning.

  • UNIX / Linux – developed in the late 1960s for use on Mainframe computers and internet servers. Several variations/distributions have branched off this type, including the Linux OS which I hope focus on most from the family. The main name to know for Linux is Linus Torvalds.

version_7_unix_simh_pdp11_emulation_dmr 14_de_marzo_de_1994

 

  • Windows OS – DOS (Disc Operating System) was bought by Microsoft which they modified to become MS-DOS which would lead to Windows 1.0. The main name to know for Windows is Bill Gates.

cmwindows1-0jul15a

 

  • Mac OS – introduced more of a GUI (Graphical User Interface) desktop (closer to more modern user interfaces we see today) when it first started instead of a command line interface or similar look to Windows 1.0. The main name to know for Mac OS is Steve Jobs.

mac-os-8-6

I will suggest that knowing them all (from at least a fundamental perspective) benefits you personally (or your company too) and will serve as tools for the many problems you encounter. For example, which OS is better at utilizing graphics, more robust running servers, not as affected by malware or can provide a strong organizational path for applying group policies and such. Sometimes all three will have really good software for a job and the difference may be it the details of output, cost, or friendly interaction with the user.

Next time, I will take a look at introducing the topic Networking.


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