The Evolution of Operating Systems

Published: 2021-06-29 07:11:55
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The Evolution of Operating Systems
Cheryl Mitchell
Kaplan University

Operating System Concepts

Unit 2 Essay Project

The history of the evolution of operating systems and how they became what they are today is a journey that I am glad to say I have firsthand experience. As a 1983 high school graduate, my first exposure to a computer was a basic computer course my senior year. The computer I was initially introduced to was a Radio Shack TRS-80 computer. We were taught basic programming and learned the major parts of the computer. I was instantly fascinated. In the curriculum of this class we discussed how punch cards were used in older forms of computing. Even then, from punch cards to a disk operating system (DOS), it had seemed we had come a long way. This essay will show the history of the evolution of the operation system and how far we have really come since its beginning.

The Evolution of Operating Systems
The Personal Computer
Upon researching the operating system, I found that it made sense to find out when the need for an operating system emerged. It is difficult to give one answer because it is evident that as computers evolved from the giant vacuum tube computers to mainframe computers to the personal computer, there were different types of operating systems depending on the type of system. The system that is most pertinent to us today is the personal computer. The first personal computer was assembled in 1975 by Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS) of New Mexico. One of the initial uses for the new personal computer came from the company, Traf-O-Data. It was then discovered that the Intel microcomputer needed software to use it in the manner they wanted. This is how the Operating System was born.
The Operating System
Operating Systems, or OS for short, are programs that enable the computer hardware to communicate with the computer software allowing the computer to operate accordingly. The operating system is necessary for a computer to be of any use to anyone. (Stallings, 2009) Since 1974, the operating system has evolved a great deal. Technology has encouraged the operating system to grow and branch out.
In the early 1970's, one way the operating system grew was when AT&T's Bell Laboratories developed and owned the UNIX operating system. The creation of Unix has led many research and development companies to create their own versions to suit their own needs, whether for distribution or to use for their own companies. Universities, research institutes, government bodies and computer companies all began using the powerful UNIX system to develop many of the technologies which today are part of a UNIX system. Another huge factor in the evolution of the operating system is the concept of "open system". This concept promoted software that provides a combination of interoperability, portability and open software standards, particularly in Unix type systems. The open in open system allows code to be tailored to the needs of a specific user. This along with the increased use in business fueled the increase in use of Unix and solidified its place in the operating system world. (MaxFrame Corporation, 2005)

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