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An operating system (OS) is software that controls the internals of a computer. The first large computers did not have operating systems or programming languages. You entered insructions through lights on the main console. The first operating systems were on punched cards, which you read into computer memory. They would then control instructions entered on decks of punched cards (a "computer program"). When you turned off the computer, the memory would NOT be cleared, so the next time you turned on the computer, the operating system would still be there. At this time, computers consisted of a "central processor" (the equivalent of a mother board today) that took up a room, punched cards input and output, and printers. There were no magnetic devices such as tapes or hard or floppy disk. The problem with this was that it required that everything from your operating system to your program be entered in "machine" language - binary codes that told the processor what to do (move something, compare something, add, subtract etc.). The next step was to create an operating system that was "flexible" and easily updated. So the "TOS", or Tape Operating System was created. This consisted of adding a tape drive to the computer complex, and storing the "OS" card deck on tape. About this time, they changed over to "volatile" memory that was cleared when you powered down the computer, so the OS had to be re-loaded every time when you turned it back on.

In this way, if you wanted to change operating systems (go from a financial operating system that handled money to a scientific OS that handled spiral decay of satellites), you just stored that OS on a tape and mounted the tape you wanted, which you then loaded into memory. It was at this point that the "general purpose" computer was born. Up until then, each computer was dedicated to a task such as financial, or scientific or military.

The computer then evolved into "magnetic" systems - tape, disk, cylinders, platters, CRAM (Card Random Access Memory) - there were many different kinds of storage that could be used for input and output. The next logical step was to take the TOS and put it out on disk (or even magnetic cards), so you didn't have to mount a tape to load or change an operating system. This was DOS (Disk Operating System). DOS was originally on mainframe computers.

At the same time mainframe computers were maturing, so was the "hobby" computer. It followed the same path as mainfame, only slower, so it went through a "console lights" phase where you could only do something through the lights and/or switches, into an "operating system" on tape and finally into a DOS (of which there were several flavors). Today, most operating systems are DOS, but they might be stored on media other than disk, such as Thumb Drives, which are really solid state chips and not disk drives. The PC "BIOS", the Basic Input/Output Operating System, is an example of a DOS on a chip that is used to initialize your computer so it can read/write from all the devices that it consists of.

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โˆ™ 2009-10-29 12:05:58
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Q: What is a disk operating system?
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Related questions

What is the example of disk operating system?

is linux a disk operating system


History of the disk operating system?

History of Disk operating system


Why MS-DOS is called disk operating system?

Because the operating system ran on a disk.


When was Myarc Disk Operating System created?

Myarc Disk Operating System was created in 1987.


First operating system?

microsoft disk operating system


Is ms dos is an operating system?

Microsoft - Disk Operating System is definitely an operating system.


What is the system disk?

The system disk is the partition from which the operating system was loaded at startup.


What was the first major operating system?

D.O.S (Disk Operating System)


What are the Advantage of window operating system over disk operating system?

there are no advantages of windows operating system


What are the types of disk operating system?

A disk operating system is usually abbreviated as DOS. It refers to operating system software but can refer to the entire operating system. One type is the Commodore that was on ROM chips in the disk drives while others were stored on a disk that had to be loaded for use. Others include MS-DOS and PC DOS from Microsoft.


What allows the operating system to store and organize files on a hard disk?

A file system allows the operating system to store and organize files on a hard disk.


Which was the first widely used operating system in personal computers?

disk operating system


In a dual oprating system how can you delate one oprting system?

The second operating system should be on a different partition or disk. If you format the partition/disk that the unwanted operating system is on, the machine will have no choice but to boot to the remaining operating system.


Is Windows 7 an MS-DOS operating system?

By the common definition, no. It is a "disk operating" (basically any operating system booted from a disk), and it is made by Microsoft, but the similarities end there.


What is first operating system or software?

D.O.S. (Disk Operating System) by microsoft was the first Operating System or Software to operate a computer.


What is disk scheduling in operating system?

why we use disk scheduling in c ?


What is the meaning of disc operating system?

disck operating system means an operating system primarily run on older computers and run from a disket or disk todays computers run the operating system from the hardrive where as witrh dos the operating system was loaded into the ram via a disk or loaded onto the hard drive via a disk plus it was also comand line driven


What was the most popular non-GUI operating system for the PC?

disk operating system(DOS)


Is not having an os disk important?

When you buy a computer you should have a disk that allows you to install the operating system onto the computer. This is important as there will be times when you will need to reinstall that operating system. Have disk no problem, no disk big problem


How do you determine the minimum amount of RAM required?

You should refer to the product documentation included with each operating system to determine the minimum system requirements for the guest operating system. Be aware that the minimum required disk space you need is the sum of the required disk space of each guest operating system and the host operating system, in addition to disk space for any applications to be installed on the operating systems.


What DOS stand for?

Disk Operating System


What does the DOS stand for?

Disk Operating System.


What dos mene?

Disk Operating System


Full from MS Dos?

Microsoft Disk operating system


Does the mini laptop have a hard disk drive. What is its operating system?

The operating system is Ubuntu Linux. It has a 4 GB Solid State hard disk Drive.

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