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Computer Studies Operating Systems

Common Features

There are similarities and differences between the different operating system interfaces, the Mac OS, Linux, Unix, BSD, and the Windows 2000, XP, Vista and Windows 7 operating systems all have things in common with each other, the functionality of how the different operating systems can relate to one another, an Operating System controls the interaction between the components, memory, hard drives, keyboard, the CPU, a common platform for applications, the user interface.

There are also similarities between the different operating systems, like file management, how you add, delete, or rename files, toolbars, applications, application support, memory management, swap file management, Input and output support for printers, keyboards, hard drives, USB drives, the operating system also needs to utilise configuration and management tools.

The MAC OS easy to use, extremely compatible, relatively fewer security concerns, the disadvantages is that it has less industry support than Windows, and a higher cost of hardware and software, the different versions include:

Apple Mac OS 8 Apple Mac OS 9 Apple Mac OS 10.3 Panther
Apple Mac OS 10.4 Tiger Apple Mac OS 10.5 Leopard Apple Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard
Apple Mac OS 10.7 Lion    

Linux is a free Unix-compatible software system, and the many distribution versions (Ubuntu, Debian, Red hat/Fedora) the disadvantages to Linux are that there is limited driver support and limited support options.

Microsoft Windows a major market presence with many different versions Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 the advantages of Windows is that it has a large industry support, a wide variety of software support, but the disadvantages are that the large install base creates security risk, large hardware support can cause integration problems, the different versions include:

Windows 2000 (Professional, Server, Advanced Server, Data-Base Server)
Windows XP (XP Professional, XP Home, XP Media-centre, XP 64 bit)
Windows Vista (Vista home basic, Vista home premium, Vista business, Vista enterprise, Vista ultimate)
Windows 7 (Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate)

There are 32 bit versions of the operating system which run on 32 bit (x86) CPUs and 64 bit (x64) which run on 64 bit CPUs, the hardware drivers are also specific to the version as well.

Compatibility Mode

Computer Studies compatibility mode

A compatibility mode is a software mechanism in which a computer's operating system emulates an older processor, operating system, and/or hardware platform in order to allow obsolete software to remain compatible with the computer's newer hardware or software.

This differs from a full-fledged emulator in that an emulator typically creates a virtual hardware architecture on the host system, rather than simply translating the older system's function calls into calls that the host system can understand.

Examples include Classic Mode in Mac OS X and Windows 2000's/Windows XP's/Windows Vista's/Windows 7's compatibility mode, which both allow applications designed for older versions of the operating system to run.

Other examples include Wine to run Windows programs on Linux/OS X and Mono to run .NET programs on various Unix-like systems.

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