Cse 331 Lecture Slides

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Lecture 1 Introduction
Lecture 2 Processes


Operating Systems


Harris Chikunya


    • Computer software can be divided into two main categories:
    • Application software
      • consists of the programs for performing tasks particular to the machine’s utilisation.
      • This software is designed to solve a particular problem for users.
      • E.g. of application software include spreadsheets, database systems, desktop publishing systems, program development software and games.
    • System software
      • acts as an interface between the hardware of the computer and the application software that users need to run on the computer
      • The most important type of system software is the operating system.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, you should be able to:

• explain the purpose of an Operating System;

• discuss the evolution of an Operating System;

• discuss eight types of Operating System;

• describe four desirable qualities of Operating System; and

• describe eight functions performed by the Operating System.


  • A computer’s operating system is a group of programs designed to serve two basic purpose:
  • (a) To control the allocation and use of the computing system’s resources among the various users and tasks; and

    (b) To provide an interface between the computer hardware and the programmer that simplifies and makes feasible the creation, coding, debugging, and maintenance of application program.

Functions of an OS

An effective operating system should accomplish the following functions:

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