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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Chapter 5. Fundamentals of the Operating System

The first element of software that we will discuss is the part that connects the computer to the hardware—the operating system (OS). Operating systems are often defined by their role in computer I/O (input/output), which means handling communications between the CPU/memory subsystem on the one hand, and on the other, handling links to external elements such as disk drives, display systems (including printers), connections to other computers (networks), keyboards, mice, and so forth. For example, when you print a document, it is the OS that determines how to get the material from the program in which you're working through the various parts of the computer and out to the printer. But it's important ...

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