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Online! The Book by Wendy Taylor, Chris Pirillo, John C. Dvorak

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Before Hardware

The first thing to consider before hardware is the operating system (OS). For personal computers, there are three basic versions of an OS. There is the Windows family, the UNIX family (which includes Linux), and the Macintosh OS (which runs only on Apple hardware). An OS manages the hardware and software resources—processor chip memory, disk space, where and how to store data—and it gives software application programs a consistent way to interface with the hardware so that different programs don't have to be specific to the differences in the hardware. Another thing the OS does is gives the software developers a similar format, the application program interface (API). This lets a software developer write a program that will run ...

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