Component

Purpose

Operating system

A set of programs that acts as an interface between the applications that are running on a computer and the computer’s hardware.

Multiprocessing

The ability to use multiple processing devices.

Multitasking

The ability to run multiple applications simultaneously.

Multithreading

The ability to run multiple parts of an application simultaneously.

Kernel

The core of the operating system that is loaded into memory when the system boots up.

Driver

A type of computer program that enables the operating system to interact with hardware devices.

Interface

What allows the user to interact with the kernel and the utilities.

Utilities

The features or programs included with an operating system that perform system-related tasks.

Application

A subclass computer program that is designed for end users.

 

Part

Definition

Kernel

The kernel is the core of the operating system that is loaded into memory when the system boots up. It is responsible for controlling security, managing the file system, and providing a platform for applications to run on. The user rarely interacts directly with the kernel.

Driver

driver is a type of computer program that enables the operating system to interact with hardware devices.

Interface

An interface is what allows the user to interact with the kernel and the utilities. There are two main types of interfaces, command line and GUI. In command line interfaces, commands are executed through instructions written into a command line. Examples of command line-based interfaces are MS-DOS and aspects of Linux. In a Graphical User Interface (GUI), the user executes commands by clicking on graphics and symbols. Windows is an example of graphical user interface.

Utilities

Utilities are the features or programs included with an operating system that perform system-related tasks. Common Windows utilities are Control Panel and This PC. Common Linux utilities are cd, cp, grep, and Is.

Application

An application is a subclass computer program that is designed for end users. Examples are database, spreadsheet, and word processing programs. Applications frequently come in suites.

 

Component

Purpose

Desktop

The desktop is the working surface that contains icons that access programs, files, applications, and file systems. The desktop is what is seen when all programs and open folders are minimized. Installing an application often adds an icon to the desktop.

Start Menu

The Start menu is the easiest way to access the most useful things on your computer.

  • The list of programs in the Start menu is divided by a separator line into two sections, pinned default programs and the most used programs.
  • The Start menu can be customized for each user.
  • The Start menu’s appearance is different with each Windows version.

The Start menu is found in Windows 7 and 10.

Taskbar

The taskbar is the bar displayed at the bottom of a Windows desktop (although its position can be changed). The taskbar:

  • Contains icons that represent each program or application currently running or pinned to the taskbar for quick access. You launch a pinned program by selecting the icon on the taskbar.
  • Can be configured to display different types of toolbars. For instance, Quick Launch is a toolbar that contains shortcuts to designated programs.

Notification Area

The notification area is a part of the taskbar located on the right side of the taskbar. The notification area:

  • Displays the time and date.
  • Displays icons that represent the applications and processes running behind the scenes on your computer, such as audio volume and security programs.
  • Displays connectivity to the internet or a workgroup.

Windows Explorer

Windows Explorer is a graphical user interface (GUI) for viewing and managing the file system.

Control Panel

Control Panel is a compilation of various utilities that change how a computer looks and behaves. Use the Control Panel to configure settings for hardware devices, manage printers and networks, configure personal settings, and manage the system.

 

If you have questions or suggestions about this information, contact support@paladinpos.com.

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Printed on: 9/23/21