Page 2 - Technology Applications
P. 2  Page 47  Monday, June 18, 2007  9:55 AM

                                   What Is the Purpose of an Operating System?

                                   When you use a computer program, most of the activity
                                   you see on the screen is conducted by the operating sys-

                                   tem. An application, such as a word processor, asks the
                                   operating system to perform actions, such as opening a

                                   file, printing a document, or showing a list of recently

                                   used documents.
                                       To fulfill these requests, the operating system needs

                                   to know how to handle different file formats, or stan-
                                   dards used to save data on a disk. Those formats deter-

                                   mine how text documents, graphics, audio, and video

                                   files are stored and used. The operating system also
                                   maintains the settings that allow all hardware in the

                                   computer to be used. System utilities help make sure

                                   that the operating system and the computer run
                                   smoothly as they perform their tasks.

                                   Chapter Outline

                                          Lesson 4–1                     What’s Online
                                                                            Interactive tutorials
                                           Exploring                        Vocabulary Preview worksheet
                                           the Operating                    Learn More interactivities
                                                                            Check Your Understanding
                                                                            instant feedback assessment
                                          Lesson 4–2
                                                                            Check Your Knowledge
                                           Exploring System                 instant feedback assessment
                                                                            Interdisciplinary practice
                   © Pearson Education, Inc.                                activities
                                                                            Interdisciplinary application

                                                                             Understanding System Software           47
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