The operating system is a piece of software that allows you to access and manipulate all the various programs stored on your computer. It is the platform from which other application programs are launched. On most computers, such rudimentary tasks as receiving input from the keyboard, organizing files, and operating the printer and the disk drive, are booted up by the operating system first, before other tasks can be executed. For both PC and Apple users, there are several types of operating systems available. On larger systems, such as servers, operating systems take on more significant duties. Sometimes operating systems act as central coordinators, preventing the collision of different programs that are running at the same time, as well as ensuring that users don't hamper each other while everyone is working. Security, or the protection of the system against the intrusion of unauthorized users, is also a major task of server operating system. The operating system you choose will determine what applications and functions you can perform. Multi-user operating systems allow more than one user to operate programs simultaneously. Multi-tasking operating systems permit more than one program to run at a time. Multi-reading operating systems allow different parts of a program to run concurrently. Multi-processing permits a single program to run on more than one processor.
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