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Operating System as an Extended Machine

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The architecture of a computer is very primitive and awkward to program at the machine level language. So it is obvious that the user would not want to interact directly with the storage devices or hardware to get the work done.

Example:

Let’s understand this thing more clearly with the help of an example:

  1. Imagine if the user wants to read something from the floppy or hard disk, then He has to write a command to address it to the disk controller and then initiate the I/O.
  2. Now the disk controller will try to find the requested data in the disk and will fetch it from the disk to the disk controller buffer.
  3. The user will check the status of the disk controller operation that whether it has finished or not.
  4.  If successful, then the data from the disk controller buffer would move to the main memory.

Now just think if all the users have to do such messy and complex details, then the program will become very difficult to write and it would become quite long as well because the interaction is with the hardware directly.

Computer System consisting of User Program, OS, and Hardware

Computer System consisting of User Program, OS, and Hardware

Therefore, in order to solve such a problem, an Operating System provides a set of basic instructions which are helpful in performing various tasks such as reading, writing, modifying, saving, closing, etc. It is way easier to deal with these commands or instructions than to directly dealing with the hardware.

How OS helps as a Extended Machine?

Operating System basically helps in hiding the complexity and difficulty of the hardware and presents a pleasing and nice-looking interface to the user. And It not only shields the user from the hardware but also hides a lot of unpleasant business concerning interrupts, timers, memory management, and other low-level features. In all the above cases, the notion offered by the operating system is very simple and easy to use than that offered by the hardware. So, here we can say that the function or the work of the operating system is to present the user with the equivalent of an extended machine that is easier to operate or work with as compared to the underlying hardware.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1: Why does the user not want to interact with the hardware directly?

Answer:

Because of the complex and difficult interface of the hardware, the user doesn’t want to interact with the hardware directly.

Q.2: How does the Operating System hide the complexity of the hardware?

Answer:

It provides a set of basic commands and instructions that are helpful in performing various tasks such as reading, writing, modifying, saving, closing, etc.

Q.3: Why can we call Operating System an extended machine?

Answer:

Because it provides a notion or an abstraction between the hardware and the user program that hides the messy details and complexity of the hardware and provides a nice-looking interface to the user.


Last Updated : 06 Sep, 2023
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