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History of the Development of Computers and Operating Systems

history of operating system
The operating system provides a variety of facilities and functions needed by the application to run, starting from providing memory, storage, input and output devices, and so forth.

The operating system is as simple as a stage and the artist is an application, where an artist does not need to prepare all kinds of needs to perform or perform because it has been provided by the committee in the form of a stage.

So what happens if at the beginning of the invention of computers not using the operating system?

There Was No Operating System Yet

In the early generation computers around 1950, the form of a computer is not as it is now so small, in those days the type of computer used was a mainframe or a large computer the physical form of a computer could be half a classroom and could only do one job at a time or not support multitasking like a computer in this day and age.

To interact with a computer not using a keyboard and monitor as it is today, but using a variety of light and sound buttons as indicators to show the work of the computer.


The mainframe computer at that time did not use the operating system at all, so when you want to use a computer the user/operator must enter the application stored in magnetic storage media or perforated paper to be loaded when the computer boots.

The computer only runs one application and will work in accordance with the program that is inserted until the application hangs or completes its work and if you want to use another application then the user or operator must restart the computer and insert a magnetic tape or other hollow paper to load the application in the storage media. when the computer boots.

Operating System was Found

Assembler and compiler programming languages ​​are made for programmers who function in translating programming languages ​​into machine languages ​​that were previously done manually so that applications that have been made by programmers can be run on computers.

When computer modules become increasingly complex, various functions are incorporated into applications whose job is to handle hardware input and output resources, but the computer is still running single-tasking, this small step is the beginning of the modern concept of computers that we use today.

When the development of computer hardware is increasingly advanced and fast, the hardware vendor is required to include a runtime library that regulates and monitors the use of computer resources when used by applications, not only monitors the CPU but also for other devices such as printers, storage card readers and signaling. This is made to minimize resource abuse and errors when the application is run.

The collection of libraries that regulate various computer resources for use by this application is the forerunner or core operating system, better known as the Kernel.

What are the kernel and operating system?

The kernel is the core of the operating system itself where the kernel functions as a communication bridge between applications and hardware, not only that the kernel also regulates the use of hardware resources by the application because if the hardware is directly accessed by the application without being regulated by the kernel it can cause a system crash when the hardware is accessed by other applications.

The kernel also provides security features such as setting user privileges on Linux that make Linux Stay Survive by virus attacks even without antivirus

in fact, the operating system does not do any work before an application is running and when the application runs the operating system begins to allocate computer resources for use by the application.

Simply put, the operating system will shut up and wait for an application to run then allocate computer resources for the application.

What happens, in general, is when people call the operating system. So in their minds, they are a combination of the Kernel itself which is the actual operating system, desktop environment, and various tools that are guided by the operating system vendor.


Development of Computers and operating systems

The operating system was developed and adapted to the development of computer hardware, following the development of computer types and operating systems from time to time

Computer Mainframes

Mainframes or large computers are the first generations of computers that are made and used by agencies with the aim of research or to complete work, the computer at that time was still using motors, vacuum tubes, magnetic tapes, hollow paper to store data. So do not be surprised if the size of the computer at that time was very large because a transistor/semiconductor had not been found as a substitute for the vacuum tube.

history of operating system

When the operating system has been found every time there is a new hardware version, the operating system is also new even if purchased from the same vendor, so the commands, procedures and ways of operating are also different and require manual settings to change/update the operating system on an old computer.

IBM started a new breakthrough in computer hardware and operating systems in the 1960s by creating a new generation of hardware and operating system "System / 360" that made it possible to be compatible with previous hardware versions.

This innovation from IBM is the basic concept of hardware and OS development until today. System / 360 also provides a version for use on minicomputers.

Mini Computer (mid-range computer)

A mini-computer is a computer with faster capabilities than its predecessor/mainframe computer and has a smaller physical form. This type of computer is used and functioned as a server for business establishments or as a research tool.

The Unix operating system was created and developed by AT&T Bell Laboratories in the 1960s and is used as the life of most mini-computers in the world.

history of operating system

The Unix operating system is written using C language, the specialty of the C language is being able to do "porting" where programs generated from compiled results can be run on other computers that have environments (CPU, OS, libraries, etc.) that are different from the environment when the application is created.

If C language can be ported, Unix can also be ported to computers with different architectures. This convenience is the choice of developing second-generation and first-generation mini computers from the workstation.

The flexibility of the C language inspires the development of the operating system to run on all hardware platforms with different specs, this concept is the forerunner to the birth of free and open-source software including GNU, Linux, and Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD). Apple's macOS also made based on Unix via NeXTSTEP and FreeBSD.

Micro Computer

The microcomputer is, a computer that uses a central processing unit (CPU) that functions as a microprocessor, is designed for personal use, and has a size that is much smaller than a mini-computer, microcomputers were developed between the 1970s to 1980s.

Computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets that we use are classified as microcomputers.
history of operating system


In the early 1970s small-sized computers began to be marketed free to the target market for individual use (personal computers), at that time the computer was equipped with a microprocessor and a built-in BASIC interpreter that was incorporated into ROM, this BASIC also functioned as a command-line interface that allows the user to enter the operating system from another disk such as a diskette to be installed on a computer.

At that time floppy disks were still very expensive and only a small number of people could afford them, so the standard storage media used were magnetic tape or tapes.
Basic is a programming language that is made so that people with an interest in the computer field can make their own applications.
The hard disk is slowly being used as a storage medium replacing tapes and floppy disks are getting cheaper and used for portable external storage media and as a means of transferring files from one computer to another, and you now use SSDs that are small in size but can hold gigantic data.

New Era of Operating Systems

history of operating system

When everyone can buy a microcomputer at an affordable price, the community of computer lovers who are involved in developing the operating system is also expanding.

Long story short around the 1990s there are only 3 operating systems that survive and are used by computer users widely until today (2020), namely Microsoft Windows, Apple Inc.'s Mac OS X, and open-source Linux.

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Aliif Arief
Aliif Arief web and app enthusiast

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