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Operating System, Compilers, Interpretors & Utiity Softwares

Operating system

An operating system is a system software which enables you to perform system functions and also provides a platform to perform other application softwares.

There are many functions which are provided by the operating system:

  • User interface
  • The Os provides a interface for the user to be able to communicate or command applications softwares to perform specific tasks

    The recent interface used is the Graphical user interface which uses graphics to represents commands.

    Command line interface is know outdated as it doesn't use an graphics but it has a very fast execution.

    Both of these interfaces must be remembered

  • Program-hardware interface
  • The Os provides a platform for the application softwares to communicate with the system hardware. In other words, the programs requires the Os to use the system hardware.

  • Memory management
  • This is very important function done by the Os as it allocates the memory for each program making sure that the memory locations don't cross and be used by a different program. This maintains security

    Also it controls the usage of memory for each program making sure the system is running efficiently

  • Device management
  • It stores a list of all the hardware and peripherals connected to the computer and also controls the signals sent or received by them.

  • Resource/process management
  • When a program is executed we call it a process.

    Different processes may require different requirements such as the usage of memory and the GPU power.

    Also during a process it will be interrupted as there will be many process running and so the Os manages the CPU time slices and allocates a time for each process.

  • File management
  • The Os controls the creation and the management of file properties.

    The path of a file or where is has been stored and how it can be accessed is controlled by the Os

    Also the Os manages the file structure - This means a file could contain many subfolders.

  • Security management
  • The Os controls the access rights for each user by using passwords and usernames.

    Also the Os contains sofwares such as the firewall to prevent hacking.

Usually they ask you to state a use. So we usually don't need to explain it much.

Utiltiy Softwares

It too is considered as a system sofware as it is a softwares which perfoms a specific system function such as the examples below:

  • Recovery tools or Disk Formatter
  • These are Utiltiy softwares which are usually used to recovery accidental loss of data or to fully erase a disk.

    Also there are applications which are called disk checkers or repairs. These scan the disk for any problems such as hardware or software bugs and identifies them and sometimes fixes them.

  • Disk defragmentation
  • Usually over a long use of a hard disk, we may delete and add data. Sometimes these could lead to holes in the storage - meaning unused free spaces which are not able to be used directly

    So the disk defragmentation software make sures that data is stored in the most efficient form without any spaces unnecessarily left out.

  • Backup softwares
  • These softwares perfom automated backup at regular intervals and also perform daily incremental backups.

  • File compression softwares
  • The most famous example is the Winrar software which compresses the file so it uses less storage.

    This uses less storage space and thus can be easily copied or transmitted

  • Antivirus software
  • Performs regular scans and checks for malwares and viruses on the system

    Make sure the database of the Antivirus software is up to date.

    Quarantines or deletes any detected malware

    Programs Liabries

    Subroutines is the general name for a function or a procedure.

    So modules or subroutines are block of code which are able to perform a specific task.

    Usually they are tested and can be used more than once in a computer code.

    Program liabries are documents or files which contains a collection of modules or subroutines which a program can refer or call

    These files are usually called dll (dynamic linked liabries).

    So this make the code more reliable as these modules are already tested.

    Also it reduces the size of the code as they are written once and called.

    Makes it easier to build a program

    Language Translators

    It is a software which converts or translates a programming language to machine code.

    All programs and websites are written using programming languages and script languages.

    Revisezone is built using 3 Languages

    HTML,CSS & JS - however html and css are not programming languages

    There are two types of translators - interpreter and compilers

    Programming languages are broken down to two types:

    • High level Language
    • Usually the source code of a program is written by the programmer in high level language. This must be converted to a form which can be understood by the computer.

    • Low level language
    • These are programming languages which are closely related to machine code.

      Machine code is another word for binary code.

      Compilers and Interpreters only translate high level languages and not assembly language.


      The translator first translate the source code into a intermediate code and the code is compiled as a whole.

      If there are errors present at the end of the process it will display an error diagnostics but it will not produce any final machine or compile code.

      If no errors are detected the intermediate code is then converted to a machine executable code.

      This compiled code is in binary and so it runs directly on the proccesor.

      - Advantages

      An executable code is produced which can be distributed. This is also more secure as the users will not receive the source code.

      Doesn't require the translator software to run the compiled code

      Executes very fast and directly on the processor

      - Disadvantages

      Compiled programs can have viruses

      The compilation process is quite long and resourceful and also provides a compiled code after all the errors have been corrected

      Higher chance of system crashing


      This type of translator executes the code line by line and not the whole code at once

      It produces an object or machine code for each line and executes it.

      If an error is identified the execution stops and thus alerts the user to correct the error

      - Advantages

      Best for debugging and testing purposes as it produces an alert as soon as the error is found

      The whole code doesn't have to be written as the code is translated line by line

      - Disadvantage

      The execution of the procces is very slow

      The source code is seen by the user so it less secure

      The translator is used everytime the program is executed

      The main use of interpreters is for building a program

      Featurs provided by an IDLE

      This topic will be covered in the practical section as it talk about the features which an IDLE editior


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