After an Analogy

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Gogs

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Jul 28, 2003
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Hi guys,

I have to do a presentation to non techies tomorrow and want a good analogy that can put an Operating System in to shrt layman terms. Also need one for applications.

Need something along the lines of "an opearting system is like....."

But I'm stupid and can't think of any.

Any ideas?

Cheers

Gogs
 
Joined
May 15, 2006
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11,849
Here might be a good one:

An operating system is sort of like a human being, every time you want it to do something it does not!
 

1002richards

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Jan 29, 2006
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5,333
Hi,
How about:
For example, the computer's operating system is like the standard procedures
governing general office operations...responsible for the management and coordination of activities and the sharing of the resources.

Richard
 

1002richards

Retired Trusted Advisor
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5,333
Or even:
Operating systems are like underwear — nobody really wants to look at them

Or more helpfully I hope:
The same computer can run many different programs, just as a human can perform many different behaviors. Both the computer and the human mind store their programs in some sort of long-term memory until they are needed. The computer also needs a special program normally called an operating system (O/S) which operates at a higher level than any of the other programs. An O/S is like a foreman in a factory; it keeps things running smoothly. It knows which programs are running in the computer, which are waiting to run, and which have already run. However, the O/S doesn't decide which programs need to be run, just as the foreman doesn't decide what products a factory should make. This is an executive decision; a human operator tells the computer which programs need to be run in what order of importance. The O/S then schedules the programs, locates them in its long-term memory, runs them when it has the time and resources to do so, prints the results and stores the programs away again for later use.

Note that there are at least three levels of operation at work here:

(1) the executive level which decides which programs should be run;

(2) a foreman level which keeps things running smoothly; and

(3) a worker level which does the actual work we associate with the computer

Any use ?
Richard.
 

Gogs

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 28, 2003
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121
Cheers for the replies guys. Sort of tweaked the ones you gave me :)

Much appreciated
 
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