The Start of the PC Industry

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Module 1

Section 3

3.2 Microsoft Sets the Trend

1. Gates and Allen took an existing product and adapted it to make it a Microsoft product. The same happened with DOS, and much of the Windows interface is borrowed from the Macintosh one.

2. BASIC was originally run on mainframes and through Gates's and Allen's efforts it could now be run on a microcomputer.

3. Microsoft establishing a standard for the industry as a whole. The Microsoft motto has long been 'We set the standard.'

4. Gates and Allen showed themselves to be very good businessmen, as well as good programmers.


3.3 Operating Systems

The operating system has three main functions to perform:

1. Manage the computer resources

2. Interact with the user

3. Run applications

Bootstrapping program: a small program (also know as the boot program) stored in read-only memory (ROM) that allows the computer to load its own operating system.

The system looks for the boot program initially on the floppy disk drive; in this way a computer can be restarted if the hard disk has been corrupted. This is why your computer will complain if you have left a floppy disk in the disk drive which is not a system disk, since it assumes any disk in the floppy-disk drive at start-up is a system disk.

Text-based operating systems:

CP/M: the first operating system for the PC.

DOS: When a user first started their machine they would be confronted by a blank screen with a single piece of text, which was typically C:\ This was called the prompt. The user had then to type in a command to achieve their desired function.

Some the common DOS commands are given below:

DOS command Function Example

cd change directory c:\ CD docs

dir list contents of...