Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Operating Systems - A win or loss of mankind

Operating systems play an important role in our day to day life.Although our primary topic is systems programming, let's discuss the operating systems for every two posts, so that it can be on par with other system softwares.

Let's go back into the history.In 1950's, there were only few computers available and that too for defense or scientific purposes.Many people including big companies, thought that computers were meant for that.But the invent of machines like Altair in the late 1970's revolutionized the computer industry.It showed that a computer can be personal, and could serve the needs of common people.The invent of personal computer and Mac, both in early 1980's completely took the industry by storm and with in five to six years, they have shown a new way for industries.In the olden days, to establish an industry, it would require generations of wealth or should be influential to get bank loans.But, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have shown."Oh, we don't think so".For the story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates watch the "Pirates of Silicon valley" movie.Below is the link for it.

And lo, the operating systems were born.And they started growing like anything, giving huge profits to their creators and creating a new kind of jobs called software engineers and finally they became a brand themselves.But it's needless to say, because of these so called WONDERFUL things, many people in colleges started enrolling in computer courses.I am also one of them :)

But you know what, there is also the other side of the coin, not many people mention or dare to talk about.Before computers came, majority of the people used to take sciences, physics, chemistry, mechanics as the preferred courses, and so during the time between 1900 and 1980's a lot of good scientists were born and NASA also got quality people who could send man to moon.Do you know when the last manned mission to moon happen ?

It happened in 1972 (Apollo 17)

Looking at the other side of coin, I always fear what will happen to this world, with the lessening of scientists and the people pursuing research as their goal of life like the kinds of Einstein, Edison, Ford, Wright brothers and lot more.

You may say that many people are taking courses other than software engineering, but my say is that most of them are ending as software engineers.Also I am trying to say, other courses also should be given equal preference

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