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Shell - A program that runs on top of the OS and allows the user to issue comman ds through a set of menus

or other interface (which may or may not be graphical) . Shells make and OS easier to user by changing the user interface. Graphical User Interface (GUI) - A method by which a person communicates with a computer using graphical images, icons, and methods other than test. GUIs allow a user to use a mouse, touchpad, or another mechanism (in addiction to the keybo ard) to interact with the computer to issue commands. Network - Any group of computers that havve a communicateion link between them. Networks allow computers to share information and resources quickly and securely . Cooperative Multitasking - A multitasking method that depends on the appication itself to be responsible for using the processor and then freeing it for access by other applications. This us the way very early versions of Windows managed mu ltiple applications. If any application locked up while using the processor, the application was unable to properly free the processor to do other tasks and the entire system locked, usually forcing a reboot. Preemptive Multitasking - A multitasking method in which the OS allots easch app lication a certain amount of processor time and then forcibly takes back control and gives another application or task access to the processor. This means that if an application crashes, the OS takes control of the processor away form the l ocked application and passes it on to the next application, which should be unaf fected. Although unstable programs still lock, only the locked application will stall-not the entire system. This is what is used today in mode operating system . Multithreading - The ability of a single application to have multiple request in to the processor at one time. This results in faster application perfomance bec ause it allows a program to do many things at once. 32-bit - An operating system that is 32-bit is one that can not only run on 32-b it processors but can utilize the capabilities of the processor fully. While thi s may sound simple, the truth of the matter is that it took many years after the 32-bit processor became available before operating system (which were 16-bit at the time) were able to utilize their features. Just as you could not mix race c ars with a country road, you cannot mix 64-bit software with 32-bit hardware. 64-bit - A 64-bit operating system is one that is writter to utilize the instruc tions possible with 65-bit processors. Originally, these were more common with s ervers than desktop, but with prices dropping, 64-bit processors have become mor e common on the desktop, as have operating system that will run on them. As ment ioned earlier, you cannot mix 64-bit software with 32-bit hardware (but you can run most 32-bit software on 64-bit hardware). x86 - The terms x86 is commonly used to refer to operating system intended to ru n on the Intel Processor because Intel initially indentified its 32-bit processo rs with numbers ending in 86 prior to switching to the Pentium Line. x64 - The term x64 is commonly used to denote operaing systems that can run on 6 4-bit processors. This is also commonly referred to as AMD64 since AMD defined t he 64-bit instruction set used today.