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Re: The term "operating system"

  On Wed, 12 Nov 1997 21:20:55 -0500 (EST), dski@cameonet.cameo.com.tw wrote:
  >Is there an agreed-upon definition of "operating system"?
  >My overriding concern, as a consumer, is keystrokes. My understanding
  >is that Windows handles certain keystrokes in a manner that application
  >programs cannot "see," and that it provides apps with no way to handle
  >those keystrokes themselves. Can our tech types confirm or refute this?
  >Such behavior, in my carefully considered opinion, far oversteps the
  >bounds of what an operating system should do.
  >(Let us not hear about how great Windows key bindings are or how we
  >need a consistent keyboard interface for everyone from six-year-olds to
  >100-wpm touch typists. I've been grinding this ax for a LONG time, and
  >it's VERY sharp.)
  >Dan Strychalski
  This could be difficult.  I'm sure there are smarter technical minds
  on this list than myself, however, when you say "keystrokes", it immediately
  makes me think of the real crummy way that MS Word for Windows 
  handles "keystrokes".  It is unlike any other decent word processor that I
  am current aware of.  What Word for Windows does is "poll" the keyboard
  every so many milleseconds to see if you've pressed a key.  It is not "interrupt
  driven", per se.  Although this puts a considerable and unnecessary burden on
  the OS (CPU), you could make the (thin) argument that Word is handling the 
  "keystrokes" singularly.  BUT, and unfortunately, I am not privy to the source
  code, neither for the Windows nor the Word executives and their DLLs.
  Whichever is the "prime mover" in this context may be more philosophical in
  terms of "was the chicken designed before the egg and prove it".  Tough guess.
  Why do you want to know?
  Erick Andrews