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Why Starting a Computer System Called Booting?


You might have learnt the definition for booting in your classes on computing. 

Booting is the process by which the computer loads the operating system files from the secondary storage systems in your computer (like hard disk, or CD) to the primary memory area (RAM) and after the successful booting, the computer is ready to obey your commands.

Have you ever wondered, Why are you calling it the Booting?, when the process is actually loading (loading operating system)!

The term has some interesting origin that dates back to the 19th century and was cleverly adapted to as a computing term by some creative minds in the mid 1950s. The term booting is an abbreviation of the term Bootstrapping

Now, you will ask, “Why is it called Bootstrapping”?

Bootstrapping is a phrase originated in the US, the meaning of which can be roughly explained as “to pull oneself up by his own bootstrap”.

Try to visualize a situation where one person tries to pull himself up by his own boot strap!

So, the term bootstrapping normally used to denote something that is almost impossible or describing any action which is fully performed by his own efforts.

But how is it related to computer starting?

Before you turn on your computer system, it is just a heap of plastic, metal, silicon and so many such things. After the process of booting is over, the machine magnificently transforms itself into a smart being which can respond to your actions. And this journey from a heap of silicon to an equipment is done by the computer itself!

So, we call the process bootstrapping which is further  abbreviated to booting.

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