When a computer is turned on it searches for instructions in its memory. These instructions tell the computer how to start up. Usually, one of the first sets of these instructions is a special program called the operating system, which is the software that makes the computer work. It prompts the user (or other machines) for input and commands, reports the results of these commands and other operations, stores and manages data, and controls the sequence of the software and hardware actions. When the user requests that a program run, the operating system loads the program in the computer’s memory and runs the program. Popular operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows and the Macintosh system (Mac OS), have graphical user interfaces (GUIs)—that use tiny pictures, or icons, to represent various files and commands. To access these files or commands, the user clicks the mouse on the icon or presses a combination of keys on the keyboard. Some operating systems allow the user to carry out these tasks via voice, touch, or other input methods.