1.2.2 Computer Software
The software is what really gives the computer life. It is a set of instructions that tells the computer what to do when the computer operator does something. Software is installed onto your computer and stored in mass storage devices. Software can actually be placed into two separate categories system of applications.
18.104.22.168System software System software, (popularly called the operating system) is the foundation software for a computer. An operating system (OS) controls all parts of the computer. The major functions of the OS ate to handle all input devices (keyboard, mouse, disk), handle all output devices (screen, printer, disk), coordinate and manage use of other resources (memory, disk, CPU, etc.), accept commands from users, provide an environment over which other programs (software) can run. Examples of popular OS are DOS (Disk Operating System), Windows, Unix, Linux, OS/2, and Solaris etc. Some of these OSes are specific to a particular computer system – e.g. Solaris runs on Sun SPARC machines.
22.214.171.124Application software Application software is the software that is developed for a particular use. These software run over the environment provided by the system software. Most of these process our data. There are thousands of application software. They are further divided into numerous categories depending on the operation they perform on our data, i.e. their application. Some of them are described below. Word processing software allows you to process and manipulate test. Examples are Corel WordPerfect and Microsoft Word. Spreadsheets, very simply put, gives you 4 when you input 2+2. Examples are Quattro Pro and Excel. Databases are most useful for organizing data. For example, database software can keep track of your friend’s name; address, telephone numbers and you can add or remove whenever you want. Some examples are Paradox and Access. Internet browsers give us access to the world. When this software is installed and you are connected to an ISP (Internet Service Provider), you have access to worldwide information. Common examples are Netscape and Explorer. There are other utility programs that check if the units inside your machine are functioning properly as they should. Examples are the disk scanner that checks if the surface of your disks are damaged, anti-virus that checks if your computer has been infected with some virus (a malicious program that may just annoy you or even delete all the content of your hard drive) and clean if found etc.