Module 4 Chapter 1 Hardware and Software Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Module 4 Chapter 1 Hardware and Software Deck (12)
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What two categories can software on a device be placed in?

- System software
- Application software


What is system software?

System software is the software needed to run the computer's hardware and application programs. This includes the operating system, utility programs, libraries and programming language translators.


What is an operating system?

An operating system is a set of programs that lies between application software and the computer hardware. It has many different functions, including:
- Resource management: managing all the computer hardware including the CPU, memory, disk drives, keyboard, monitor, printer and other peripheral devices.
- Provision of a user interface to enable users to perform tasks such as running application software, changing settings on the computer, downloading and installing new software.


What are utility programs?

Utility software is system software designed to optimise the performance of the computer or perform tasks such as backing up files, restoring corrupt files from backup, compressing or decompressing data, encrypting data before transmission or providing a firewall.


What does a disk defragmenter do?

It reorganises a hard disk so that files which have been split up into blocks and stored all over the disk will be recombined in a single series of sequential blocks. This makes reading a file quicker.
This is an example of a utility program.


What are libraries?

Library programs are ready-compiled programs which can be run when needed and which are grouped together in software libraries. In windows these often have a .dll extension. Most compiled languages have their own libraries of pre-written functions which can be invoked in a defined manner from within the user's program.


What are translators?

Programming language translators fall into three categories: compilers, interpreters and assemblers. All of them translate program code written by a programmer into machine code which can be run by the computer.


What are the three types of application software?

- General-purpose
- Special-purpose
- Bespoke


What is general-purpose software?

Software that can be used for many different purposes, word-processors and graphics packages being good examples.


What is special-purpose software?

Software that performs a single specific task or set of tasks. Examples include payroll and accounts packages, hotel booking systems, fingerprint scanning systems and browser software. Software may be bought "off-the-shelf" or commissioned "bespoke" software.


What are the advantages of getting bespoke rather than "off-the-shelf" software?

- No redundant features
- Does exactly what you need it to do
- Can be catered to personal preferences
- May be the only option available if you have very specific and unique requirements


What are the advantages of getting "off-the-shelf" rather than bespoke software?

- Far cheaper
- No lengthy development process, software can be installed immediately
- Software has typically been thoroughly tested
- Better support is usually available
- Reviews make it easier to make an informed decision before committing to any software.

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