Software Essay

774 words - 3 pages

Software may be defined as that part of a computer system that cannot be physically touched, unlike hardware. Software may be divided into two major branches:1)System software. This includes three divisions(a)Operating systems - An operating system is a piece of software that controls the computer's hardware and software.(b)Utilities - These are (usually) small programs that perform one or few special tasks (e.g. "file management" - in windows this performed by "windows explorer") Some utilities are quite large, virus checking/ cleaning package - an example would be "AVG" anti virus. Basically utilities are tools that are used to keep your system running smoothly(c)Programming languages - These are man made languages used to produce languages used to produce programs to be run on PC's or mainframe computers. There are two broad divisions:(i)Low-level languages - these are so named because they are very close in structure to the binary (machine) code that computers operate on (i.e. 1's and "w's) the only real example of a low level language is "assembly language". This uses 3- letter operation codes to perform functions with - e.g. "ADD" to ADD 2 values, "Sto" = store a value. This language is more like /English Examples of High level languagesLanguage NotesBasic Beginners All purpose(Symbolic Instruction Code (Teaching language)PascalTeaching languageFortranFormula translation - used for mathematical workCobolCommon business oriented language (used in business)C & C++Object oriented language used for application(ii)High - level languages - These are far away from binary code in structure, and very English-like, therefore easier for humans to read and use.2)Applications softwareThis produces output (compared with systems, which doesn't)There are two main types of applications(a)"Off the shelf" e.g. MS Word, MS EXCEL, These have the ability to be customised extensively to individual needs(b)"Bespoke" (or "tailor - made) these packages are designed to specific needs- they can't usually be adapted to more general needs.Application TerminologyApplications may be referred to either "generic" or "specific"E.g.Generic SpecificSpreadsheet MS EXCEL 2000Graphics package Paintshop pro 8.0examples of applications packagesWord processorThis is the most common piece of application software available. Every one that uses PC's probably needs to create some documents at some time or another. Word processors are very...

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