Learning Objectives in this Post
- Understand the hardware and software
- Know the types of software
- Categorize various software
- Know the working of various types of software
Introduction to computer software
Human ingenuity has never shown any fatigue in trying to expand the horizons of our computers. Over the years professional programmers have come out with incredible software and programs to enable our computer to perform almost any types of task. Most of the currently possible tasks can be broadly divided into a dozen categories. Even within a specific category, there are many types of jobs that a computer software is capable of performing. This Post is dedicated to the computer software that plays a very important role in making computer a household name.
Fact file – software is set of programs that govern the operation of a computer.
Types of software
A computer system consists of hardware and software for its proper functioning.
Hardware represents the physical and tangible components of the computer i.e. the components that can be seen and touched. Input devices, output devices, CPU, floppy disk etc. example of computer hardware .
Software represents the se of programs that govern the operation of a computer system and make the hardware run. Software can be classified broadly into two categories
- System software
- Application software
(I) System software
A computer is merely a machine that knows nothing of itself. Rather it requires instruction for each and everything it perform. These instruction are provided to it through software. The software that controls internal computer operation is known as system software.
The system software can further be classified into two categories:
- operating system
- language processor
Did you know
System software is a software that control internal computer operation.
(A ) operating system
Hardware is nothing but a finely designed machinery. A machine can work only when it is given instruction or commands. A machine is ultimately a machine only, which is always made to work. In case of computer ,it is either us if we do that or some other which does it for us. This some other is nothing buy our very own operating system.
Fact file – An operating system is a program, which acts as an interface between a user and the hardware (i.e. all computer research. )
Operating system is just like our secretary. As the boss gives order gives to his secretary and the secretary does all the work for his boss. The secretary himself decide how to do ? what to ?etc. same way, we pass our order/request to operating system and the operating system does it for us. Operating system itself decides. How to do? What to do? when to do? The primary goal of an operating system is thus to make the computer system convenient to use and secondary goal is to use computer hardware in an efficient manner.
An operating system is an important component of a computer system which controls all other components of the computer system .
Some operating system are as follows : windows , unix , linux etc.
Major components of a computer system are as follows:
- The Hardware,
- The Operating systems,
- The Application program routines (compiler, linkers, database management system, utility programs)
- The Humanware (users).
Types of OS (Operating System)
There are different types of OS available, which require different types of hardware to run upon. The operating systems are of mainly following types:
(i) Single program OS: As the name suggests, this OS is single user operating system, so only one user program can be supported and executed by it at any point of time.
(ii) Multiproqram : Unlike single program OS, this is multi-user OS. It supports multiprogramming i.e. more than one user can be supported by it, therefor more than one user programs are loaded and activated in the main store at the same time. These active programs are executed using some techniques one b one.
Fact file – where hardware provides the basic computing resources , the application program routines define the ways in which these resources are used to solve the computing problems of the users . the operating system controls and co – ordinates the use of the hardware among the various application programs for the various users.
(ii) Time Sharing OS : This OS uses the time sharing technique. Each active user program is given a fair share of CPU time, if the time elapses or an i/o operation is requested, CPU shifts over to the next job waiting and the previous program is put to wait in case time is over) or handled over to i/o manages in case I/O request is made). The active programs are scheduled for execution using certain job scheduling techniques.
(iii) Real Time OS : In real time OS, the jobs have fixed deadlines and the job have to be completed within their deadlines. The systems performance is measured by its ability to complete its jobs within the specified deadlines. If a job cannot be completed within its deadline, this situation is called Deadline Overrun. An efficient real OS is that which gives minimum possible deadline overruns.
(iv) Multiprocessing OS : The multiprocessing OS is capable of handling more than one processor as the job has to be executed on more than one processor. The multiprocessing OS should be capable of load sharing in case of identical processors so that the systems efficiency improves. In case of unidentical processors, the multiprocessing OS should be able to control the super (main) processor and in turn control the working of slave processors,
(B) Language Processor
(i) Assembler: This language processor converts the program written in assembly language into machine language.
(ii) Interpreter : This language processor converts a HLL (High level language) program into machine language by converting and executing it line by line. If there is any error in any line, it reports it at the same time and program execution cannot resume until the error is rectified. Interpreter must always be present in the memory every time the program is executed as every time the program is run, it is first interpreted and then executed. For error debugging, interpreter is very much useful as it reports the error at the same time. But once errors are removed, unnecessary usage of memory takes place as it has to be present in the memory always.
(iii) Complier : It also converts the HLL program into machine language but the conversion manner is different. It converts the entire HLL program in one go, and reports all the errors of the program along with the line numbers. After all the errors are removed, the program is recompiled, and after that the compiler is not needed in the memory as the object program is available.
Fact file – programmers prefer to write their programs in one of the high level language (HLL) because it is much easier to code in such language . However ,the computer does not understand any language other than its own machine language ( binary language ). Therefore , it becomes necessary to process a HLL program so as to make it understandable to computer . the system programs ,which perform this very job , are language processor .
(II) Application Software
This type of software pertains to one specific application. For instance, a software that can perform railway reservation function cannot prepare result for a school.
These are the programs written by programmers to enable computer to perform a specific task; such as processing words, inventory control, handling calculation and figures, medical accounting, financial accounting, result preparation, railway reservation, billing etc. Application software can further be subdivided into three categories
- Customized Software
Only system software do not suffice for efficient use of computers because the system software exists mostly for the benefit of the computer. Other programs i.e. the application software a re required to make the computer useful for people. Application software has been written to do almost every task imaginable, from word processing to selecting a college to attend.
As application may be numerous (from thousands to millions of them), it is not feasible to design software for each one of them. Rather some general softwares are designed that may be used by individual users in the manner it suits their needs and requirements. Such general application software are known as Packages. As computer can be put to use virtually in every possible field, categorizing packages is a task for an encyclopaedist. However, some major and most common categories are as follows:
- word processing software.
- Database management system.
- Desktop publishing software.
- Graphic, multimedia and presentation applications.
Word processing software
Processing of textual matter and creation of flawless documents happen to be the most common and widely used task of a personal computer. Everything you can achieve using some papers, a pen , a dictionary and a thesaurus and can be accomplished much more easily and quickly using your computer. In fact you achieve much more in terms of organization, readability preventability and avoidable from spelling and other errors . there are program packages available which can even guide you in adjusting and modifying your writing style. Electric cutting and pasting of words, lines paragraphs and text from other are offered by the word processing packages. In others words, a qualified text processing package gives you everything and much more than what you could achieve before the advent of the computer.
Fact file – word processing package is a package that processes textual matter and creates organized and flawless document.
Lets Discuses – Some application software.
Some word processors are MS – word, WordPad software etc.
Another very popular package is electronic spreads. An electronic spreadsheet is a program that accepts data values in tabular from and allows users to manipulate/calculate/analyze data in the desired manner. Spreadsheets not only allow manipulation of data but also can generate graphs and charts to show the relationship among numbers more vivdly.
Like most elements in the computer world, spreadsheets have
come a long way since they were first developed. Today, many spreadsheets are three-dimensional, allowing you to create not just a single worksheet but a stack of them with each sheet linked electronically to the others.
Facts – An electronic spreadsheet is a program that accepts data in a tabular form and allows users to manipulate calculate/analyze data in the desired manner.
There are numerous spreadsheets available in the market. Some popular ones are Excel, Quattro Pro etc.
Database Management System (DBMS)
A basic philosophy behind the efficient use of a desktop computer is to avoid, or at least reduce the drudgery and monotony of carrying out a task which is either absolutely routine or highly repetitive in type nature. Handling and analyses of a large volume of repetitive data full in this category. Therefore, a desktop computer is ideally suited for such purposes, subject to the limitations imposed by its performance versatility and speed.
Database management software extends your ability to organize collections of data stored in your computer and provides tools for listing subsets of the data that meet specified criteria. For example, when you organize information with index cards, you generally arrange it in some logical order, such as alphabetically by name or datawise or citywise or in the increasing order of amount etc. Also records meeting a specific criteria may also be selected by setting filter conditions. For instance, you may view the records of only those employees who are in a particular department say sales. All this and much more is possible through database management packages.
Remember – A database management system (DBMS) is a package that can handle and mange bulk of stored data.
Some popular database management system (DBMS) are Fox pro, Access, Oracle etc.
Desktop Publishing Packages
What is still more exciting is desktop publishing (DTP) using a computer. As the name suggests, you get everything that you can achieve by the typesetting method indeed much more, in a substantially shorter tune frame a part from composing the text, its layout, line drawing charts and graphs can be easily created and inclined in the main body of the text using standard programs. Scanners are available for black and white or colour pictures to be included in the final layout. .The design and layout of complete look or journal can be achieved without much trouble using a suitable DTP package. For example, this book has been written, corrected and edited using a standard text processing software and then its layout composed by means of a standard DTP package.
Fact file – desktop publishing software handles page layout by combining the functions of a traditional typesetter and a layout artist .
Some DTP softwares are as follows :
Corel Draw . corepaint , page marker etc.
Graphics, Multimedia and Presentation Applications
Perhaps the most spectacular task performed by computer involves graphics and animation packages Apart from the capability of drawing various types of charts, graphs and line diagrams and text, headlines and banners in a number of attractive fonts, these packages are capable of producing like-life drawing with or without animation. Much of the computer graphics and animations that you see on your television can be produced by the computer. This skill has immensely improved the quality and efficacy of educational, commercial and other audio-visual presentations, lecture demonstration programs and mass communication, in general.
Facts – the application software that can create professional looking visual aids is called presentation graphics software
Ultimately, it is the limit of human ingenuity which may restrict the application of the seemingly limitless graphic and animation capabilities of your computer.
Facts – the software that incorporates images , text sound , computer animation , video sesques is known as multimedia software ,
Presentation graphics is another specialized type of graphics software. These programs are used to create professional looking visual aids for audience. The visual aids can be computer images, paper printouts, or photographic transparencies. Some most popular graphics multimedia and presentation packages are coreldraw, photoshop , MS – Powerpoint , etc
Remember – the application software that can create professional looking visual aids is called presentation graphics software
Utilities are those helpful programs that ensure the smooth function of the computer utilities are meant to assist your computer . some utilities help you backup data , some help remove outdated files or recover data that has been accidentally erased , some make it easier to find and arrange the information you need and some help you avoid virus attacks or clean viruses if any . in other words the utility programs perform house – keeping functions
Remember utilities are those application programs that assist the computer by performing housekeeping functions like backing up disk or scanning cleaning viruses etc.
Same important utilities are being discussed below.
- Text editor – this utilities program is used for creating editing text files using this program, any text manner (generally in English , like language )can be typed and saved on a disk file . this can file be retrieved any time and can also be edited, corrected etc. text editing software supports special commands for text editing software supports special commands for texting software supports special commands for text editing i.e. you can insert delete find replace character , line and paragraphs.
- Backup Utility : This utility program facilitates the backing up of disk. Backup means duplicating the disk information so that in case of any damage or data loss, this backed up data may be used. The files or folders or even drivers can be backed up using this facility.
- Compression Utility : This utility program facilitates compression of files. Large files can be compressed so that they take less storage area. When needed, these compressed files can be exploded back to their original form. By compression, the files are stored in a special format that takes less space. However, these compressed files cannot be directly used, they need to be exploded back to their original form before they can be worked upon.
- Disk Defragmentor : This utility program attempts to minimize the fragmentation on your disk. A file is fragmented when it becomes too large for your computer to store in a single location on a disk. When this happens, your computer splits the file up and stores it in pieces. You can use fragmented files, but it takes your computer longer to access them.
Fact file – Disk defragmentor speeds up disk access by rearranging the files and free space on your, so that files are stored in contiguous units and free space is consolidated in one contiguous block.
5. Anti – virus software – this utility program ensures virus free work environment. A computer virus is a computer program that can inject other computer programs modifying them in such a way as to include a copy of itself. A virus not only copies itself but also makes the computer system behave abnormally. For instance unknown or unasked messages may get flashed or unwanted music gets played or unwanted graphical displays might occur.
An antivirus software scans your disk for viruses and removes them any virus found Moreover some antivirus software remains present in memory all the time so that they can detect the viruses and counter attack them
(c) Customized Software
This type of software is tailor-made software according to a user’s requirements. This type of software is developed to meet all the requirements specified by the user For instance, a company wants to computerize its accounts department and gets a software developed according to its needs such a software is customized software customized according to the user’s needs. However, such software cannot be directly installed at any other user’s workplace as the requirements of the second user may differ from the first and the software may not fit in considderation of the requirements of the new user.
» Hardware represents the physical and tangible parts of the computer.
» Software represents the set of programs that govern the operation of a computer system and makes the hardware run.
» The software that controls internal computer operations, is called system software.
» An operating system is a program which acts as an interface between the user and the hardware. >> There are different types of OS available – single program OS, multiprogram OS, time sharing OS, real time OS, multiprocessing OS etc.
» A language processor converts a program written in High Level Language to machine language.
» Application software is a set of programs necessary to carry out operations for a specified application.
» There are three categories of application software (i) Packages, (ii) Utilities and (iii) Customized software.
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