Using the best Software

A flyer by Sam Britnell

Operating Systems

The first thing you need to run software is an operating system. Operating systems (know from here on as an OS) are the part of the computer which comunicates between hardware and software.

The operating system performs diagnostic checks. It also controls the input from input devices like the mouse and keyboard. It controls the output and sends the information to the screen. The operating system manages and allocates memory to the application software. Deals with security issues like usernames and passwords. Handles bugs and interrupts when there is a hardware fault.

Windows, Linux and Macintosh are all examples of operating systems.

Interfaces

Interfaces are a big deal. It controls how well a user can access content, the presentation of the software and other aesthetic qualities.

There are lots of different interfaces

  • Command line interfaces
  • Graphical user interfaces
  • Menu driven interfaces
  • Form driven interfaces
  • Natural language interface

More information on this topic can be found on the following link...

Utilities and file management

Utilities

Utilities are software that do very specific jobs. They come as part of the system software and always relate to managing the computer's resources. Examples of these are Virus scanners or file converters.

File management software

File management software is always part of the system software like utilities. File management software handles everything to do with files from folder organisation to defragmentation. File management software also encompasses uninstallers and file recovery software.

Peripheral Drivers

Peripheral drivers are used to run peripheral devices.

Peripheral drivers are used to run peripheral devices such as webcams. These devices usualy need some software to work properly and this software is called peripheral drivers. Peripheral driver software communicates between the device and the computer, converts the input into something the device can understand, produces error messages, tells the computer what the device can do and enables the device to work with any applications or operating systems. The problem with driver software is that there are many makes and models of devices so different drivers are needed to run these devices. You can get these drivers in lots of different ways, usualy the device comes with the drivers on a disc but you may need to download them off the internet too.

Types of application software

Application software is software that performs jobs or applications. There are many kinds of application software.

Package software

A bundle of files that are nessesary for a particular program.

Generic software

Package software that can be used for a wide range of tasks and can be used at home or for work. Word processing software is an example of this.

Intergrated software

This consists of software for several applications. Office software is an example of this. Intergrated software is cheaper to buy than the individual packages. It is easier to transfer data between them. It is easier to install and consistant too.

Specific software

Software that performs one task only

Bespoke software

This is software that is "tailor made" for that specific business. It is made when there is no suitable product on the market for the organisation's needs. It is more expensive and is more likely to contain errors but it is more flexible and specific to the company's needs.

Purpose

Applications software is software that has been produced to allow the user to carry out a specific task. It is not concerned with management or control of the system.