Computer Software – Study Material

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Computer Software – Study Material 

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Introduction

A computer is really a system of many parts working together. Each component of a computer is either called hardware or software. The physical parts, which we can see, touch and feel are collectively called hardware. The computer and all the peripheral devices such as printers, scanners, microphones, speakers, and webcams etc. connected to it that are used to input and output the data are hardware. Peripheral devices are hardware devices that are connected to the motherboard but not part of the main computer system and were added later to the system.

The program needs a kind of documentation that gives a comprehensive procedural description of a program. It shows as to how software is written. Program documentation even has the capability to sustain any later maintenance or development of the program. The program documentation describes what exactly a program does by mentioning about the requirements of the input data and the effect of performing a programming task.

Software is often divided into two categories

System software: The user interacts primarily with application software. System software enables the application software to interact with the computer hardware. System software is “background” software that helps the computer to manage its own internal resources. It is not a single program. Rather it is a collection of programs, including the operating system, Utilities and Device drivers etc.

System software includes the operating system and all the utilities that enable the computer to function. It refers to the files and programs that make up our computer’s operating system. System files include libraries of functions, system services, drivers for printers and other hardware, system preferences, and other configuration files. The programs that are part of the system software include assemblers, compilers, loaders, linkers, file management tools, system utilities and debuggers. The system software is installed in computer when we install operating system. Since system software runs at the most basic level of computer, it is called “low-level” software. It refers to the operating system and all utility programs that manage computer resources a low level. It generates the user interface and allows the operating system to interact with the hardware. Every computer that receives some sort of human input needs a user interface, which allows a person to interact with the computer. While devices like keyboards, mouse and touch-screens make up the hardware end of this task, the user interface makes up the software for it. The two most common forms of a user interface are the command -line interface, where computer commands are typed line-by-line, and the Graphical user interface, where a visual environment (such as windows, buttons, and icons) is present.

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