System Software


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  • System Software
    • Operating system
      • Provides an interface between the user and the hardware
    • Memory management
    • Device drivers
      • A piece of software used to control a piece of hardware
      • Drivers allow a peripheral to device to be connected to a computer and be used in a Operating System
    • Multitasking
      • By giving the processor a small time slice for for each task means that all tasks appear to be to be executing at the same time
      • To the user it appears that we can multitask and have lots of programs open at once
      • In reality resources such as memory and the processor are being shared among tasks
    • User interface
      • How the user interacts with the Operating System
    • Command line interface
      • Text based
      • E.g. DOS, Raspbian for Raspberry Pi
    • Peripheral management
      • Operating Systems manage the way in which hardware
      • A peripheral is a piece of hardware that is not directly connected to the CPU such as a keyboard, mouse or hard disk
    • Utility programs
      • Utility programs are designed to do 1 or 2 tasks
      • Utility software interacts with the computer's hardware e.g. the hard disk
      • Utility programs are inbuilt into the Operating System
    • Defrag
      • When a hard disk is new files get added onto the disk in order very much like starting with a blank piece of paper and adding to it
      • As files are deleted this leaves gaps
      • When new files are saved the files fill in the gaps and become fragmented
      • Defrag software groups fragmented files back together
    • Backup
      • Completed to ensure there is a way of restoring files/data and programs in case of a computer faliure
      • Copies of data and/or software are taken regularly and usually stored in a different location
        • Ensures that if computers are stolen or damaged e.g. a fire or natural disaster that the data can be restored and a company does not lose much money
      • Incremental backups
        • Each night only the files that have been changed since the last incremental backup are coppied
        • Much faster to complete than full backups
        • Takes longer at restoring than a full backup
          • The full backup would need restoring first then the incremental backup since the last full backup
      • Full backups
        • A copy of all the data and software on the hard disk/server is copied to a backup medium e.g. an external hard drive/DVD-R
        • Take a long time to complete (usually overnight)
        • Recovery takes a long time as it restores all data and programs
    • Encryption
      • Encryption means to scramble data in a way that it is unreadable to anyone that doesn't have a key to be able to unscramble it
      • Data is encrypted using a key and then decrypted using a key
      • Data is encrypted so so it can be unreadable if anyone is to intercept it
    • Compression
      • Lossy
        • Some of the original data is lost and and the original file can't be recreated
      • Lossless
        • The original file can be recreated and no data is lost
      • Compression reduces the size of the file by performing an algorithm on the original data.

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