Utility Programs

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  • Created by: Noye
  • Created on: 25-05-13 10:13
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  • Utility Programs
    • Maintainence
      • System Information and Diagnosis
        • Usually provided with the OS
        • Gives information that will help diagnose problems with the computer
        • Gives information  on the hardware and statistics about its use
      • Automatic Updating
        • Regularly checks the internet for software updates, which will be downloaded and installed
      • System Clean-up Tools
        • Searches for and deletes files that are no longer needed
          • e.g. software installation files, temporary files created when files are moved around
        • Corrects errors in settings and deletes ones that are no longer needed
        • Regular use will free up disk space, speed up system boot and improve performance
    • Security
      • Antivirus
        • A virus is a program installed on a computer without the user's knowledge or permission and with the intention of causing harm
          • It replicates automatically on computers and in a network
      • Spyware Protection
        • Spyware  programs secretly record what you do your computer
          • They are used to capture passwords, bank details and keywords
        • Spyware  protection utilities run in the background and prevent spyware programs installing
        • Regularly updates itself via the internet to ensure up-to-date database
        • Legitimate spyware uses are watching an employee/student's computer and parental control
      • Firewall
        • Blocks access onto a PC or network from the interent
          • This is done using factors such as: the computer's address, the type of traffic, specific website etc.
        • Firewalls work both ways: e.g. blocking categories of websites on a school network
        • Most OS include firewall utilities, but they can also be bought separately or downloaded free online
        • Many banks provide firewall software for customers using internet banking services
    • Disk Organisation
      • File Transfer and Management
        • Provides a logical view of how files are organised on the hard disk: e.g. Windows Explorer
      • Disk Defragmenter
        • Files become fragmented when parts of them are stored in different places on the disk, which isn't very efficient
          • The disk defrag moves the parts so they are stored together. This improves access speed.
          • It also groups free disk space so files can be stored together
        • Optimises disk performance
      • Formatting
        • All storage media needs formatting
        • Hard disks are formatted by the operating system
        • Portable storage devices are bought already formatted
    • Definition: Programs included in the operating system which are not essential for the computer to work, but make it easier to use it and provide housekeeping functionality


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