Software Notes

This is a three page guide to key points within the software unit. It includes the different types of software and their benefits/disadvantages, as well as a description of the OS and its uses. It also describes interfaces with pros and cons.

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Operating System (OS): Controls the way the user controls and accesses
software controls access of input/output peripherals,
storage devices and memory space.
Manages priorities for tasks
Allocates time slots for tasks
Manages system security
Handles input/output
When an application is opened, the necessary parts are loaded into RAM by the OS.
Work will be stored in RAM until it is saved and closed, when it is removed.
The OS manages the peripherals using device drivers, which are loaded into
memory when needed (many during bootup).
The OS is used to ensure security on the computer. It allows some programs and
users to be run whilst stopping those that shouldn't.
Antivirus: checks computer for programs designed to damage
system, deleting any it finds
Antispyware: checks computer for programs gathering personal
Firewall: prevents hackers/unauthorised access
Disk maintenance: reorganising/defragmenting for quicker file access
Disk cleanup: searches for files no longer needed, which are then
deleted to free up space
System cleanup: searches computer for settings no longer needed
System update: searches for updated software to fix problems/security
issues and improve performance
User interfaces need consistent structures, consistent operations from actions, a
consistent layout/theme and intuitive navigation.
Menudriven Interface: Interaction through a series of menus, following
User friendly
Step by step
Not huge amounts of energy needed
Can be spoken (for the visually impaired)
Irritating if too many menus
Can't get to right place straight away
Poor design = hard to use

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Command Line Interface: Commands typed directly into the computer ­ rarely used
in everyday life
Can be much faster than other interfaces if commands are known
Much less RAM needed than others
Less CPU time needed than others
Does not require Windows
Confusing if commands aren't known
Mistyped instructions fail
Hundreds of commands to be learnt
Forms Interface: Enables user to interact with an application specific choices for
specific purpose
Easy to program/use ­ fast to enter data
Data validation can be…read more

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Software Type Advantages Disadvantages
Higher performance
Easier to use ­ no Dependent on developer
unnecessary features staying in business
Custom written software Better support from Higher risk of unreliable
developers software
Gaining advantage over Higher investment needed
Could contain
unnecessary features
Relatively cheap
Long time to learn how to
Sophisticated because
Off the shelf software use it
lots of development for
Software might not be
able to do everything the
organisation needs
Public, collaborative
Likely to contain errors or
Can be changed…read more


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