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Systems Software
Computers require two types of software
­ Applications software ;
· such as word processing, spreadsheet or graphics
­ Operating systems software :
· to control and monitor the running of application
programs, and allow users to communicate with the

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Functions of an operating system
Memory management.
Resource allocation and scheduling
Backing store management
Interrupt handling
Allowing a user to communicate with the

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Utility programs
As well as the basic operating system, the
systems software available to users
includes numerous utility programs, such
­ Virus checkers - check disks and memory for
viruses and delete them if detected;
­ Security and accounting software - checks user
IDs and passwords, counts and reports…

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Utility programs (continued)
­ File management utilities - attempt to repair
corrupted files, reorganise files on disk so that free
space is `defragmented', `zip' (compress) files so that
they occupy less space.

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DOS (Disk Operating System)
­ tells the computer how to format, read and write
information on disk (either floppy or hard)
­ manages peripheral devices such as printer and
­ controls the execution of application software
­ Also specifies
· how many files can be held in a disk…

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Command-driven interface eg
The user had to type in commands in exactly
the correct syntax to perform any operation
This allowed complex commands to be entered
to customise the operating system for a
particular user
Experienced users could perform operations
faster using DOS than by using a mouse and…

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Operating Systems
Apple Macintosh (MacOS)

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Systems software
Operating system
Utility programs
­ perform common useful tasks such as search for lost files,
sort files of data into a particular sequence, copy disk files to
magnetic tape for backup purposes and so on.
Programming language compilers / interpreters
­ are different types of program used to…

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Systems software (continued)
Performance monitoring software
­ is used to monitor, analyse and report on the performance of
a computer and its components. It can provide information
such as the overall utilisation of the processor and number of
disk accesses over a given period of time.
Communications software
­ In…


Mr A Gibson


You know the diagram with the software classifications on (in all the text books)? This puts the meat on the bones of that - lots of good information and examples.

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