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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
computer…read more

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Functions of an operating system
Memory management.…read more

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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 the number of
attempts made to log on under each user ID, the
amount of processor time used at each session, total
login time and so on;…read more

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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.…read more

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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 directory
· what is an acceptable file or directory name
· the number of bytes that can be on a disk
· the amount of memory usable by a program…read more

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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
menus or icons in a Windows interface…read more

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Operating Systems
Apple Macintosh (MacOS)
Linux…read more

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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 translate the
statements in a programming language such as Pascal,
Visual Basic or C into a form that the computer can
understand.…read more

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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 a mainframe environment, this is executed on a separate,
dedicated processor (`front-end processor') and controls the
flow of data to and from remote locations.…read more


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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