System Software


Operating Systems

  • Communicate with internal and external hardware via the device drivers.
  • Provide a user interface, allowing a user to interact with the computer.
  • Provide a platform for different applications too run.
  • Allow the computer to multi-task by controlling memory resources and the CPU.
  • Deal with file management and disk management.
  • Manage the security of the system.
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Device Drivers

  • Every piece of hardware connected to the computer system requires a device driver. Drivers essentially act as a 'translator' for the signals between OS and hardware.
  • When a computer is booted up, the OS will choose the correct device drivers the hardware it detects.
  • Device manufacturers may release updates to device drivers. Updates may be installed automatically by the OS or manually by the user.
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User interface

  • A user interface allows the user to interact with the computer system.
  • Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) are the most common type - they're designed to be easy for everyday users by making them visual, interactive and intuitive.
  • A command-line interface is text based. The user enters specific commands to complete tasks. The Command-line interfaces are less resource-heavy than GUIs.
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User interface

  • GUI systems are optimmised for specific input methods. In the past, GUIs have been WIMP-based (using windows, icons, menus and pointers). Anodroid and IOS were created for touchscreen devices, using finger gestures like pinching and swiping in place of a mouse.
  • Command-line interfaces aren't suitable for everyday users. But for advanced users, they can be far more efficient and powerful than a GUI. They can be used to automate processes using scripts.
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  • Operating Systems provide a platform to run applications (by configuring hardware so they can use it, and giving access to the CPU and memory).
  • Operating Systems that can run multiple applications at the same time are called multi-tasking OSs.
  • The OS helps the CPU carry out multi-tasking by efficiently managing memory and CPU processing time.
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