AQA Computing COMP2 Revision - Part 1 - Software & hardware

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What is computer hardware?
"Hardware is the collection of physical elements that make up a computer system, such as graphic & sound cards, and memory chips."
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What is software?
"Software is any set of machine-readable instructions that utilises computer hardware to carry out instructions"
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What is system software?
"System software is software designed to operate and control hardware, and provide a platform for application software"
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Describe the relationship between software and hardware.
Software utilises hardware such as the CPU and RAM, with the operating system acting as a mediator between the two, by controlling the flow of data to individual hardware components. Software relies on hardware and vice versa to function.
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Define Bespoke software.
Bespoke software is software written specifically for a client at the point of purchase
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Define off-the-shelf software.
Off the shelf software is software that is pre written to fullfill a particular purpose, and is distributed to a large number of clients
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Define Generic software
Generic software is a class of different software packages that fullfill a the same purpose. Examples include word & spreadsheet processors, and CAD software.
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What are the advantages of bespoke software?
"Meets all of the end-user requirements, Can be fitted into existing hardware/software, Only performs necessary functions" (AQA mark scheme)
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What are the disadvantages of bespoke software?
"More expensive as have to cover production costs, Less widely tested so more likely to contain bugs, Clients must wait for software to be written, Lack of 3rd party support" (AQA mark scheme)
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What are the advantages of off-the-shelf software?
Off-the-Shelf is often cheaper than bespoke software, It's more widely tested so unlikely to contain bugs.
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What are the disadvantages of off-the-shelf software
It may not fullfill all end-user requirements, it may not integrate successfully with other software in the system.
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What is the function of operating system software?
"Provides an interface between the computer and user, to manage files/devices/memory, To provide a software platform on which other programs can run, to hide the complexity of the hardware from the user" (AQA mark scheme)
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Define utility programs.
Utility programs are software packages designed to manage and control hardware as well as system software. Examples: Antivirus, system drivers.
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Define library programs.
Library programs are software packages that perform generic functions (e.g "print text), & are embedded into the operating system, & and used by many applications instead of being compiled. It reduces the file size of a compiled program.
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Define Program translators.
This software compiles instructions from high level to assembly and machine code. A & M code varies with hardware, so compiling it for different hardware allows deployment on different computer systems.
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Define an assembler and a compiler.
Assemblers convert from high level to assembly code, and compilers (more generically) convert between languages.
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Define interpreter software
Interpreter software converts high level language into machine readable code at the point of execution of each individual line. Software in this form is distributed in high level code, and is then translated at runtime. Examples: java and phython.
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Define assembly language
This language has a strong correlation to machine code, although it is still human-readable. This code is further compiled by the system at runtime.
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Define machine code
Machine code is a set of instructions executed directly by a computer's CPU. It is almost unreadable by humans, and involves individual memory operations and calculations.
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Define declarative language
A class of programming language that involves statements that fullfill different functions operations, and structures. (in c#, .close)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is software?

Back

"Software is any set of machine-readable instructions that utilises computer hardware to carry out instructions"

Card 3

Front

What is system software?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Describe the relationship between software and hardware.

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Define Bespoke software.

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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