Computing - Software

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  • Created by: becky.65
  • Created on: 13-05-15 10:55
What is software?
The programs that run on a computer
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What is a program?
A stored set of instructions for a computer to execute
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What is a platform?
A combination of hardware and operation system that supports the running of particular applications
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What is an application?
Software designed to carry out a useful real-world task
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How is software written?
By programmers using programming language
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What is machine code?
Instructions in binary used by the CPU
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Machine code is a low-level language. What does this mean?
It works low down at the hardware level and is directed at controlling each machine operation
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What is high-level language?
A programming language that resembles a natural language. Each instruction translates to many machine instructions
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Why does high-level language make writing software easier
It allows the programmer to set out algorithms without always having to worry about every single action carried out by the CPU
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What is the discipline of software engineering?
Formal methods to guide the writing of software
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What are the two major categories software can be separated in to?
System software and applications
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What is system software?
Software that is written to control and make use of the hardware. It acts as an intermediary between the user and the hardware and also between applications and the hardware
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Why do applications need to make use of the system software?
In order to make the hardware do what is required
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What does system software consist of?
Operating systems, device drivers, firmware, servers, utilities and interfaces. They also include development tools such as compilers, interpreters linkers and debuggers
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What is the operating system?
The software that controls the hardware. It acts as an interface between the user and the hardware and also between the applications and the hardware
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Operating systems are necessary to run all applications apart from what?
Those that are self-booting
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What operations does the operating system oversee?
Transferring data between memory locations, the CPU and disks; producing visual displays on the screen; controlling peripherals; protecting data from being accidentally overwritten
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What does a multi-tasking operating system allow?
Several processes to be resident in RAM at the same time. These processes are in different states - running, runnable or waiting
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What does a multi-tasking operating system ensure?
The processes get attended to by the CPU in the mist efficient way
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What does firewall software do?
Can be used to take care of many permission related security issues
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What are interfaces?
They make it possible for the user to issue commands and allow applications to access their functionality
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What is the command line?
The place where typed commands are given to the operating system
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Why are command lines important?
It allows a great deal of customisation and makes administering network less of an effort?
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What is a user interface?
The boundary between the computer and the user
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What is a graphical user interface?
A user interface that makes use of icons for interacting with the user
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Why are icons useful?
They reduce the need to learn commands
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Give three examples of operating systems
Windows, Unix and Mac OS
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Why do computer systems have peripherals?
In order to input, output and store data. They need to be told how to communicate with the rest of the computer system
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What are the signals that control peripherals called?
Device drivers
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What do device drivers do?
Take care of the actions of the peripherals
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What is an interrupt?
A signal to the operating system to stop what it is doing and perform a different task instead
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What does an interrupt do?
Interrupts that operating system and tells it to stop running the current program and switch the CPU's attention to a different program that is looking after the peripheral
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What do applets do?
Allow the user to fine tune peripherals
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What is firmware?
Software that is stored permanently on ROM chips
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What are servers?
Software that responds to the requests of other programs, known as clients
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Give an example of a server
A web server
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What does a web server do?
Accepts and processes the requests from remote internet users that want to communicate with a website and supplies the resources required from the website
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What are utilities?
A small program designed to carry out a limited maintenance task
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Why does virus detection have to be updated regularly?
New threats are always appearing and it is important to have the latest counter-measures
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What is disk organisation?
The process of arranging files and data bytes on a secondary storage device
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Why do we need defragmenters?
After an amount of time, the files on you hard disk get broken up into fragments and this is because files get deleted and leave different sized holes. When a new file is saved, it has to be split across the available spaces; this slows down loading
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Why are operating systems constantly being updated?
To clear away unused files and temporary files and for bug or security fixes
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What is an editor?
Software used for entering source code when writing a program
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Give an example of an editor
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What is a pretty printer?
It detects programming constructions such as loops and automatically indents them and uses different colours to show key words
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What are compilers?
Translator programs that convert high-level source into machine code that the CPU can run
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What is the difference between compilers and interpreters?
Interpreters do one line at a time and execute the code as they go
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What are interpreters used for?
Debugging programs because they give an instant result
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What is assembler?
Software the that translates assembly language code into machine code
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What is assembly language?
A low-level programming language that uses more memorable mnemonic codes and labels to represent machine-level code
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Why do we need to use assembly language?
To keep control over the action of the program
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What is a linker?
Software that combines together a number of separate object code files
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What is off the shelf software?
Software that exists already and is aimed at many users
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What is propriety software?
Software that is owned by its developers
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What is open source software?
Software where the source code is publicly available so anyone can adapt it
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is a program?


A stored set of instructions for a computer to execute

Card 3


What is a platform?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is an application?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How is software written?


Preview of the front of card 5
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