Chapter 3

Overview on Chapter 3 (Software)

Software can be classified as system software and applications. There are many types of software, there are two major categories. One being system software that is written to control and make use of the hardware this works between the hardware and the applications. Applications are what computers users buy computers for. Applications need to make use of the system software in order to make the hardware do what is required. A process is a computer program that is currently being executed. Most computer users like multitasking when using the computer there for when united the Ram and the CPU work together in order to executed what needs to be done. For example when a program is loading lots of data into RAM such as when buffering a video, the CPU would normally be kept waiting. Software is written by programming languages. Programming languages are themselves software. There are hundreds of different programming languages and more are being developed all the time.

Moreover operating systems need to provide a means of communicating with them. This means making it possible for the users to issue commands and allowing applications to access their functionality. There are many examples of operating systems, some such as, windows which have made user interface part of the operating system. Others, such as Unix, restrict the operating system to hardware operation and a simple character based interface, leaving others to produce graphical interfaces if they so desire. Three popular examples of graphical interfaces foe Unix and Xfce, KDE and GNOME. You will notice that they all have a similarly which is increasingly common as standards tend to become accepted.

Most personal and large scale computer systems have many utility programs installed with the operating system. They are usually installed with the operating system, but many users like to install their own favorites as well. Utilities are generally small-scale programs that preform a limited range of functions. Standard utilities are handy to have because if you need to carry out simple maintenance, you know that there will be tools available to do the job.


If a process is using a certain part of RAM for temporarily storing data, then another process must not be allowed to overwrite that data. The operating system divides memory into pages and keeps tabs on which processes are using which pages to prevent conflicts. Many systems are multi- user, all connected by servers. Also, most indavidual PC's are conne

KEYWORDS: off the shelf: Software that is aimed at many users and sold 'as is'

Assembler: software that translates assembly language code into machine code.

Defragmenters: a utility that brings together file fragments on disk and collects all the free space in one area.

Editor: Software used for entering source code when writing a program.

Embedded system: A computer system that forms part of an electronic device.

Alogorithm: A series of steps designed to solve a mathematical or other problem.

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