Computer Software


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Computer Software

Computer software comprises different computer programs, or instructions that enable users to perform different tasks on a computer system. It is not only important for the users but also the whole computer system, depends upon the services provided by the software. Due to the importance of computer software this until has been developed. It covers the basics of computer software and its important types.

After completing this until students objects of computer software would be able to:

  • Understand the basics of computer software.
  • Distinguish between application software and system software.
  • Have a knowledge about important system and application software.
  • Learn about software installation and un-installation.

What is Computer Software?

A computer cannot do anything at its own rather than it must be provided some sequence-wise instructions and relevant data to perform its functions. This sequence of instructions Is called a computer program which is commonly referred to as computer software.

Software is a generic term used for collection of data and instructions given to the computer to perform specific tasks. It also refers to set of program, procedure and associated documents designed for the working of computers. The software is logical part of the computer that user can not touch but use to make computer operate.

Computer Software controls the operations of hardware or some other software by implementing the instructions given to it on ordered way.

Types of Computer Software:

There are two main categories of Computer Software:

  • System Software:

System Software is the collections of computer pogroms that controls the operation of computer and its devices. It provides an interface between computer hardware and application software. It is backbone of a computer system which provides a platform for its operation.

Software helps computer users to make use of applications software and perform the programmed activities. System software monitors the use of various hardware components such as CPU, memory and other peripheral devices. They also communicate with the peripheral devices to support user activities.

Types of System Software:

There are different kinds of system software:

  1. Operating System

An Operating System is a collections of programs that coordination’s the internal working of a computer system. It provides us an interface to communicate with the computer. It also manages all computer Components and operations and isolates the hardware from the user. A computer cannot perform any job without operating system.

Operating System permits the computer to supervise the operations and manage the date to produce the results. It is the first software that must be installed on every computer.

  1. Utility Programs

A Utility Program allows a  user to perform an explicit task. It is normally used to resolve system maintenance activities and provide assistance in these activates. There are different types of utilities available for examples: formatting of hard disk, system backup, antivirus and file compressor.

  1. Device Drivers

A device driver is a system program that is used to turn on and manage a device such as monitor, keyboard attached to computer. Device drivers are built in programs, provided by manufactures of devices. The devices cannot work properly without driver’s utility programs. A drive topically communicates with the device to control its operations. For example device drivers for printer, mouse and keyboard are required to register their operation during working of computer system.

  • Application software

Application software is a set of computer programs used to perform user specific jobs. They allow the users to develop programs for their personal/organizational use. An application program facilitate user to manipulate text, numbers, graphics or a combination of these elements. Therefore there are varieties os application program available in market depending on the activity for which it is designed.

  • Categories of Application Software

There are thousands of application software available in market. It‘s not possible to categorize all application software; however some commonly known application software includes the following

  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Database Software
  • Graphics and Multimedia Software
  • Personal Assistance Software
  • Communication Software
  • Word Processing Software

Word Processor is an application program used for creating, editing, storing and printing personal and official documents.

Word processor became popular in 1970s and 1980 when the electric type writer was merged with a dedicated processor (like a computer processor) for the editing of text. Since then different companies are developing Word Processor with new and enhanced features.

  • How Software Works (Installation and Un-installation):

Installation of a computer program is the method of making a program ready for execution and use. The process varies for each program computer, and the operating system. There is a program called installer which comes with every software. The installer is responsible for doing whatever is needed for their installation. When software is installed on a personal computer; a series of functions are performed before and behind the screen.

  • Commons measures performed during software installations include:
  1. Study the features of different software versions and select the appropriate on as per your requirement.
  2. Make sure that system requirements are available.
  3. Install only the licensed copy of the software.
  • Install a New Software Program:

If your are installing software downloaded from the Internet, you simply download from the Internet, you simply download the installed and it starts working. If software is burnt on a CD-ROM , installer will run automatically when the CD is inserted into CD-ROM.

The exact procedure may vary from one program to other. However the setup.exe is a file which is provided with the installation package of most of the application software. When the user double clicks the setup.exe, the installer first unzips the files to a location in a temporary directory.

Next a license agreement comes up which urges upon the user either to agree or disagree, here user agree to move forward. Next the installer prompts the user for location of the program. The user gives the appropriate location and the process moves forward.

Now the Installer can copy the relevant program files to the target location in the destination directory provided by the user. An application is generally made up of many individual files. Most of the files are stores in the application’s destination directory. The installer continues the installation in the destination file till the completion of process.

The Windows Registry is a hierarchical database that stores settings and preferences for software and hardware. It contains configuration information about low-level operation system components and application running on the platform. The recently installed program also stores settings information in the Registry. The software installer updates the information of system registry by adding information about new program and set default settings fo e the application. Please do not try to modify the registry at your own without any technical assistance.

Many Installers provide shortcuts at the Desktop or Start Menu to invoke the installed program. After completing the installation, it deletes all the files which were created temporarily. Finally, a message is displayed that the program has been installed and the new software is ready to use.

  • Uninstall a Program:

If a user wants to remove a program, it needs to uninstalled from the PC some program provide an uninstall link or icon in the application directory, However in Windows XP user can uninstall a program by using Add or Remove option available in the control panel.

The user clicks on the control Panel and selects add/Remove programs. A panel appears comprising of installed program. The user selects the required program and clicks the remove button the uninstaller eliminated the program files along with the folder that it created and also removes relevant entries in the system registry.

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