Our computer system performs according to the types of software installed in it. Software is a collection of instructions or programs that enable users to interact with the computer and have the computer perform specific tasks for them. Without software, the computer would be useless.
For example, without your internet browser software, you would be unable to browse the Internet, and without a software called an operating system, the browser would not be able to run on your computer.
Everything that runs on a computer from an operating system to a diagnostic tool, games, applications, etc. can be defined as software. Even the malware that is intentionally developed to damage computers and/or disrupt other software is also defined as software.
Types of software
Computer software is classified into two main categories: System software and Application software
System software is a set of programs that control the operations of a computer and devices attached to the computer. It creates links between the user and the computer as well as controls the execution of application programs.
Types of system software
- Operating system
- Device Driver
- Utility software
- Language Translator
What is Operating system?
An operating system is a set of programs that control and supervises a computer system and provides services to computer users. Operating system software controls the overall activities of the computer. It acts as an interface between a user, program, and the hardware.
Example: Ms-DOS, Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/8/10, LINUX, Mac OSX, UNIX, etc.
Some basic functions of operating system are
- Recognize input from the input devices.
- Send output to the output devices.
- Provide a platform to run other software.
- Management of files and directories.
- Security and backup
- Acts as an interface between user and computer.
What is Device driver?
It is system software that is responsible to operate or control a particular type of device. Drivers are hardware-dependent and operating-system-specific.
Nowadays, most of the devices are plug-and-play. Examples are keyboard, mouse, pen drive, and monitor.
However, we can install it manually as well. Some devices like printers, LAN Card, Video Graphics Adapters, wireless devices need to be installing before the device can be used.
What is Utility software?
Utility software is a computer software program, which helps the users to manage files and folders, Check and remove viruses, develop programs, fix errors on the disk, etc. These are also the software tools that help users while preparing programs.
Examples: Tune-up utilities, disk clean up, Antivirus software, etc.
Language translators and its types
Language translators are software programming tools that convert one type of code into another. They translate a high-level programming language into machine code that the central processing unit (CPU) can comprehend & vice-versa.
What are compilers, interpreters, and assemblers?
Compilers > In a single session, compilers convert high-level language code to machine (object) code. Compilers take a long time to run because they must translate high-level code into lower-level machine language all at once and then save the executable object code to memory.
Interpreters > An interpreter, like a compiler, translates code but reads it and instantly executes it, making it initially faster than a compiler. As a result, interpreters are frequently employed as debugging tools in software development tools since they can execute a single line of code at a time.
Assembler > An assembler is a program that converts assembly language code into machine code. It functions as a compiler for the assembly language, but it can also be used interactively like an interpreter. Remember, assembly language is a low-level language.
What is Application software and what are its types?
The software used for special propose written in a specific language is known as Application software. Users use application software for different purposes like designing, printing, data processing, calculation, entertainment, etc.
Application software is divided into two types:
> Packaged software (General purpose software)
The software that is developed in a packaged form for sale to the general public is called packaged software. Packaged software is used to solve some common problems of many people or users. The ready packages are available in the market on CDs or DVDs for various purposes.
Some examples of packaged software are Word processors such as MS-word, Spreadsheet such as MS Excel, Database software such as MS-Access, Communication software such as Google Chrome, etc.
> Tailored or Customized software
The specific propose software is used to perform the specific tasks. They are specially developed on the demand of clients.
Accounting(SAGE), Multimedia, Computer-Aided Design, Supermarket Billing, mark sheet preparation, etc. are some examples of specific purpose software.