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1.7 Systems software


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Operating system
A set of programs that controls how the user interacts with the hardware and software of a computer.
Command line interface
The user has to type in commands for the operating system
Graphical user interface
The user communicates with the operating system using windows, drop-down menus , icons and pointers (WIMP).
Antivirus software
Prevents harmful programs being installed and important files being changed. Scans and detects viruses
Disk Fragmenter
Reorganises the structure of files so that all the files are together and all the free space is together. This can help the computer run faster
Spyware detection
Searches for and removes malicious software designed to steal personla information
Firewall
Prevents unauthorised access to your computer. Blocks traffic specific IP addresses
Off-the-shelf software
Application software that is ready-made and available for sale to the general public
Bespoke/Custom written software
Software that has been written specially for a user
Open Source software
Software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone
Applications software
Performs tasks that the user wants to do such as write a letter
Systems software
Performs tasks to do with managing the computer e.g. Device Manager
OS function
Memory management - managing the running of programs
OS function
Peripheral management- managing input and output devices' communication with the CPU
OS function
Providing a user interface to allow comunication with system
OS function
Security - protecting the computer from hazards such as unauthorised access
Utility software
Systems software that provides additional functionality to the operating system to make it easier to use
System cleanup
Deletes unnecessary files and settings so other files can be acessed quicker
System information and diagnosis
Gives information about the computer hardware and usage/information to diagnose problems so issues can be fixed/improved
Advantage of off the shelf
It is available immediately
Advantage of off the shelf
Bug fixes and updates will be available regularly
Disadvantage of open source
May not want to share the new code with others
Disadvantage of open source
May not appear to be professional or user-friendly
Disadvantage of open source
Could be harder to find developers to create updates
Disadvantage of open source
may need specialist knowledge to install and develop the software
Advantage of open source
usually free to use
Advantage of open source
can modify the source code to adapt it to their needs
Advantage of open source
Constant upgrades are available
Advantage of open source
community of dedicated enthusiasts who will provide help and support
Advantage of off the shelf
Lots of people use it so there will be plenty of support and updates available
Advantage of off the shelf
Cheaper than custom written software - you don�t pay the whole development cost
Disadvantage of off the shelf
user may have to pay for features that they will never use
User Multi-tasking
User has multiple tasks open at the same time e.g. working on an essay, listening to music and chatting on a messaging system.
OS Multi-tasking
Operating system has to manage how all the tasks get processor time. The tasks all share one processor but appear to the user to be operating at the same time
Command line interface
User responds to a text prompt by typing in a command on a specified line, receives a response back from the system
Proprietary software
commercially produced by an organisation that does so to make a profit and restricts access and modification
Graphical user interface
visual way of interacting with a computer using items such as windows, icons, and menus, used by most modern operating systems.
Proprietary advantage
regular free software updates
Reasons for Custom written software
No off-the-shelf software for this job available. The off-the-shelf packages do not do exactly what is required
Custom written disadvantage
Cost more than an off-the shelf package
Custom written disadvantage
Take longer to get the software i.e. it needs to be developed
Proprietary advantage
Lots of support available as profit depends on user satisfaction
Proprietary disadvantage
Must be paid for and not necessarily meet the needs of all users
Custom written disadvantage
Less support available/will have to pay for support