These are Software packages which allow the user to solve a range of problems.
Examples of GPPs Word processing Graphics Spreadsheet Database Presentation and multimedia Web page creation Desktop publishing Expert systems
Advantages of GPPs Can edit documents easily Data can be kept up to date Can produce better quality work Can increase productivity
Common Features of GPPs Open or run the application Create, save, open and print files Insert, amend and delete data Change appearance of text Change Styles e.g. Bold underline italics Change Font e.g. Comic Sans, Arial, Verdana Change Size e.g. 12 point, 20 point etc Move and copy data Use headers and footers Print part of a document
Word Processor These are programs which give the user a variety of text handling functions.
Entering Text Text is entered at the keyboard. Optical Character Recognition software can be used with a scanner. Voice recognition software can be used with a microphone. Tablet with handwriting recognition. Wordwrap automatically takes a new line when required
Proof Reading Tools to help the user find and correct errors Spell checker Checks against built in Dictionary Marks possible spelling mistakes Give suggestions for correct spelling User decides whether to change spelling Grammar Checker Search and Replace Used to change a word throughout a document Global – changes all words automatically Selective – user decides for each change
Alignment of Text Right aligned Left aligned Centered Justified
Page Formatting Page size can be altered Page layout can be portrait or landscape Margins can be altered Page breaks can be inserted
Documents Standard paragraphs can be saved and used to make up different individual documents. Standard letters can be used with data files. They use mail merge to send the same personalised letter to lots of people. Text can be imported and exported to other programs to save retyping. Templates can be used to provide the structure of a document without having to set it up each time.
Printing Printed output is called a hardcopy A Printer driver is a special piece of software which makes sure that the printer is able to print the text correctly. Each different printer needs its own specially written printer driver.
Spreadsheet Spreadsheets are used mainly for tasks involving numbers and calculations.
Structure Each location is called a cell Each cell has a cell reference A horizontal set of cells is a row Rows are numbered from 1 upwards A vertical set of cells is a column Columns have the letters A, B, C, …
Data Values – are numbers Labels – are text Formulae –perform calculations
Editing Column width can be altered Row height can be altered Insert / Delete column Insert / Delete row Alter cell attributes or format decimal places currency date
Formula Standard arithmetic can be used = A4 + B4 + C4 = G6 * F6 Built in functions can be used =SUM(B4:B14) =AVERAGE(H3:H16) =MAX(A1:A20) =MIN(C2:K2) IF conditions are used when two results are possible =IF(G6>100, G6*10%,0) =IF(K5<50,”Fail”,”Pass”)
Cell Protection Cell protection can be used to prevent formula and values being changed accidentally.
Replication This is copying the contents of a cell to another cell. Replicating a relative cell reference adjusts the cell references to suit the new position. Absolute cell references never change when replicated or moved.
Charts Charts are used to help the user to understand the data at a glance Bar Charts Pie charts Line graphs Charts should be labeled Title X axis Y axis
Database This type of software is used for storing and organising related data.
Structure A File is a collection of records e.g. File of pupil data Records hold the data on one person or object in the file e.g. data on one pupil A Field stores one piece of data e.g. Name of pupil
Computed Fields These are fields which get their value from a calculation involving other fields in the database.
Alter Record Format Add or delete record Add or delete field Alter field type
Viewing Data List / Table view shows all the records in one continuous table Form view shows one record at a time
Report Reports allow the user to specify exactly what is to be printed choose which fields choose the order choose which fonts etc choose layout
Searching A search involves picking out certain records from the file. Also known as filter or a query A simple search uses one field A complex search uses more than one field AND and OR is used to combine searches
Sorting Putting the records into order Simple sort on one field Complex sort on more than one field Ascending / Descending order
Human Computer Interface The HCI is used to interact and communicate with the computer.
Graphical User Interface A Graphical User Interface uses pictures to control the computers actions. Most computers nowadays have a GUI and are easy to learn to use. GUIs are user friendly.
WIMP Windows Icons Menus Pointers Window : displays items. Icon : picture to represent software or hardware. Menu : list of available choices Pointer : used to make selection
Toolbars A series of icons which can be selected. These are usually the most commonly used functions of the program.
On-line Help This is help to solve a specific problem. It is available within the package. It provides help while working.
On-line Tutorial This teaches the user how to use the program. It gives step by step examples and exercises. It is best used when learning to use a new package.
Customising the HCI Making changes to the HCI Change desktop colour or wallpaper. Change size of icons. Change speed of pointer movement. Change sound effects.
Template These are like skeletons of documents. The format is already setup. Templates save time. Templates improve consistency.
Wizard This is a guide through a complicated task. The wizard asks questions then sets up the document to the users requirements.
Keyboard Shortcuts These save time for proficient users. Ctrl S will save the current document Ctrl P will print the current document Ctrl N will create a new blank document
Integrated Packages This type of package has several GPPs in the one package. There is a common HCI. It is easier to learn to use all the different sections. Cheaper than buying several separate GPPs. Transferring data between sections is simple.
Suite of Packages These are collections of applications from the same software company. The packages have a similar HCI. Transfer of data between packages is easy. They offer more features than integrated packages. Use up more disc space. Cost more than integrated packages.
Linking Files Dynamic Linkage : data changes in one file are automatically updated in the linked file. Static Linkage : data changes in one file do not update in the linked files.
Graphics Graphics packages are designed to create, edit and view pictures on a computer.
Types of Graphics Packages Draw Produce objects on the screen Paint Bitmapped graphics, uses pixels.
Graphics A set of tools are usually available Draw, text, select, fill, circle, line, rectangle, eraser, etc.
Alter Tool Attributes Most tools can have their attributes changed colour line thickness fill
Graphics Scaling – changes the size Rotating – turns graphic by degrees Cropping – cuts sides off graphic Zooming – gives a close up view
Graphics Resolution High resolution : large number of small pixels better quality image. Low resolution : small number of large pixels poorly defined image.
Animation Moving graphics. Actually a series of graphics played in succession to give the appearance of motion. Video - a series of photographic images played in rapid succession.
Animation Early animators had to draw these individual images by hand. Thousands were needed to create a very short animation.
Animation Computer animation software can help to take a lot of the work out of animating and make the task considerably easier. The software can fill in the gaps between drawings we have created. This process is called tweening or morphing.
Animation The Toy Story Movie was the first to be created entirely using computer animation software.
Text File Types ASCII Stores information about the characters in the document only. Can be read any computer and software. Plain Text Similar to ASCII but does store the return code for paragraph breaks. Rich Text Format Stores information about the text and paragraphing, indentation, styles, fonts and sizes.
Graphics File Types wmf – vector graphics bmp – bitmapped graphics gif jpeg – compressed graphics avi - video mpeg – compressed video
Audio File Types MIDI Stores instructions that tell the computer how to create musical notes. Eg pitch, duration. Digital Audio Stores samples of sound waves that have been changed into binary numbers. MP3 Audio files are often compressed to make them smaller.
Desk Top Publishing This type of software is used when producing documents with complex layouts and a combination of text and graphics. DTP packages are used for creating magazines, books, leaflets and other types of documents.
Desk Top Publishing DTP packages have many tools to help the user position text and graphics precisely in complicated layouts. The text is usually prepared in a wordprocessor then imported into the DTP package. The graphics are prepared in a graphics package then inserted into the DTP package.
Multimedia Presentation This type of software allows the use of text, graphics, sound, animation and video. Using different types of data like this is called multimedia. Multimedia presentations can be simple slide shows in a set sequence. interactive where the user chooses what to see by clicking on links to other slides.
Multimedia Presentation Text, graphics, sound and video can be imported from files. Some packages will allow direct capture of audio using a microphone.
Web Design World Wide Web pages can be created easily using this type of software.
Web Design Web pages are created in Hypertext Markup Language. HTML Web design packages allow the user to create web pages without learning HTML.
Web Design Hypertext links can be used to link to other related web pages. Hotspots can also be set as links. Tables are very useful for lining up text and graphics on a web page.
Expert Systems This type of software is used to simulate the knowledge of a human expert. An expert system helps the user make decisions by asking questions and then giving advice. Expert systems are able to explain how they arrived at their conclusions.
GPPs in the Workplace Jobs may be lost due to the introduction of computer systems and the use of GPPs. This is because many tasks can be done with fewer people. Jobs may change to fit in with the new computer systems.
GPPs in the Workplace Staff will need training to use the new systems and software Training is expensive but the business will be more efficient and productive which will save money in the long term
GPPs in the Workplace Paper use should decrease as companies store information on hard discs, CDs and DVDs and USB flash drives. Less storage space is required. The frequent use of mail merge and easy access to printers does tend to increase the use of paper, however.
Initial Costs - essential Cost of the computer hardware Cost of the applications packages Installation costs eg network cabling, power sockets Training costs for staff Redundancy payments
Replacement Costs - optional Newer more powerful computers Newer software with more features Worn out printers, scanners, monitors etc will need replacements. New technology devices as they become available
Running Costs - essential Maintenance and repair costs Printer ink and toner Printer paper Internet connections
Data Protection Act Data Protection Commissioner A government official who regulates the use of personal data Data Subject The person the data is about Data Controller The business or organisation that controls the use of the personal data Data User A person within the organisation who has access to the personal data
Data Protection Controllers Register with the Data Protection Commissioner Apply for permission to keep personal data on computers State what data they want to keep, what it will be used for and who has access to it Comply with the data protection principles
Data Protection Principles Processed only if the consent of the individual is given Be held only for registered purposes Be accurate and up to date Be relevant and not excessive Be adequate for the purpose Be processed in accordance with subject rights Be surrounded by proper security Only be transferred to countries outside the EU who have adequate security measures.
Data Subject Rights To know what is stored about them To know why the data is being processed and who will receive it Check the data and have errors rectified Ask for compensation for inaccuracies or if unauthorised people see their data
Data Protection Exemptions Subject Access rights can be denied by Police Security Forces Inland Revenue
Copyright Designs and Patents Act Software is copyright material It is illegal to make unauthorised copies run unauthorised copies
Computer Misuse Act It is illegal to Gain unauthorised access to a computer system Make unauthorised modifications to computer data Penalty : up to five years imprisonment