System Software Ashley Lanning California State University, Fresno Fall, 2005 Computer Literacy In:
2 Contents System Software Operating Systems Utilities Device Drivers Language Translators O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
3 System Software Definition(s): 1. “System software is a generic term referring to any computer software whose purpose it is to help run the computer system. Most of it is responsible directly for controlling, integrating, and managing the the individual components of a computer system.” (Wikipedia, 2005) 2. “System software works with end users, application software, and computer hardware to handle the majority of technical details.” (O’Leary, 2006) System software is responsible for such processes as: – Loading and running programs –Routine maintenance –Transferring data (saving data from a word program to your folders or files) –As well as countless other applications that go on behind the scenes O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
4 The Four Types of System Software are: 1. Operating Systems 2. Utilities (a.k.a. Service Programs) 3. Device Drivers 4. Language Translators System software is not a single program, but instead a group of programs that handle the technical details of your computer. Learning how system software operates will provide you with the necessary information towards becoming an effective and skilled end user. O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
5 Operating Systems Definition: “An operating system is a collection of programs that handle many of the technical details related to using the computer.” –i.e. Windows, Mac OS, and Linux OS’s often referred to as Software Environment or Platform Proprietary OS’s: owned & licensed by a corporation. Nonproprietary OS’s: provided to outside individuals (Open Source) - encouraged to modify systems. Functions 1. Managing Resources: coordinate resources (memory, storage, devices - printers); monitor performance; schedule jobs; provide security; & start up the computer. 2. Providing User Interface: end users interact with applications & hardware through user interface; old - written; new - graphical user interface (GUI). 3. Running Applications: load & run applications (i.e. Microsoft word). - Multitasking: foreground v. background O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
6 Features –Booting: warm vs. cold –Desktop: icons; pointer; windows; menus; dialogue boxes; help; files; folders Categories of Operating Systems –Embedded OS: handheld computers (PDA’s); operating system is embedded within the device on ROM or memory chips. –Network OS: used to control and coordinate computers that are networked or linked together; network server. –Stand-Alone OS: (aka Desktop OS) control a single desktop or notebook computer; OS is located on hard disk. O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
7 Mac OS –First introduced in 1984 –One of the 1 st GUI’s, making it easy even for a novice –Designed to run with Apple –Not as widely used; not as many application programs –Considered to be one of the innovative operating systems –Popular with professional graphics artists –Latest Release: Mac OS X; uses an interface called Aqua –Focuses on photo-quality icons and easy-to-use menus Windows –Most popular microcomputer operating system –Over 90% of the market –More application software made for this operating system than any other –Latest Release: Windows XP; uses an interface called Luna –Focuses on functions rather than programs (buttons labeled email rather than Microsoft Outbox) Unix and Linux –Originally made for microcomputers to run in network environments; now used for powerful microcomputers –Linux is a popular recent version; alternative to Windows –Open source software: free and available from many internet sources –Others are encouraged to modify and further develop the operating code O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
8 Utilities Definition: “Utilities are specialized programs designed to make computing easier.” Most Essential Utilities on Your Computer Are: –Troubleshooting/Diagnostic: recognize & correct problems –Antivirus: guard your computer against viruses & other damaging programs –Uninstall: allows safe & complete removal of unneeded programs & files –Backup: make copies of files in case originals are lost –File Compression: reduce the size of files to open more storage space O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
9 Windows Utilities –Backup: included with most versions of Windows; protects you from the effects of disk failure –Disk Cleanup: trouble-shooting utility that finds and deletes nonessential files. This clears up needed disk space and improves the systems performance –Disk Storage: files are stored on a disks’ tracks & sectors Tracks are the concentric rings on a disk, these rings are divided by wedge-shaped sections called Sectors Your system tries to save each file on a single track, when this is not possible the file is broken or Fragmented into smaller pieces and placed where space is available –After a while the disk becomes too fragmented, this slows performance and your Disk Defragmenter utility is needed This utility finds and deletes unneeded fragments, it then rearranges files and space for optimal performance O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
10 Utility Suites: combine several programs into a single package –Less expensive –Provide a variety of utilities –Norton Anti-Virus is one of the most widely used suites Norton Anti-Virus Suite –Collection of anti-virus programs that protect your computer from over 21,000 different viruses –Norton CleanSweep: guide you through the process of safely removing programs, etc –Web CleanUp: check your computer for unneeded files –Connection Keep Alive: prevents dial-up from timing out –GoBack Personal Edition: restores system configurations –Norton Utilities: fix problems, improve performance, etc. One Button Checkup: correlates several separate troubleshooting programs O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill.
11 Device Drivers Definition: “a device driver or simply a driver, works with the operating system to allow communication between the device and the rest of the computer system.” –Mouse, Keyboard, Printer, Webcam, etc. O’Leary, T.J.& L.I. O’Leary. (2006) Computing Essentials. Boston: McGraw Hill. All device drivers are uploaded upon every startup A new device driver must be installed before any device can be used Windows provides assistance called wizards –Add Printer Wizard: step-by-step guidance for selecting the appropriate printer driver and installing that driver If your computer is acting unpredictably you might try reinstalling or updating your device drivers to solve the problem –Windows Update
12 Language Definition: “language translators convert the programming instructions written by programmers into a language that computers understand and process.” Every program has it’s own translator that uses codes to tell it how to function Websites, Application Programs, etc Translators
13 Review The 4 types of systems software are: –Operating systems –Utilities –Device drivers –Language translators The 3 functions of an operating system are: –Managing resources –Providing User Interface –Running Applications Utilities help maintain your systems performance and make operating easier. Device drivers are programs that act as a communicator between the device and the computer. Language translators explain code to computers that programmers use to create programs.