You are on page 1of 3

Software

The software is the information that the computer uses to get the job done. Software needs to
be accessed before it can be used. There are many terms used for process of accessing
software including running, executing, starting up, opening, and others.

Computer programs allow users to complete tasks. A program can also be referred to as an
application and the two words are used interchangeably.

Examples of software programs or applications would be the Operating System (DOS,
Windows 9x/Millenium/XP/Vista, O/S2, UNIX, MacOS 9.x/10.x and various others),
Wordprocessor (typing letters), Spreadsheet (financial info), Database (inventory control and
address book), Graphics program, Internet Browser, Email and many others.

Operating Systems

All computers need some sort of Operating System (OS). The majority of modern home
computers use some form of Microsoft's operating systems. The original Microsoft operating
system was called DOS (Disk Operating System) though most computers use Windows.
Windows comes in various versions beginning with version 3.x then 95, 98, ME and
currently XP. A few computers use IBM's O/S2. Apple's Mac use their own operating system
beginning with OS 1 though most modern Macs use version 8.x or 9.x. Apple's latest version
is OS 10.1.x. In the past large companies and institutions would have an operating system
design exclusively for them but as the commercial operating systems become more
sophisticated the benefits of this practice is becoming less apparent. Some computer
professionals, Internet Service Providers (ISP) and mainframe computer users use an
operating system such as UNIX (or a variant such as Linux), Windows NT or 2000 (Win2k)
or one of the other network or server based operating systems.

Hardware

The hardware are the parts of computer itself including the Central Processing Unit (CPU)
and related microchips and micro-circuitry, keyboards, monitors, case and drives (hard, CD,
DVD, floppy, optical, tape, etc...). Other extra parts called peripheral components or devices
include mouse, printers, modems, scanners, digital cameras and cards (sound, colour, video)
etc... Together they are often referred to as a personal computer.

Central Processing Unit - Though the term relates to a specific chip or the processor a CPU's
performance is determined by the rest of the computer's circuitry and chips.

Currently the Pentium chip or processor, made by Intel, is the most common CPU though
there are many other companies that produce processors for personal computers. Examples
are the CPU made by Motorola and AMD.

2.0 The Latest Open Source Operating System

Open source is an approach to the design, development, and distribution of software, offering
practical accessibility to a software's source code. Some consider open source as one of
various possible design approaches, while others consider it a critical strategic element of
their operations. Before open source became widely adopted, developers and producers used
a variety of phrases to describe the concept; the term open source gained popularity with the
rise of the Internet, which provided access to diverse production models, communication
paths, and interactive communities.

Software development costs in organizations have been touted as being approximately 15%
of total costs. This indicates that the value of one over another development methodology is
more of a marketing decision (which customers and pricing models) as much as it is about the
design of software.

The open source model of operation and decision making allows concurrent input of different
agendas, approaches and priorities, and differs from the more closed, centralized models of
development.[1] The principles and practices are commonly applied to the peer production
development of source code for software that is made available for public collaboration. The
result of this peer-based collaboration is usually released as open-source software, however
open source methods are increasingly being applied in other fields of endeavor, such as
biotechnology.

Example of open source operating systems

Microsoft Windows Vista is the latest Windows operating system

Microsoft Windows is a family of proprietary operating systems that originated as an add-on
to the older MS-DOS operating system for the IBM PC. Modern versions are based on the
newer Windows NT kernel that was originally intended for OS/2. Windows runs on x86,
x86-64 and Itanium processors. Earlier versions also ran on the DEC Alpha, MIPS, Fairchild
(later Intergraph) Clipper and PowerPC architectures (some work was done to port it to the
SPARC architecture).

As of June 2008, Microsoft Windows holds a large amount of the worldwide desktop market
share. Windows is also used on servers, supporting applications such as web servers and
database servers. In recent years, Microsoft has spent significant marketing and research &
development money to demonstrate that Windows is capable of running any enterprise
application, which has resulted in consistent price/performance records (see the TPC) and
significant acceptance in the enterprise market.

The most widely used version of the Microsoft Windows family is Windows XP, released on
October 25, 2001.

In November 2006, after more than five years of development work, Microsoft released
Windows Vista, a major new operating system version of Microsoft Windows family which
contains a large number of new features and architectural changes. Chief amongst these are a
new user interface and visual style called Windows Aero, a number of new security features
such as User Account Control, and a few new multimedia applications such as Windows
DVD Maker. A server variant based on the same kernel, Windows Server 2008, was released
in early 2008.

Windows 7 is currently under development; Microsoft has stated that it intends to scope its
development to a three-year timeline, placing its release sometime around January 2010.
Unix and Unix-like operating systems

Debian is a unix-like system

Ken Thompson wrote B, mainly based on BCPL, which he used to write Unix, based on his
experience in the MULTICS project. B was replaced by C, and Unix developed into a large,
complex family of inter-related operating systems which have been influential in every
modern operating system (see History). The Unix-like family is a diverse group of operating
systems, with several major sub-categories including System V, BSD, and Linux. The name
"UNIX" is a trademark of The Open Group which licenses it for use with any operating
system that has been shown to conform to their definitions. "Unix-like" is commonly used to
refer to the large set of operating systems which resemble the original Unix.

Unix-like systems run on a wide variety of machine architectures. They are used heavily for
servers in business, as well as workstations in academic and engineering environments. Free
software Unix variants, such as GNU, Linux and BSD, are popular in these areas.

Some Unix variants like HP's HP-UX and IBM's AIX are designed to run only on that
vendor's hardware. Others, such as Solaris, can run on multiple types of hardware, including
x86 servers and PCs. Apple's Mac OS X, a hybrid kernel-based BSD variant derived from
NeXTSTEP, Mach, and FreeBSD, has replaced Apple's earlier (non-Unix) Mac OS.

Unix interoperability was sought by establishing the POSIX standard. The POSIX standard
can be applied to any operating system, although it was originally created for various Unix
variants.