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Revision Notes HSC Paper 1 - 2013

Hardware: It is the physical electronic and electrical components that make up the computer system.
Software: It is a set of instructions that make the computer hardware usable.
Input Device: It is a peripheral device that transmits data from the user to the computer processor
Output Device: It is a peripheral device that conveys result of processing from computer processor to
user.
Storage Device: It is peripheral device that allows data storage outside the processor. It stores data that
are needed for future use
Operating system software: It is a program, or set of programs, which control the operation of the
computer system. They are responsible for the way that the pieces of hardware communicate with each
other and for monitoring the way that the hardware of the system is used.
Applications Software: It is a program, or set of instructions, designed to make the computer carry out
some task. It differs from system software in that it makes the computer do something that is useful for
the user.
Generic/general purpose applications software: It comprises programs that can be used for many tasks,
such as a word processor, spreadsheet software and database software.
Integrated package: It consists of several parts, each of which is an application software. Further, the
integrated package is designed so that users can easily move data between the different parts of the
integrated application software.
Utility Software: They are additional routines that can be added to an operating system or that are
available to the user within an operating system.
Examples of Utility Software
Disk formatting software prepares a disk for use by the operating system.
File handling software enables the user to move, copy and delete files.
Hardware drivers enable successful communication between devices and the operating system.
File compression software allows data to be stored in a smaller amount of storage space.
Virus-checking software monitors input and stored data to ensure that it does not contain
malicious software.
Types of Operating System
Batch operating system: It an OS that does not allow for interaction between the user and the
processor during the execution of the work. Lots of programs that need to be run are collected
together (to form a batch) and they are sent to the computer. The batch operating system then
controls their passage through the computer.
Revision Notes HSC Paper 1 - 2013
Real-time operating system: reacts quickly enough to affect the next input or process that
needs to be carried out. It operates a continuous cycle of inputprocessingoutput.
Single-user operating system enables only one user at a time to access the system.
Multi-user operating system enables more than one user to access the system at the same time
Multi-tasking operating system gives the user the impression that they can carry out more than
one task at the same time.
Network operating system links a number of computers together and enables them to share
peripherals
Applications that require batch processing include:
payroll
bank statements
utility bills
Applications that require a real-time response include:
industrial control systems
robots
ticket-booking systems
User Interface
Form-based user interface provides boxes into which the user can type data. It provides the
user with help (on-screen prompts and validation) in completing the data.
Menu-based user interface provides the user with a set of options that restrict the available
information. An information system for tourists and on-screen menus for digital television are
easy for users to operate.
Graphical user interface (GUI) provides windows, icons, menus and a pointer to enable the user
to interact with the computer in complex ways.
Natural language user interface enables the user to use a natural language (such as English) to
interact with the computer. It may be spoken or typed input.
Command line user interface requires the user to type commands to give specific instructions
to the computer. It enables a technician to get close to the workings of the computer
Backing up
Backing up is the process of making a copy of the data in the file, so that if the disk is destroyed, data
can be recovered.
Archiving data
Archiving data means storing data that is no longer needed (but may be needed in the future) onto long
term storage medium and stored away in case it is needed.
Revision Notes HSC Paper 1 - 2013





Character set: It is a set of symbols that are recognized /used by the computer. It often equates to the
symbols on the keyboard.
Explain how a character is represented in a computer.
Each character is represented by a set of bits that is unique to that character. ASCII and Unicode are
common character sets.

Buffer
A buffer is a small amount of fast memory outside the processor that allows the processor to get on with
other work instead of being held up by the secondary device.
Interrupt
An interrupt is the message which the secondary device can send to the processor which tells the
processor that all the data in the buffer has been used up and that it wants some more.