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Software Answers
The OCR Specification says that you should be able to:
Operating Systems

explain the need for the following functions of an operating
system: user interface, memory management, peripheral management,
multi-tasking and security

Utility Programmes

describe the purpose and use of common utility programs for
computer security (antivirus, spyware protection and firewalls), disk
organisation (formatting, file transfer, and defragmentation), and system
maintenance (system information and diagnosis, system cleanup tools,
automatic updating)

Application Software

discuss the relative merits of custom written, off the shelf, open
source and proprietary software

Past Paper Exam questions
Jan 2011
1. Karen wants to use handheld computers to take customers’ orders in her
restaurant. She is thinking of using custom written, open source software.
(a) State what is meant by custom written software.
Software that is created especially for a user/the restaurant (“for a specific
purpose” will not be accepted unless you indicate that there is a user who
determines the purpose.)
(b) State two reasons why Karen may decide to use custom written software.
Two from:

Appropriate software may not exist
Existing software may not do exactly what restaurant wants
Existing software may not be compatible with restaurant’s hardware
Existing software may contain additional features
(more complex and expensive)

Points to be made include: • Open source – licence-free..(c) Discuss the implications of creating open source software for the restaurant. Financial implications include: no need to pay for license. the restaurant will make the software and its source code available for others to use/improve. collaboration BUT restaurant is a business trying to make a profit. by sharing processor time / resources between the programs Enables the user to be more productive .free sharing. The quality of written communication will be assessed in your answer to this question. (a) Antivirus      Scans the computer periodically To check if any software has been installed which contains code that may harm the computer Removes/quarantines these programs / notifies the user Prevents these programs from being installed Protects the computer by preventing important files (eg the boot sector or operating system) from being changed [2] (b) Disk defragmenter   Moves (parts of) of files around so that all parts of a file are stored together (allowing files to be accessed more quickly) Free space is collected together (allowing large files to be saved easily) [2] Jan 2012 3. with no guarantees. (a) Explain one reason why multi-tasking is needed in an operating system. o Ethical implications include: Open source encourages “open culture” values . [6] June 2011 2.. can reuse/adapt free open source software which is similar BUT loss of development costs/software will be available to competitors • Quality implications include: large community of open source developers can see and comment on code or can be consulted/ software has to conform to certain standards to be released under public licence BUT open source code is used as is.    Allows more than one program to run (apparently) at the same time . One of the functions of an operating system is multi-tasking. Describe the following types of common utility programs.

Can produce up to date reports of absence • Virtual learning environment. Can allow pupils to register themselves.       Providing a user interface Providing a platform for applications Memory management File/disk management Peripheral management / providing a platform for hardware Security [2] 4.. For example: • Swipe card / Smart card technology / RFID cards. . Good example of a situation where multitasking is required (eg cut from browser and paste in word processor) o (1 mark for valid point & 1 for expansion) [2] (b) State two other functions of an operating system. punctuality and homework of its pupils (a) Describe two ways in which modern computer technology can help the school monitor the pupils. • More (third party) support / documentation [2] (ii) State two disadvantages of off-the-shelf software • May contain features which the school does not need • May not contain features which the school needs . Immediately updated. Whether homework is completed is recorded on line. A school uses a computer system to monitor the attendance. Can send messages (eg via email / SMS to parents) to inform of absence.. Can allow pupils to be located • Electronic registers/ centralised attendance database. (i) State two advantages of off-the-shelf software • Available now / the school will not have to wait • Recommendations available / can see it working in other schools • Tried and tested / less likely to contain bugs (given how critical the application is) • Costs less than custom-written / as the school does not pay for the full cost of development. Parents can be given access to this information [4] (b) The school has decided to use off-the-shelf software. Homework set is recorded online.

      Provides interfaces between user and computer/Determines look and feel of the computer Provides a platform for software to run Manages peripherals used by the system Manages memory. (a) State two functions of the operating system. Amin buys a new computer with an operating system and some utilities. Tick one box in each row to show whether the utility is used for security or disk organisation. . Describe how the following system maintenance utilities are used. File/disk management Security [2] (b) The table below shows some of the utilities in Amin’s computer.• May not be compatible with school’s hardware • May not be compatible with school’s processes • Developer not available to make adjustments necessary [2] June 2012 5. System cleanup    (Searches for and) deletes files/programs which are no longer used … eg deletes temporary files / installation files … deletes settings / registry values which are no longer used [2] Automatic update   Checks on the (software manufacturer's site on the) Internet for newer versions of programs which are installed If found it download / installs the software [2] Jan 2013 6.

[4] (b) Some of the software in Amin’s computer is open source. Describe what is meant by open source software.    The source code is distributed with the software The customer can modify the source code The customer can redistribute the source code (with the same licence/restrictions) [2] .