Module 1 Introduction to Information and Communication


Lesson 4

What are the Software Components of ComputersRationale

A computer system is generally composed of hardware and software.
Hardware comprises the physical components. Software comprises the set of instructions for the
computer. Without software, the computer will not be able to perform the tasks that you would like
it to do.


■ What is software?
■ What are the two kinds of software?
■ What is programming?
■ What are viruses and how do you deal with them?
■ How do computers respond to different character sets?
What are some general trends in software development?
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:
■ Define the function of software in a computer system
■ Distinguish between an operating system and an application system


library management. Operating System An organized collection of system programs which serves as the interface between the user or application and the computer. Unix.■ List different types of operating systems and application software ■ Define what are programming languages ■ Identify and avoid computer viruses ■ Compare different character sets ■ Identify general trends in software development What are the Types of Software? There are two sets of instructions that a computer must follow: ■ General instructions: Systems software or operating system such as DOS. . It manages the hardware resources: o CPU management to facilitate sharing execution time of processes o Memory management to allocate memory resources dynamically o I/O management to handle reading and writing devices Disk Operating Systems (DOS) ■ Disk Operating System (DOS) is a generic term describing any operating system that is loaded from disk devices when the system is started or rebooted. Windows. . and Mac OS ■ Specific instructions: Application software for word processing. spreadsheets. etc.

o Data Compression Software o Disk Management Tools o Anti-Virus Software . Utilities are used to support other software.x) that allows multitasking or the ability to run several programs at the same time. such as operating systems and applications. Very few end users use DOS nowadays. . Here is an overview of the different categories of utilities. Other Operating Systems IBM OS/2 Macintosh OS UNIX and its different flavors-SCO Unix Linux and its different flavors (Open source OS) Other proprietary OS Utilities The second classification of system software falls under utility software.■ It is not a user friendly OS since users need to memorize commands and use them by typing line by line. Microsoft Windows ■ A graphical user interface (GUI) originally running on DOS (Windows 3. ■ The most common versions in use are Windows 2000 and Windows XP. This known as a command line interface.

Millenium o Accounting Software o Engineering Applications o Architectural Applications . Library Solutions. The type of software depends on the application ■ General purpose office software ■ Business management software ■ Special discipline software ■ Other applications General Purpose Office Software ■ Word processing --MS Word. Examples are: o Library management software--Athena.Applications Software A set of instructions designed to perform a specific task. . Open Office ■ Spreadsheets-Excel ■ Database management systems--MS Access. AdobePhotoshop What Is Special Purpose Software? ■ Software that is used for specific applications is called special purpose software. Oracle ■ Presentation—PowerPoint ■ Desktop Publishing—Adobe PageMaker ■ Graphics/Imaging—Corel Draw.

.o Statistical Packages .

Library Management Software Single function: Handles only one library operation such as cataloging or OPAC Integrated:Can perform all or many operations using data from a single database UNESCO EIPICT MODULE 1. LESSON 4 14 .

often damaging data and sometimes the whole system in the process. Trojan Horse ■ From other causes o Back-up data o Use firewall How are Programs Written? UNESCO EIPICT MODULE 1. May be downloaded and used free of charge subject to conditions imposed by the developers.Open Source Software ■ Open source software abounds on the Internet. How do you protect your Computer and your Data? ■ From a Virus. Examples are: o LINUX o Open Office o phpMylibrary o Greenstone What is a Computer Virus? Generally a computer virus is defined as a program or a code that gains access without the users' knowledge and/or performs actions not intended by the user. Some security experts define viruses separately from worms. LESSON 4 15 . Worm. and Trojan horses.

LESSON 4 15 . However.Programming languages are used to write programs. a thorough systems analysis must be conducted. before programs can be written. UNESCO EIPICT MODULE 1.

■ More user friendly ■ Bigger in size because of more sophistication ■ More customized ■ More Web-enabled ■ More open source software . Different scripts use different character sets.What are some Trends and Issues in Software Development? ■ Language ■ Computers use character sets stored in binary codes.