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Unit 4 – Software


Items In This Unit

  • What is software?
  • Software Hierarchy
  • Types of software
  • Software License Types
  • Operating Systems
  • Major Office Suites

What is Software?

  • Software is code that a computer understands to perform a useful task for the benefit of a computer user
  • The software comes in many flavours 
    • CMOS
    • OPERATING SYSTEM
    • WORD PROCESSOR
    • SPREADSHEET
    • PRESENTATION
    • DATABASE
    • WEBSITE
    • GAME
    • UTILITY
  • While software can be stored on a variety of storage devices it still needs a computer/CPU in order to run.

Software Hierarchy

Not all software programs are made equal. Some software programs need other software programs in order to run. The following depics the software hierarchy. 

When observing the above diagram you can see that the Operating System, in order to work, required CMOS and Firmware programs that store basic computer information about various computer parts including the motherboard, CPU, memory and more. On the other hand, a video game needs an operating system in order to run. 


Software Licence Types

Software licence types tell you how you can use a particular program.  The following table provides a comparison between various printer types.       

Public Domain

Permissive

LGPL

Copyleft

Proprietary

• The most permissive software license with which you can modify and use software without restrictions

• Also known as Apache or BSD type of licenses

• The most popular license with minimal requirements about how the software can be modified or redistributed.

• The GNU Lesser General Public License

• If you modify the LGPL released library or copy parts of it into your code, you’ll have to release your application under similar terms as the LGPL

• Also known as reciprocal licenses or restrictive licenses.

• Allow you to modify the licensed code and distribute new works based on it, as long as you distribute any new works or adaptations under the same software license.

• The most restrictive license type.

• Generally used for proprietary software where the work may not be modified or redistributed.


Operating Systems

  • An operating system is the core software that manages computer hardware resources while providing common services for computer programs.
  • Programmers create software programs that typically run within an operating system
  • Major current operating systems include:
    • Microsoft Windows
    • Mac OS X
    • Linux
    • ChromeOS 

Operating System Comparison

                 OS

          Metric

Microsoft Windows

Mac

OSX

Linux
OS

Cost

$189 or more

Free

Free

Market Share

85%

10%

2%

Strengths

  • Compatibility
  • Familiarity
  • Ease of use
  • Most popular

 

  • Reliable
  • Stable
  • Preferred by artists
  • Come with GarageBand software
  • Free
  • Most servers run on Linux
  • Fastest
  • Many Linux flavours for specific needs

Weaknesses

  • Not free
  • Prone to Viruses
  • Not as stable
  • Need more expansive hardware
  • More Expansive than comparable Windows PC
  • Compatibility
  • Runs on Mac hardware only

 

  • Harder to troubleshoot and fix problems
  • Not as popular outside of the developer community
  • Graphical interface not as intuitive as Windows

Major Office Suites Software Comparison

 Office Suite

Metric

Office 360

LibreOffice

OpenOffice

Google Docs

Cost

$50+/year

Free

Free

Free

Runs on

  • PC
  • Mac
  • Web Browser
  • PC
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • PC
  • Mac
  • Linux

Web Browser

Included
Programs

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • OneNote
  • Outlook
  • Access
  • Publisher
  • SharePoint
  • Writer
  • Calc
  • Impress
  • Draw
  • Base
  • Math
  • Charts
  • Writer
  • Calc
  • Impress
  • Draw
  • Base
  • Math
  • Docs
  • Sheets
  • Slides
  • Forms

Unit Quiz:

Answer the following questions: 

  1. What software program can you use to create an essay for school work?
  2. What software program can you use to create a financial plan?
  3. Can you run a computer game without the operating system?

 

Previous Unit 3 – External Hardware Peripherals
Next Unit 5 – Future of Computing

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