Table of Contents
Beside the hardware making up the different parts of a computer, instructions are needed for it to run and do what it is supposed to do. Computer programs, which are sets of instructions, called software are needed so that computers run and execute given tasks. There are three major types of software that computers use: computer software , application software and programming software. We, here, present computer software.
Computer software, also known as simply "software," or system software refers to a set of instructions or programs that tell a computer what to do . It is the non-tangible part of a computer system, as opposed to the physical hardware. Without software, computers would be nothing more than empty shells.
There are two main types of software that help run a computer to execute a task: system software and application software . System software refers to the programs that run the computer itself, such as the operating system, device drivers, and utilities. Application software, on the other hand, refers to programs that are designed to perform specific tasks or solve particular problems.
Computer software is written in programming languages, which are used to create programs by combining a series of commands and instructions. These languages include C++, Java, Python, and many others. The software development process involves several stages, including planning, design, coding, testing, and maintenance.
Software is distributed in several ways, including as pre-installed software on new computers, as boxed or downloadable software, and as software as a service (SaaS), where the software is hosted on a remote server and accessed over the internet. SaaS (software as a service) has become increasingly popular in recent years, with examples such as Google Docs.
Software is constantly evolving, with new updates and versions released regularly to fix bugs and add new features. As technology continues to advance, so too does the complexity and capabilities of software. From basic word processing programs to advanced machine learning algorithms, software is an essential part of modern life and plays a crucial role in shaping our digital world.
Examples of Computer Software
- Operating Systems : The most important software that runs a computer is the operating system (OS). Examples of popular OSes include Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, and Linux. The OS manages the computer's resources and provides the user interface.
- Device Drivers: Device drivers are software programs that allow the computer to communicate with hardware devices such as printers, scanners, and keyboards. They provide an interface between the hardware and the operating system.
- Utilities: Utilities are software programs that perform tasks such as disk cleanup, virus scanning, and system optimization. Examples of popular utilities include CCleaner, Malwarebytes, and Norton Utilities.
Virtual Machines: Virtual machines are software programs that allow a computer to run multiple operating systems or applications simultaneously. Examples of popular virtual machine software include VMware and VirtualBox.
References and Links
Computers and New Technologies
"Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction" - by Steve McConnell - January 2000 - A comprehensive guide to software development, covering topics such as design, coding, testing, and debugging.
Linux Kernel Programming Part 2 - Char Device Drivers and Kernel Synchronization: Create user-kernel interfaces, work with peripheral I/O, and handle hardware interrupts - by Kaiwan N Billimoria | Mar 19 2021
Virtual Machines: Versatile Platforms for Systems and Processes Paperback – June 3 2005 - by Jim Smith and Ravi Nair
"The Mythical Man-Month The: Essays on Software Engineering" - by Frederick P. Brooks Jr. - A classic in the field of software engineering, and discusses the challenges of managing software projects.
"Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship" - by Robert C. Martin - This book provides practical advice on how to write clean, maintainable code that is easy to understand and modify.
"Software Engineering: A Practitioner's Approach" - by Roger S. Pressman - This book is a comprehensive guide to software engineering, covering topics such as requirements engineering, design, testing, and project management.
"Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software" - by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson, and John Vlissides - This book is a classic in the field of software design patterns, and provides a catalog of reusable solutions to common software design problems.
"Computer Software" on Wikipedia - Provides an overview of computer software, including types, development, and examples. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_software