Software Elements

In this part of the course we’ll look at different types of types of software, particularly operating systems, applications and security software. You’ll get the opportunity to install some of these types of software later in the course. We’ll also look briefly at other types of software including accessibility software, browsers, drivers, API, utilities and diagnostic tools.

We’ll consider various types of operating systems software, including multi-user operating systems, network operating systems, and real-time and distributed systems. We’ll look the layers of the operating system and their interaction and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of different user interfaces, the role of the kernel, the manner in which the operating system manages memory and I/O including paging, thrashing, multitasking, interrupts and file management.

The manner in which files are stored and accessed is important to any user of a computer system. This includes file systems and formatting, file extensions, file structure, hierarchical structure, absolute and relative paths, attributes, user profiles, permissions and rights.

Then we’ll look at Applications Software, which can range from bespoke software to suites of programs offered by software manufacturers.

Finally, we’ll consider Security Software which prevents intrusion, such as firewalls and anti-virus software, including the need for keeping such software up to date.

Next: Operating Systems