Computers can do nothing without a set of instructions the system operator
inputs to the central processing unit. These instructions allow the computer
to perform many functions including sorting, saving, and processing
information with remarkable speed. Review Illustrator Draftsman (DM)
Volume 1, chapter 3, or read NEETS Module 22, Introduction to Digital
Computers, before studying this chapter to familiarize yourself with computer
Software is the set of instructions, program parameters, or data. Hard drives
and floppy disks are hardware; the data on the disk is software. The two
categories of software are operating system software and applications
Operating systems software manages the operation of the entire computer
system. Its primary job is managing the system and system resources such as
the disks, the printers, and the modems. Operating system software links
computer hardware to applications software. Operating systems software
exists primarily in read-only memory (ROM).
Install operating system software onto the system hard disk drive before
attempting to load applications programs. Follow the manufacturers
owner/user manual. The owner/user manual will tell you setup commands
that lead you through the installation process from the display screen.
display screen prompts you to enter the appropriate keystrokes or mouse
movements to place the software into the hard drive. Once you have
operating system software installed, put the original distribution disks or CD
ROM disks in a safe place. You may need the original operating system
software distribution disks later.
Applications or user software are program disks that help you accomplish
specific tasks. Distribution disks for applications software require
information about the microcomputer configuration or what devices make up
the computer system. Applications software is created using WORM (Write
Once/Read Many) technology and stores in ROM. This allows you to use the
program without altering the original program instructions.
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