CIST 1001 - Chapter 5 - System Software: The OS, Utilities, and File
Terms in this set (88)
Bars that float above the screen
and that contain applications such as the
Tabs bar and the Address bar; a new feature
of Internet Explorer 10.
application programming interface
A set of software routines that allows
one software system to work with another.
The set of programs
on a computer that helps a user carry out
tasks such as word processing, sending
e-mail, balancing a budget, creating
presentations, editing photos, taking an
online course, and playing games.
The process of identifying
a computer user, based on a login or
username and password. The computer
system determines whether the computer
user is allowed and what level of access is
to be granted on the network.
basic input/output system (BIOS)
A program that manages the data between a
computer's operating system and all the input
and output devices attached to the computer;
also responsible for loading the operating
system (OS) from its permanent location on the hard drive to random access memory (RAM).
The process for loading the operating system (OS) into random access memory (RAM) when the computer is turned on.
Special shortcuts for performing
common tasks, such as searching or sharing
information, created for Windows 8.
The smallest increment in which
data is stored on hard disks; hard disks
are divided into tracks, then wedges, then
sectors, then these.
Interface between user and computer in which the user enters commands to communicate with the computer system
Software that facilitates the
communication between a device and its
operating system or between a network
adapter and a server's operating system
and the operating system of the computer
in which the adapter is installed.
A hierarchical structure that
include files, folders, and drives used to
create a more organized and efficient
Windows utility that removes unnecessary files from the hard drive.
A utility that regroups
related pieces of files on the hard drive,
enabling faster retrieval of the data.
Linux download packages.
A Windows utility that
checks for lost files and fragments as well as
physical errors on a hard drive
The result of an action, such as a
keystroke, mouse click, or signal to the
printer, in the respective device (keyboard,
mouse, or printer) to which the operating
extension (file type)
In a file name, the
three letters that follow the user-supplied file
name after the dot (.); identifies
what kind of family of files the file belongs to,
or which application should be used to read
A collection of related pieces of information
stored together for easy reference.
file allocation table (FAT)
An index of all
sector numbers that the hard drive stores in
a table to keep track of which sectors hold
file compression utility
A program that
takes out redundancies in a file in order to
reduce the file size.
The main tool for finding,
viewing, and managing the contents of
your computer by showing the location and
contents of every drive, folder, and file; called
Windows Explorer prior to Windows 8.
A Windows utility that
automatically creates a duplicate of your
libraries, desktop, contacts, and favorites
and copies it to another storage device, such
as an external hard drive.
The process by which
humans or computer software provide
organizational structure to a computer's
The first part of the label applied
to a file; generally the name a user assigns to
the file when saving it.
The exact location of a file, starting
with the drive in which the file is located and
including all folders, subfolders (if any), the
file name, and the extension
A collection of files stored on a
A signal that tells the operating
system that it's in need of immediate attention.
A special numerical
code that prioritizes requests from various
devices. These requests then are placed in
the interrupt table in the computer's primary
The essential component of the operating system that's responsible for managing the processor and all other components of the computer system. Because it stays in random access memory (RAM) the entire time the computer is powered on, it is also called memory resident.
Introduced with Windows 7, a folder
that's used to display files from different
locations as if they were all saved in a single
folder, regardless of where they are actually
stored in the file hierarchy.
An open-source operating system
based on UNIX. Because of the stable nature
of this operating system, it's often used on
The first commercially available
operating system to incorporate a graphical
user interface (GUI) with user-friendly point and-click technology.
A user interface in
which the user chooses a command from
menus displayed on the screen.
The ability of an operating
system to perform more than one process
at a time.
multiuser operating system (network
An operating system that enables more than one user to access the computer system at one time by efficiently juggling all the requests from multiple users.
operating system (OS)
The system software
that controls the way in which a computer
system functions, including the management
of hardware, peripherals, and software.
The process of swapping data
or instructions that have been placed in
the swap file for later use back into active
random access memory (RAM). The contents
of the hard drive's swap file then become
less active data or instructions.
The backslash mark (\)
used by Microsoft Windows and DOS in file
names. Mac files use a colon (:), and UNIX
and Linux use the forward slash (/)
The process through which you
choose which applications are visible on the
Windows Start screen.
The combination of a computer's
operating system and processor. The two
most common types are the PC and
Plug and Play (PnP)
The technology that
enables the operating system, once it is
booted up, to recognize automatically any
new peripherals and to configure them to
work with the system.
power-on self-test (POST)
The first job the basic input/output system (BIOS) performs, ensuring that essential peripheral devices are attached and operational. This process consists of a test on the video card and video memory, a BIOS
identification process (during which the
BIOS version, manufacturer, and data are
displayed on the monitor), and a memory
test to ensure memory chips are working
When the operating system processes the task assigned a higher priority before processing a task that has been assigned a lower priority.
real-time operating system
A program with a specific purpose that
must guarantee certain response times
for particular computing tasks or else the
machine's application is useless. Found in many types of robotic equipment.
A folder on a Windows
desktop in which deleted files from the hard
drive are held until permanently purged from
Refresh your PC
A new utility program
in Windows 8 that attempts to diagnose
and fix errors in your Windows system files
that are causing your computer to behave
A portion of the hard drive
containing all the different configurations
(settings) used by the Windows operating
system as well as by other applications.
The top level of the filing
structure in a computer system. In Windows
computers, it is represented as C:\.
A section of a hard drive platter,
wedge-shaped from the center of the platter
to the edge.
The instructions programmers
write in a higher-level language.
A program that helps coordinate
all print jobs being sent to the printer at the
The first interaction you have with
the Windows operating system and the pace
where you begin your computing activities.
swap file (page file)
A temporary storage area
on the hard drive where the operating system
"swaps out" or moves the data or instructions
from random access memory (RAM) that
haven't recently been used. This process takes
place when more RAM space is needed.
The main files of an operating
A utility in Windows that
restores system settings to a specific previous
date when everything was working properly.
system restore point
In Windows, a
snapshot of your entire system's settings
used for restoring your system to a prior
point in time.
The set of programs
that enables a computer's hardware devices
and application software to work together;
it includes the operating system and utility
In later versions of Windows
operating systems, a feature that displays
open and favorite applications for easy
A Windows utility that shows
programs currently running and permits you
to exit nonresponsive programs when you
click End Task.
A condition of excessive paging
in which the operating system becomes
A concentric circle that serves as a
storage area on a hard drive platter.
An operating system originally
conceived in 1969 by Ken Thompson
and Dennis Ritchie of AT&T's Bell Labs. In
1974, the code was rewritten in the
standard programming language C. Today
there are various commercial versions of
Part of the operating system
that enables individuals to interact with the
A small program that
performs many of the general housekeeping
tasks for the computer, such as system
maintenance and file compression.
The space on the hard
drive where the operating system stores data
if there isn't enough random access memory
to hold all of the programs you're currently
trying to run.
System software is the set of software programs that helps run the computer and coordinates __________ between application software and hardware devices. It consists of the operating system (OS) and utility programs.
________ controls how your computer system functions.
________ programs are programs that perform general housekeeping tasks for the computer, such as system maintenance and file compression.
multiuser operating system
A _________ provides access to a computer system by more than one user at a time.
___________ have their own specific operating
systems, which allow the user to multitask.
_________ use operating systems that allow interaction
with touch-screen interfaces.
The OS provides a user interface that enables users
to ________ with the computer.
graphical user interface (GUI)
Most OSs today use a ______________.
Common features include windows, menus,
To provide for seamless multitasking, the ________ controls the timing of the events on which the processor works.
The OS manages storage by providing a _____________ system that keeps track of the names
and locations of files and programs
Programs called __________ facilitate communication
between devices attached to the computer and the OS.
All ___________ need to interact with the
CPU. For programs to work with the CPU, they must
contain code that the CPU recognizes.
Rather than having the same blocks of code appear
in each application, the OS includes the blocks of
code to which software applications refer. These
blocks of code are called _____________.
When you start your computer, it runs through a
special process called the ____________.
The first basic step in the boot process: The
____________ is activated when
the user powers on the CPU.
The second basic step in the boot process: In the __________, the BIOS verifies that all attached devices are in place.
The third basic step in the boot process: The _____________ is loaded into RAM.
The fourth basic step in the boot process: _____________
and customization settings are checked.
The OS allows you to organize the contents of your
computer in a ___________ structure of directories
that includes files, folders, libraries, and drives.
___________ helps you manage your files and folders
by showing the location and contents of every drive,
folder, and file on your computer.
Creating _______ is the key to organizing files.
Common __________ include those that enable
you to adjust your display, add or remove programs,
compress files, clean unnecessary files off your
system, check for lost files and errors, restore your
system to an earlier setting, back up your files, and
check on programs that have stopped running.