Software designed to run or maintain an operating system
Operating system (OS)
A piece of software responsible for running the computer, managing hardware, applications, users and resources.
User interface (UI)
The way that a user interacts with the computer.
Command Line Interface (CLI)
Command line interfaces are text based and are less resource heavy than GUIs, but need more still to use
Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Graphical User Interfaces are the most common these days. They are generally used with a mouse, but are now commonly used with touchscreens.
Icons, Menus & Pointers),The main features of a Graphical User Interface (GUI)
The OS manages memory and resources, deciding which sectors to write data to and keeps track of free space.
The process by which an Operating System gives the illusion of running multiple applications at the same time. Uses 'time slicing' where the computer breaks tasks into chunks and does a little bit of each and then repeats.
Peripheral management utilises drivers to let hardware communicate with the computer properly
A piece of software that allows applications to communicate with a piece of hardware.
Operating systems can be single user or multi user. Single user OSes allow one user to access the computer at once but multi-user OSes allow several users to use the computer at the same time. For example, ATMS (bank machines) allow thousands of people to access at the same time.
The OS manages how files and folders are structured. It also deals with movement, editing and deleting of data.
Utility system software
Utility system software helps to maintain or configure a computer. Many useful utilities are installed with the operating system, but many extra ones may be added.
This helps to keep data on a computer safe from being intercepted over a network or being stolen.
Reorganising data on a hard drive to put broken up (fragmented) files back together and collect up free space. This helps to speed up accessing files as they are all in the same place.
The process of making a file smaller
A backup is a copy of a computer system's files and settings stored externally.
A copy is taken of every file on the system. This uses a lot of storage space and can take a long time, but is faster to restore from.
This is where only the files created or edited since the last backup are copied. They use up less storage space and are quicker to create, but restoring them is slow, since the last full backup must be restored, followed by each incremental backup.
Open source software
Software that can be modified and shared by anyone.
Software where modifying and sharing is not permitted. Proprietary software is the property of a company (notice how the words property and proprietary are similar). E.g Microsoft Office belongs to microsoft