A computer is a machine that can only understand binary language, that is, 0 and 1. It consists of hardware and software. Hardware is the physical part of a computer such as the CPU, mouse, keyboard, storage and multimedia device, and monitor.
Since computers can only understand the binary language of 0’s and 1’s, the software essentially acts as a plat model or compiler that translates human instructions or language into machine language for the computer to understand. The programs are designed by expert programmers who have proficiency in various computer languages such as assembly language, C language, COBOL, FORTRAN, and visual basics. In modern times, since technology has made great progress, some programming languages have become obsolete, and there are much easier ways to design computer programs through modern programming languages (Cole, 2003).
There are different types of programs designed to meet the challenges and demands of the modern world. Since the amazing invention of the internet, some software has been specifically designed to meet the demands of the web. Software is also divided into two types, application software and system software. System software acts as a platform or interface between the computer and humans. Without the system software, the computer machine would be useless as it helps run other essential software applications. Computer peripherals such as printer, scanner, mouse and multimedia are used using system software.
There are different types of system software that have been devised from time to time with the improvement of technology from one decade to the next since the invention of computers. Some of the earliest versions of system software include Disk Operating System, Linux, and Unix which basically worked by providing a set of commands using the keyboard to run a specific program. Working on a disk operating system was a cumbersome task as it required a long set of commands required to switch from one directory to another and one drive to another. Since a disk operating system does not require a mouse as it does today in the modern version of Windows, it was very difficult to store and copy files from a floppy device to a computer’s hard disk.
The current version of the most popular system software among PC users, Windows XP, is more user-friendly than older versions of Windows with improved support for Internet devices and various networking options. You can easily download a number of software applications by following the instructions in windows XP. The current system software can support all multimedia devices such as DVD ROM, headphones, microphone and audio devices unlike the old versions like DOS. You can easily watch movies and listen to songs using the Internet and DVD ROM. Maintaining folders and files is just a matter of using the mouse.
Application software such as Microsoft office has become a basic need for organizations around the world and for ordinary computer users. Create projects, presentations, and financial budgets with Word, Power Point, and Excel spreadsheets. You don’t need to record your important data in paper folders and files, you can create and store data with application software and system software.
Cole, b. (2003). What are computer programmes?
Retrieved November 19, 2009, from the What is Computer Software website: