Software Introduction

Software is a set of programmed instructions. It is a general term and encompasses all programs and applications you use on your computer.

Types of Software

1.                   Licenced

This is a type of software that you have to pay to use. It has a software license that protects the copyright and you gain the right to install it on only a set amount of computers.

a.                   Individual copy

This allows one person to install the software on one computer at a time, if they put it on more than one device it is breaking the license.

b.                  Site Licence

This is a license that allows you to install the software on any computer on the site.

c.                   Network Licence

This is a license that allows you to install the software on any PC connected to one network but as soon as you take the PC off that network it is not usable and to use it is breaking the software license.

2.                   Open Source

This is a software license that allows anyone to study, change and distribute the source code. It is used to help develop software.

3.                   Shareware

This is a type of freeware that allows you to use it for free but occasionally asks for a donation.

4.                   Trial ware

This is a piece of software that is free for a certain period of time but then stops working and needs you to pay to continue to use it. Trial ware is used to enable you to get used to the software before buying a license.

5.                   Freeware

This is a piece of software that is completely free and is normally used by budding developers and programmer to get their first pieces of software out.

6.                   Pirate ware

This is where software that requires a license to be used but is broken into and allows you to use it without paying.

Software Uses

1.                   Office

An office suite is a bundle of programs designed for knowledge workers. An example of this is Microsoft office.

a.                   Word processor

A word processor allows the user to edit, composition, and format and print any written material. Normally it contains font application, spell checking, grammar checking, a built-in thesaurus, automatic text correction, Web integration, and HTML exporting, among others. So it is like a pen and paper that automatically checks the spellings.

b.                  Spreadsheet

This is a piece of software that enables you organize, analyse, and storage of data in tabular form. They can also normally complete calculations through formulas. Although only text or numbers can be in a cell at a time.

c.                   Database

This is an organized collection of data. It can be easily managed and updated and can store information that you need regularly so that you can find and access it quickly and efficiently.

d.                  Presentation

A presentation program is a software package used to display information in the form of a slide show. It has three major functions: an editor that allows text to be inserted and formatted, a method for inserting and manipulating graphic images, and a slide-show system to display the content.

Specialist Systems

This is a type of software that is made to complete a specific task.

a.                   Financial Accounts

This a type of software similar to a database. It processes money coming in and out of an account and calculates the amount of money in the account at a time.

b.                  Personnel

This a database that stores information about people such as names, birth dates, addresses and phone numbers. It also contains employment and criminal records. They are used in schools, workplaces, prisons and police stations.

c.                   Medical records

This is a type of database that contains information about past appointments and diagnoses. It also contains information about what treatments you are undergoing and what medicines you take.

d.                  Medical diagnostic

This is a piece of software that helps medical staff to diagnose conditions.

3.                   Internet

a.                   Web browsers

This is a piece of software for sending and receiving files through the World Wide Web.

b.                  HTML editors

This is a piece of software to help you edit and create HTML code for websites.

c.                   Email

This is a piece of software that enables you to send, receive, read and compose electronic mail.

d.                  Blogs

These are web logs updated regularly by their author, they can be for entertainment, information or even used as a diary.

e.                  Wiki

This is a web application which can be edited by anyone. They normally are edited using a rich text editor or using a simplified mark-up language.

4.                   Graphics

These pieces of software allow you to create and edit pictures.

a.       Photo edit

           This is a piece of software that allows you to resize, recolour and change the quality of a photograph.

b.      Drawing

This is a piece of software that allows you to draw using lines, shapes and coordinates.

c.       Desk top publishing

This is a piece of software that is frame based it is used to create documents which contain lots of graphics and less text. They are used to create newsletters, brochures and leaflets.

d.      Paint

This is a piece of software that allows you to draw freehand. They usually contain a palette and a range of different line thicknesses and styles.


5.            Recreation

a.            PC games

These are video games played on a personal computer. They offer a greater capacity in input, processing and output than a console game.

b.            Online games

These are video games that use a form of a computer network to allow users to interact with other users. They range from simple text based environments to complex graphical environments.

d.                  Virtual Realities - Second Life & OpenSim

These are a type of game that has a three dimensional environment which the user can control using an avatar. They can also interact with other users and their avatars. Second life is an online virtual world developed buy linden lab that allows users to meet, build and trade with other users in the virtual world. OpenSim is a platform for generating and accessing virtual worlds such as second life.

e.                  MMORPGs - World of Warcraft

MMORPGs are massively multiplayer online role playing games. They are a type of game that allows you to play with other users while playing the role of another creature or person. In world of Warcraft you create a character which can be from a number of fictional races and use them to complete quests and gain loot and experience enabling them to unlock aspects of the game. The game requires subscription for the player to enter the world.

Software Models