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5.1.1 - Computer Software


Revision points:
  • Candidates should be able to define define software, giving examples;
  • Candidates should be able to describe the difference between hardware and software;

'Software' is the term used to describe any kind of computer program or data stored in the computer's memory or as files on storage media. A 'software package' is a collection of programs and supporting data or control files which all work together to perform a specific task, such as a word processor package.

(On a CD-ROM the computer files are the software and the disk itself is the hardware.)

There are two main groups of software:

  • Operating System (OS) software: This manages the hardware such as CD drives and printers, manages the loading of application software such as a spreadsheet and manages operations such as the loading and saving of files.
  • Application Software: This is software installed on the computer to carry out specific tasks.  Examples include spreadsheets, word processors, databases, media players, CAD software etc.

Software questions:

  • 1 (multiple choice - selecting the best software for the task)

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