Describe the difference between system software, an operating system, application software, and a computer program.
System software is the stock software which comes with any motherboard, it is used to operate and control the hardware which you install to run the computer, it allows you to install an operating system to a hard drive. The primary form of system software is the BIOS which controls the hardware settings such as the boot source, system time, CPU clocking and drive control.
An operating system is a piece of software which is used to perform basic tasks and allow users to install and run a multitude of software, they make computers accessible to anyone and easy to use. Every computer needs an OS to run programs and perform basic tasks, such as registering inputs and outputs, managing files and maintaining security. Microsoft Windows is the most common OS, it has been updated and improved for many years.
Application software is a program designed for the user, they are commonly referred to as apps these consist of anything varying from word processors to accounting programs, they serve a purpose for the user. It is a type of computer software.
Computer programs make up all of the software which are used directly and indirectly by consumers, they are made using a form of programming language. They are usually a set of written instructions which are then compiled using a compiler program to create an executable file
List and describe at least 4 factors that affect microprocessor performance
Instruction set is the processors built in code, this cannot be changed or manipulated, it works with the processor architecture which affects the amount of cycles needed to perform an instruction. These are different between different microprocessors, the best way to determine which is best is through benchmark tests.
Clock speed is the frequency which a processor can process a set of instructions, the instructions are usually done per second, and when the clock speed is increased, it increases the amount of instructions that are processed. This is usually stated in gigahertz
Front Side Bus (FSB) speed is how fast a processor will communicate and interact with the system memory, it determines the maximum speed which can be transferred to the rest of the computer. It is usually impacted by the motherboard chipset and RAM speed.
On-Board Level-2 cache is a small cache of memory inbuilt into the processor, it allows much faster access to small amounts of data which is constantly being used so that the data doesn’t have to be accessed from the RAM on the motherboard all the time, this saves time and increases performance.
The temperature of the microprocessor will affect its performance and reliability, a processor which hasn’t been cooled properly will cause crashes or freeze the computer causing it to malfunction. It may even fry the chip.
Explain the differences between self-installing executable files, self-executing zip files and non-executing zip files
A self-installing executable file is a computer program which will install itself onto your computer, it can vary from a program of choice to a virus, it makes life easier for users, it is quite commonly used for large organisations which require many users which may not know much about installing executable’s, these files allow files to be installed easily so that inexperienced users can still install files.
Self-executing zip files allow for the automatic extraction of compressed files without the use of an extraction program, the self-executing zip comes with its own small extracting program embedded within the file. This kind if file is very useful for new computers which may not have an extracting program installed, as well as for people who do not know how to extract files.
Non executing zip files are the most common compressed file type, they make file sharing easier as well as allow data to be compressed to enable