Saturday, March 9, 2013

Operating Systems - the need for OS

The OS is the single most advanced and most efficient software that gets all the credit for making the computer hardware usable. The Operating System or OS is responsible for all the user friendliness of the computer.
Operating Systems is the first actual software that you need to install on your computers to be able to use it, including smartphones.
The functions of an OS include:
  • Memory management
  • Disk management
  • File management
  • Process management
  • Interrupts and Networking
The OS runs and makes it possible for the users to interact with the computer without any knowledge about the underlying hardware. The OS interacts with the hardware using firmwares and device drivers and the users can use the hardware using the interface of the OS, called the GUI or Graphical User Interface.
A few features of modern operating systems are:
  • GUI
  • Multi-Threading
  • Multi-Processing
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Multi-User
All other softwares that we use to do our work whether for office work, playing games, movies, music, browsing the internet, etc require the OS to support them. 

Examples of operating systems are Microsoft Windows XP, 7, 8, Mac OS X and Linux. A full list of operating systems may be found here

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

System softwares

The major types of System Softwares are:

Operating Systems (OS): The Operating Systems or OS are responsible for all the user friendliness of the computer. The OS runs and makes it possible for the users to interact with the computer without any knowledge about the underlying hardware. The OS interacts with the hardware using firmwares and device drivers and the users can use the hardware using the interface of the OS.

Boot Loaders: The boot loaders are small chunk of softwares that start up the operating system when the computer is turned on. They are the first instruction sets that the CPU processes. They help loading up the OS into the memory so that the OS can start and the computer is as usable as it is now.

Device drivers and firmwares: These softwares together help us use all the hardware devices like printers, cameras, flash drives, etc. The firmwares are softwares that reside on the device itself. They help the device hardware to function correctly and give results as it should. Device drivers on the other hand, are softwares that run on your computer's OS that help the OS to interact with the device firmware correctly.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Application Software - what applications

Let's start with the bottom of the software hierarchy. The application softwares are those softwares that are not required by the computer to function properly. These softwares are installed and used by users because they perform a single task very efficiently and make the task simpler and faster for the user. There are various types of applications software, seeing how much use they can be put into. They are broadly classified as follows:
  • Information workers: ERP software, email and blogging softwares, accounting, banking, word processing, presentation and publishing softwares come under this category.
  • Content Access: Media players and web browsers are part of this category.
  • Enterprise Infrastructure: Database management systems, document management systems, geographic information systems, assets management and workflow softwares are part of this category.
  • Entertainment: All entertainment softwares come in here including mobile, computer and console games as well as screen savers and digital pets.
  • Simulation software: All simulation softwares are part of this including vehicle simulation, game simulation, battlefield simulation, scientific simulation as well as device simulation softwares.
  • Product Engineering: Computer-aided design and engineering softwares, integrated development environments (IDE's), language editors and game development softwares are part of this category.
  • Media Development: Image editing, video editing, sound editing, sound sequencing, web development, animation and 3D graphics softwares are part of this category.
  • Education software: Classroom management softwares and reference softwares like encyclopedias, are a part of educational software category.
  • Miscellaneous: Other utility softwares like antivirus programs, backup and restore tools, etc are miscellaneous applications.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Softwares.. are they soft?

Let's start with the basics. Softwares are basically sets of instructions and related data that instruct the computer what to do and how to do it. Computer software, commonly termed as "programs" and also "applications" are just different sets of instructions.
 Softwares are developed by programmers using languages that we understand that are translated by other programs in to languages that the computer understands.

Softwares are divided into three categories:
  • System software: These are the softwares which are specifically designed to interact with the hardware, operate the hardware as well as provide a basic framework for helping other softwares to run alongside them. Examples include operating systems, firmwares, device drivers, etc.
  • Programming software: These are the softwares that the software programmers use to create, debug and maintain other programs and applications. Examples are compilers, debuggers, interpreters, linkers, and text editors, that can be combined together to accomplish a task.
  • Application software: All other software types come under this category. They include programs that need computation, word processors, browsers, entertainment softwares, games, databases, educational softwares, etc.
Software development is neither an easy process nor a short process. It has its own development life cycles, that programmers follow while creating an efficient and well designed software.
Well, that's it for now. Starting with descriptions of actual softwares next week.

And PS: softwares might not be soft. They cannot be touched, so no one knows if they are soft or not.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tipping point..

Well.. I think with my last post, you know all of what you need to know if you go out to buy different components of a computer and assemble them. So, I'll drop the main hardware stuff for now. Although, I might give reviews or discuss about something new in market.

And, it is time to start with software and comparisons and maintenance.
So, see you on the other side of this post..

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

MB's, GB's, TB's.. But, how many??

Storage drives are getting significantly cheaper. So cheaper, in fact that people have started buying 1 TB hard drive instead of a 750 GB one. Cheap storage space is not everything. You have to consider the speed of the system as well.
While buying an internal hard drive, people often forget that a larger hard drive means a slower system. And also, more number of hard drives mean a slower system as well.
And if disaster strikes and your hard drive crashes, you lose more amount of data than you would have, had you would have had a smaller one.
Research says that as the years have progressed, hard drives have become cheaper while their reliability has plummeted considerably, especially for larger capacity hard drives.
In daily life too, you'll see 500 GB and 1 TB ones crashing more frequently than their corresponding 320 or 750 GB ones.
So the question arises, how do we choose a good HDD with ample space. Well that's extremely simple, keeping a few points in mind.
When calculating storage space requirement, do not keep more than 35 GB reserved for your system partition containing your operating system and your basic everyday applications. Add in an appropriate size for your productivity apps like adobe suites, autodesk products, etc etc.
After that do not start counting your pictures, documents, music and videos. Remember that you can save your pictures and videos to an external hard drive or the cloud for more reliable and efficient storage. Just keep the important ones on the system itself. Plus add a couple of 100 GB if you are a gamer.
But that's it, no one needs more storage than that, and there is no need to install a hard drive that's gigantic.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Buying a powerful Power Supply

Since the PSU's or the Power Supply Units supply power to all of the components of the computer. It is extremely essential that one buys a PSU that provides enough power so as to provide enough power to the components that they do not slow down because of lack of power.
But buying a huge power supply does not mean buying a 2000 Watt SMPS. Doing that will take your electricity bill up to twice the normal. You need to buy a power supply that has a good amount of power while not having an excess of it.
Well, for starters you can be safe with a power supply of 300 Watts to the motherboard, a 20 Watt supply per drive, and a 20 Watt supply per 1 GB of RAM. That all works if you have a really low-end graphics card that doesn't require any more than 150 Watts to run and does not require any special connector to be powered.
  • But in case your system has a high-end GPU, you'll have to add the required power of the GPU to  the above wattage and then buy the PSU. Also don't forget to check if the GPU requires an extra cable for power. If yes, add it to the required specifications for the PSU.
  • Next, look for a power supply unit having a good amount of connectors of all types i.e. SATA, molex and PCI-E. Its always beneficial to buy one that has one or two connectors of SATA and molex for future expansions.
  • And obviously, the PSU you are buying should have a large 60 mm fan, if not 120 mm one for excellent cooling performance for your system. My recommendation: Buy one with 120 mm fan even if it costs an additional $10.
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