Software is simply a series of instructions which tell a computer how to perform a certain function. Whereas hardware is obviously hardware and has to be fitted to the motherboard of the computer. However, software can be varied and many types exist for a variety of purposes. For example, there are word processors, spreadsheet programs and database management systems to name just a few.
There are two main groups of software applications on the market today. These are namely the personal computer and the networked computer. The personal computer usually refers to the desktop and laptop computers and this is where most of us will interact with the software. Whereas the networked computers are much more complex and are used in larger business environments.
Both of these groups of application software need to be backed up regularly to protect both the hardware and the data. Both are managed by the same company (at least in principle) but it is best practice to have two separate companies and separate IT staff for each group to minimise disaster. The most common hardware that is backed up is the hard drive or the local hard drive in your computer. This however can be unreliable if the drive is damaged; for example if you accidentally erase a file on your computer – whether accidentally or deliberately – then the data contained on that file cannot be retrieved.
Operating systems such as Windows and Mac OS X rely on firmware to operate and as such are rarely backed up by the manufacturer. In the case of Linux, the firmware is considered system software and as such the operating system and software is stored on a remote site (such as Red Hat or Ubuntu). Firmware also dictates the way in which different Linux computers behave, and is considered system software which cannot be changed unless the user specifically knows how. Therefore, anything which modifies the firmware automatically voids that warranty. There are many different forms of Linux firmware to choose from. Some of the most common are the Grub2, LVM andPI drivers which determine how different distributions use GRub2 to load installed programs.
LVM or Logical Unit Definition is a specification for a logical volume, which is essentially an area of memory on a computer. It defines how much physical memory a device has and dictates the capabilities of a particular device. Linux uses several Logical Unit Definition files to control the amount of available space on a computer and to define the various tasks a user has access to. To give an example, a user may have defined how much data they can have on their computer, what type of data it should hold, the time at which this data will be written to disk, the size of the data, and the processes that need to happen when this data is written to disk.
The first example of application software is whatsapp, which is an internet messaging client and which was developed by Google. whatsapp is another very popular piece of open source software that is used by millions of users around the world. This example of software also serves as an application for Facebook, one of the largest social networking websites in the world.
The next two examples of OS software are the Freeware manager, which is an advanced system software utility for managing multiple computer systems and servers, and Grub, which is a user friendly command line package. The Freeware manager allows the user to create and modify sub folders and links, and has a Graphical User Interface, which makes using the program a lot easier than what other examples of OS software might provide. Grub is another piece of freeware application software that is used extensively by users all over the world. The advanced Grub has many features which allows users to store, manage and analyze information, and can perform a multitude of functions such as creating, transferring and editing files.
One of the most important things that all OS software developers must do is create an application from scratch. A lot of people who develop software for OS platforms like Windows, Linux, Apple OS and more often start off creating a series of scripts that they can then use to create an application. Once the application is complete, they usually submit it to the various OS platforms that they support. The final step is then to test the application with a variety of hardware and operating systems to make sure that it functions properly. When the software is complete, it is then submitted to the distributors for it to be made available to customers and users.