A-level Computing/CIE/Theory Fundamentals/System software

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Specification link

Operating system (OS)

  • describe why a computer system requires an operating system
  • explain the key management tasks carried out by the operating system

Utility programs

  • show an understanding of the need for typical utility software used by a PC computer system:
    • disk formatter
    • virus checker
    • defragmenter software
    • disk contents analysis/disk repair software
    • file compression
    • backup software

Library programs

  • show an understanding that software under development is often constructed using existing code from program libraries
  • describe the benefits to the developer of software constructed using library files, including Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files
  • draw on experience of the writing of programs which include library routines

Language translators

  • show an understanding of the need for:
    • assembler software for the translation of an assembly language program
    • a compiler for the translation of a high-level language program
    • an interpreter for execution of a high-level language program
    • explain the benefits and drawbacks of using either a compiler or interpreter
    • show awareness that high-level language programs may be partially compiled and partially interpreted, such as Java