Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

How to Select the Right Software; BYTE ME

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

How to Select the Right Software; BYTE ME

Article excerpt

Byline: with BRUCE kERR

THE second article of our 10-part series covering all facets of computer ownership, this week we examine software: what do you need and what will it cost?

Firstly, we should look at what software actually is and what it does for you.

I will be referring to PCs in these articles, however this encompasses all devices, from tablets and netbooks, through to workstations and everything in between.

Your PC will always come with an operating system (OS), which nowadays is normally Windows 8.

This OS is comprised of millions of lines of computer coding that 'talks' directly to your computer hardware and controls the general operation of your PC -- hence the name operating system.

Your PC would not even display any information on the screen without an OS.

Most systems have a number of basic programs built in, such as a calculator and a web browser, such as Internet Explorer. These basic programs come as part of the OS and have varying amounts of usefulness.

To gain further use from their PC, most people install extra software to perform tasks that are specific to their needs.

Software such as a word editor, a spread sheet editor, an accounting package, an email package, a photo editor and even a computer game are all examples of a software program that have been developed or written for a particular use.

It is also important to realise the difference between these software packages and the actual files (often called user data) that people create when using these packages.

The IT industry is saturated with literally millions of software packages which often look near the same and perform very similar tasks. Some of these packages are much easier to drive and more useful than others.

One of the most popular is the Office suite of programs made by industry giant Microsoft. Comprised of software titles such as Word, Excel, Power Point, Publisher and Outlook, there are several MS Office suites that are available for use on a PC. …

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