Look at the screenshots below and fill in the names and functions (ex: “The IE, an Internet browser”)
Watch and Write
Record 3a Watch “Computer Software in Plain English”.
● The role of software as a translator
● How operating systems cover the basics
● How software programs help to customize computers
● The role of software outside of computers
Listen to the record and fill in the blanks:
Like a _____________, a computer without software is just a lifeless machine. By adding software, the computer becomes more alive, easy to use, and built for you. Most computers have two basic kinds: ___ _______________ ______________ and software programs.
If you’ve ever used a computer, you’ve used an operating system. From _______ files, to using a mouse or _______ problems, the operating system covers the basics.
But the operating system is only part of what we need. To make them ___________ and more useful, we can add software programs.
By adding and _____________ software programs, you can make the computer fit with exactly what you want to do.
And adding most software programs is easy. You can get them from a computer store or ____________ them from the Internet. No computer nerds required.
Once a program is on your computer, opening it is as easy as _________ an icon.
But what is a software program?
A software program is essentially a set of _____________ that tells the computer exactly what to do.
When you open a program, the computer goes to work, ____________ the instructions until the program is ready for you to use. The ability to add and remove software programs means that everyone’s computer can be different and __________to them.
Consider your cell phone. Just like a computer without software, it’s a lifeless machine that doesn’t speak our language. Thankfully, cell phones have software that bring them to life.
The same thing is true for many __________, music players, and even our cars. Every day we rely on software to bring machines to life and make them _____________ and useful.
Make up 8-10 questions to the text and ask your partners to answer them. Summarise the information and retell the record.
Read and Talk
Do you know these icons? Name the programs!
Application software is a subclass of computer software that employs the capabilities of a computer directly to a task that the user wishes to perform. This should be contrasted with system software which is involved in integrating a computer's various capabilities, but typically does not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user. In this context the term application refers to both the application software and its implementation.
A simple, if imperfect, analogy in the world of hardware would be the relationship of an electric light—an application—to an electric power generation plant — the system. The power plant merely generates electricity, itself not really of any use until harnessed to an application like the electric light which performs a service that the user desires.
The exact delineation between the operating system and application software is not precise, however, and is occasionally subject to controversy. For example, one of the key questions in the United States vs. Microsoft antitrust trial was whether Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser was part of its Windows operating system or a separable piece of application software.
Typical examples of software applications are word processors, spreadsheets, and media players.
Multiple applications bundled together as a package are sometimes referred to as an application suite. Microsoft Office and OpenOffice.org, which bundle together a word processor, a spreadsheet, and several other discrete applications, are typical examples. The separate applications in a suite usually have a user interface that has some commonality making it easier for the user to learn and use each application. And often they may have some capability to interact with each other in ways beneficial to the user. For example, a spreadsheet might be able to be embedded in a word processor document even though it had been created in the separate spreadsheet application.
User-written software tailors systems to meet the user's specific needs. User-written software include spreadsheet templates, word processormacros, scientific simulations, graphics and animation scripts. Even email filters are a kind of user software. Users create this software themselves and often overlook how important it is.
In some types of embedded systems, the application software and the operating system software may be indistinguishable to the user, as in the case of software used to control a VCR, DVD player or Microwave Oven.
1.Find the following collocations in the text and explain them in your own words:
subject to controversy_______________________________________________
to be embedded into____________________________________________
2.Translate into Russian::
● It employs the capabilities of a computer directly to a task that the user wishes to perform.
● System software is involved in integrating a computer's various capabilities, but typically does not directly apply them in the performance of tasks that benefit the user.
● They may have some capability to interact with each other in ways beneficial to the user
3.Answer the questions:
▪ What is the difference between application and system software? Is this difference precise? Why? Prove with examples.
▪ What does MS Office usually bundle together in one suite?
▪ What is the main feature of a suite?
4. Pick out all the names and types of software mentioned in the article. Supply them with Russian equivalents and explain what they are used for.
5. Do you know what the icons on the left side of the text mean? What applications do they stand for? Have you used any of them? 6. Read the dialogue with a partner. Explain why Costello does not dig in the conversation.