IT Applications Unit 3

IT Applications Unit 3
Ch 1 Problem Solving
Information Systems, p 3-7
List the 5 elements of an information system.
 Software
 Hardware
 Data
 Personnel
 Procedures
What is the purpose of an information system?
The purpose of an information system is to be able to process data and
then be able to have it manipulated by the computer system and turned
into meaningful information or data.
What are the advantages of using an information system in a
The advantages of using an information system in a supermarket is that
they are able to record a variety of data such as if payments are by cash,
cheque, EFTPOS etc. They are also able to record what goods have been
sold and how much they were sold for. Supermarkets will also be able to
keep a track of what items they still have in stock, making it easier for
them to do stocktake.
What is software?
Software is a set of instructions that tells a computer how to process data
into information.
Describe the role of the following four main types of software:
a. Operation or system software
Operation or system software controls the actual operations of the
computer hardware. An example of Operation or system software is
the operating system.
i. Describe a peripheral device
A peripheral device is any external device that can be attached
or connected to a computer. For example: Printers, Scanners
ii. What is a device driver?
Device drivers communicate with hardware to allow the
hardware to function properly.
b. Application software
Application software helps users perform tasks. Types of Application
Softwares are word processing, spreadsheets, databases etc.
i. Distinguish between off-the-shelf software and custom-made
Off-the-shelf software is software that is common and written
for the mass market such as Microsoft Office.
Custom made software is specifically written or custom made
for a specific persons needs. The features on the program are
made to suit the user’s needs.
ii. What are your rights in terms of using software purchased?
When you purchase your software you are licensed to use it
under its terms and conditions. This generally means that you
are not allowed to copy it for other persons use or have it
installed on somebody else’s computer.
c. Utility software
Utility software is a type of software that performs a certain task. The
sort of tasks that utility software performs are diagnosing problems,
scanning disks and defragmenting disks.
d. Programming software
Programming software is a set of words or codes that a programmer
can use to follow or complete instructions on a computer.
Describe the role, using examples of the following hardware devices
a. input devices
Input devices allow users to enter data into a computer. Types of
devices that allow users to put data on the computers are keyboards,
webcams, microphones and scanners.
b. output devices
Output devices transmit and give out information to users through
devices such as printers, data projectors and speakers.
c. system unit
The system unit consists of a variety of components that comprise the
“brain” of the computer. This part of the computer executes
instructions. The two most important components are the central
processing unit and the memory.
i. distinguish between RAM and ROM
RAM is Random Access Memory which lets you save all the
systems changes etc whilst ROM is Read Only Memory. This
means that the memory can be viewed by people but changes
can’t be saved.
d. storage devices
Storage devices store information that is to be used later on. The
storage device records files and retrieves files from the storage
e. communication devices
Communication devices allow computers to communicate with other
computers. This is done by modems that allows for connection
between two computers.
Distinguish between data and information?
Data is raw and unorganised facts. When data is entered into an information
system it is processed into a meaningful and useful form called information.
1 How are personnel also known as?
They are also known as users. Users is a term that describes employees,
customers, sellers of goods and other people who use the information
Using examples, what are procedures?
Procedures are defined to as a series of steps that are followed to that tasks
are performed correctly and consistently. Types of tasks are backing up data,
adding a new account for customers, checking backup files etc.
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