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Introduction to Computing

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Introduction to Computing ­ CS101
VU
LESSON 13
APPLICATION SOFTWARE
The focus of the last Lesson was on Operating Systems
Learning Goals for Today
To learn about application software
To become familiar with various software used in the following application areas:
e.g.
Scientific/engineering/graphics
Business
Productivity
Entertainment
Educational
13.1 Two Major Types of Software
System Software
Application Software
Hardware
Operating System
Device Driver
Utility Language Scientific Business Productivity Entertainment
Translator  Apps.
Apps.
Apps.
Apps.
System software
Application software
13.2 Application Software
Application software are programs that interact directly with the user
They generally do not talk directly to the hardware
13.3 Classification According to the Mode
Interactive-mode
The user runs the program on the computer and keeps on interacting with the computer while the
program runs
Example: Word processor
Batch-mode
The user starts the program and the computer processes the provided data and produces results without
any further intervention of from the user
Example: Payroll
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Introduction to Computing ­ CS101
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13.4 Classification According to Application Area
Scientific/engineering/graphics
Business
Productivity
Entertainment
Educational
13.5 Scientific/Engineering/Graphics Apps
Key feature: Intense floating-point calculations
Scientific/engineering/mathematical apps
Computers initially were designed just to run them
Generally designed for specialists
Rudimentary UI's
Many run in batch mode
13.6 Scientific SW
Simulation of natural systems
Deforestation and effect on green-house gases
Simulation of artificial systems
NeuralWare (Simulator for artificial neural networks)
Thermo-nuclear explosions
Mathematical computation packages
Mathematica (can do hundreds, if not thousands of functions, e.g. solving a differential eq,
symbolically)
MathCAD
13.7 Engineering SW
Computer-aided design (CAD)
AutoCAD
SPICE
Virtual wind tunnels
Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM)
Telecommunication system SW
Centrex
Industrial control SW
13.8 Graphics & Animation SW (1)
Two types:
Moving
graphics
1. Vector graphics
e.g. cartoons
Treats everything that is drawn as an object
Objects retain their identity after they are drawn
These objects can later be easily moved, stretched, duplicated, deleted, etc
Are resolution independent
Relatively small file size
Example: MS Visio, Corel Draw, Flash
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Introduction to Computing ­ CS101
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Graphics & Animation SW (2)
2. Bit-mapped or raster graphics
Treats everything that is drawn as a bit-map
If an object is drawn on top of another, it is difficult to move just 1 of them while leaving the other
untouched
Changing the resolution often requires considerable touch-up work
Relatively large file size
Example: MS Paint, Adobe Photoshop
13.9 Business Applications
Most of the SW being developed today belongs to this category
SW that is required to run most any sort of biz:
Payroll
General ledger
Order entry
Accounts receivable & accounts payable
Inventory control
Let's now discuss a few business SW categories which are not that common, but are becoming more
and more popular with time
13.10 E-Commerce Software
Key requirements:
Reliability
Security
Ability to handle 1000's of transactions, simultaneously
13.11 ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) SW
Very large scale, complex & expensive SW
Ties together all key activities & major systems of an organization into a single SW system
Key benefit: Optimization of the business processes of an organization as a single system instead of
many loosely-related stand-alone systems
Example: SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Baan
13.12 DSS (Decision Support Systems) SW
Sometimes also called "expert systems"
Many times are based on a branch of computer science called "artificial intelligence"
This category of SW is designed to help business managers in making effective decisions in complex
situations based on the analysis of the relevant data
13.13 Productivity SW
Most popular category in terms of licenses sold
Common features
Ability to simplify, automate everyday business tasks
Highly interactive and user-friendly design
Designed to run on PC's
Most users do not use 90% of the SW features
Popular productivity SW
Word Processing
-- Spreadsheets
Presentations
-- Databases
13.14 Word Processors
Probably the most popular productivity app
Initially designed as a replacement for the typewriter
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Introduction to Computing ­ CS101
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Automation
Automatic end-of-line soft carriage return
Style sheets
Table of contents & index
Spelling & grammar checking
Two approaches: WYSIWYG (e.g. Word, WordPerfect, Star) or traditional markup (LaTeX)?
Desktop publishing
13.15 Web Page Development SW
Web pages can be developed using a simple plain-text editor like the "notepad", but more efficient,
easy-to-use HTML editors can make the process quicker
Some of them are WYSIWYG (i.e. you don't really need to know any HTML to use them), others are
not, while some provide both types of interfaces (DreamWeaver)
Most popular word processors now come with a built-in Web page development facility
13.16 Spreadsheet SW (1)
Electronic replacement for ledgers
Is used for automating engineering, scientific, but in majority of cases, business calculations
A spreadsheet - VisiCalc - was the first popular application on PC's.
It helped in popularizing PC's by making the task of financial-forecasting much simpler, allowing
individuals to do forecasts which previously were performed by a whole team of financial wizard
13.17 Spreadsheet SW (2)
Consist of cells arranged in rows and columns
Each cell may contain numeric values, text or formulas
Automation
Recalculations
Charts
13.18 Presentation Development SW
Used to prepare multimedia material for lectures & presentations to display key points, graphics,
animation, or video with the help of multimedia projectors
Have replaced acetate films (slides) that were used with over-head projectors
Key advantage over acetate slides:
Easy to modify
Can be sent electronically
Its multimedia nature makes it more interesting for the audience
13.19 Small-Scale Databases SW (1)
Easy to use applications designed for efficient storage and fast and easy retrieval of data
That data may be in the form of numbers, text, or even multimedia, i.e. sounds, graphics, animation,
video
13.20 Small-Scale Databases SW (2)
Before the advent of the currently popular "relational" database model, the databasing function was
performed using what is called the "flat-file" model
That model is not very efficient for storing and searching in large databases
A database consists of a file or a set of files. Information in these is stored in the form of records, and
the records are further subdivided into fields
13.21 Productivity SW Suites
A set of stand-alone productivity applications designed to work easily with each other
Share a common UI
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Introduction to Computing ­ CS101
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Are available as a bundle along with additional useful utilities
Examples: MS Office, Corel WordPerfect Office, Lotus SmartSuite, Star Office
SW Suites for other app areas are available as well, e.g. the Adobe suite of graphics apps
13.22 Document-Centered Computing (DCC) - 1
The increasing cooperation among the apps included in productivity suites has given rise to a new
computing paradigm called DCC
DCC implies that instead of developing parts of a doc in a number of apps, and then cutting-&-pasting
them to form the final doc, you stay in a single doc and call-up appropriate apps to insert the required
objects
13.23 Document-Centered Computing (DCC) - 2
Let's say that we want to write a letter containing a map, a table and a graph
We can:
Launch the WP and type the text in
Insert a drawing by calling up the drawing toolbar app (without leaving the WP) & draw the map
Insert a table by calling up the spreadsheet app (without leaving the WP) & build the table
Insert a graph based on that table using the same spreadsheet app without leaving the WP
13.24 Entertainment SW
Key feature: Simple, intuitive, many times social UI's
The user is generally assumed to know nothing about computers
Both Microsoft & Apple are pursuing a PC-as-a-personal-entertainment-hub strategy. Probable result:
Already popular entertainment SW will become even more popular
13.25 Music & Video Players
Music players (WinAmp)
Video/Music players (Real player, Windows Media player, QuickTime player)
The Web Browsers can also display video, animation, and play music with the help of helper
applications like Flash
13.26 Music Generation & Movie Editing SW
A PC can be made the hub of a music making studio with help of appropriate HW & SW
Inexpensive, easy-to-use video editing SW has recently become available for the iMac
13.27 Games
Many types
Educational (especially for toddlers)
Strategy/Simulation
Sports
Shoot'em ups
The saddest aspect: You do not need any opponents or partners to play computer games
The application SW category that provides the toughest challenge for computer HW
13.28 Educational SW
Category with probably the highest growth rate
Current focus on augmenting traditional training and education methods, but it is shifting towards
replacing traditional methods
13.29 Electronic Encyclopedias
Great resource of useful information presented in a very interesting format
Superior to the paper-based version because:
Access speed is dramatically higher
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Introduction to Computing ­ CS101
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Can contain animation and sound
Much lower cost as thousand's of pages in dozens of volumes have been replaced by a couple of CD's
13.30 On-Line Learning
With time, the VU Web site will become more and more focused on interactive online learning
The Website of our textbook "Understanding Computers" is an example of an on-line learning Website
Key features of good online learning SW:
The student can learns at his or her own pace
The student can select his or her own hours
13.31 Interactive CD's
Same as on-line learning, but through a CD instead of a Web site
Key advantage:
Ideal for students with slow Internet access
13.32 Attributes of Good Application Software
Easy to install, un-install
User Interface
Consistent
Intuitive
Configurable
Adapts to the users need
Has a tutorial and a complete help manual
Does not have any critical bugs
13.33 Most Popular Application Software Categories
Web browsers
Email clients
Word processors
What have we learnt today?
Application software are programs that interact directly with the user for the performance of a certain
type of work
That work generally falls into one of the following usage areas
Scientific/engineering/graphics
Business
Productivity
Entertainment
Educational
Focus of the Next Lecture
Next Lesson will be the first among the four lectures that we plan to have on productivity SW
That first Lesson will be on word processing
We'll learn about what we mean by word processing
We'll discuss the usage of various functions provided by common word processors
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. EVOLUTION OF COMPUTING
  3. World Wide Web, Web’s structure, genesis, its evolution
  4. Types of Computers, Components, Parts of Computers
  5. List of Parts of Computers
  6. Develop your Personal Web Page: HTML
  7. Microprocessor, Bus interface unit, Data & instruction cache memory, ALU
  8. Number systems, binary numbers, NOT, AND, OR and XOR logic operations
  9. structure of HTML tags, types of lists in web development
  10. COMPUTER SOFTWARE: Operating Systems, Device Drivers, Trialware
  11. Operating System: functions, components, types of operating systems
  12. Forms on Web pages, Components of Forms, building interactive Forms
  13. APPLICATION SOFTWARE: Scientific, engineering, graphics, Business, Productivity, Entertainment, Educational Software
  14. WORD PROCESSING: Common functions of word processors, desktop publishing
  15. Interactivity to Forms, JavaScript, server-side scripts
  16. ALGORITHMS
  17. ALGORITHMS: Pseudo code, Flowcharts
  18. JavaScript and client-side scripting, objects in JavaScript
  19. Low, High-Level, interpreted, compiled, structured & object-oriented programming languages
  20. Software Design and Development Methodologies
  21. DATA TYPES & OPERATORS
  22. SPREADSHEETS
  23. FLOW CONTROL & LOOPS
  24. DESIGN HEURISTICS. Rule of thumb learned through trial & error
  25. WEB DESIGN FOR USABILITY
  26. ARRAYS
  27. COMPUTER NETWORKS: types of networks, networking topologies and protocols
  28. THE INTERNET
  29. Variables: Local and Global Variables
  30. Internet Services: FTP, Telnet, Web, eMail, Instant messaging, VoIP
  31. DEVELOPING PRESENTATIONS: Effective Multimedia Presentations
  32. Event Handlers
  33. GRAPHICS & ANIMATION
  34. INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS: techniques for designing Artificial Intelligent Systems
  35. Mathematical Functions in JavaScript
  36. DATA MANAGEMENT
  37. DATABASE SOFTWARE: Data Security, Data Integrity, Integrity, Accessibility, DBMS
  38. String Manipulations:
  39. CYBER CRIME
  40. Social Implications of Computing
  41. IMAGES & ANIMATION
  42. THE COMPUTING PROFESSION
  43. THE FUTURE OF COMPUTING
  44. PROGRAMMING METHODOLOGY
  45. REVIEW & WRAP-UP of Introduction to Computing