lecture11 - Lecture 11 Software industry its development...

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Lecture 11. Software industry: its develop- ment and distribution, cultural significance of Free Software movement Informal and unedited notes, not for distribution. (c) Z. Stachniak, 2011. Note: in cases I were unable to find the primary source of an image or determine whether or not an image is copyrighted, I have specified the source as ”unknown”. I will provide full information about images and/or obtain reproduction rights when such information is available to me. Introduction Computer software–the ”soul” of a computer–is rarely a subject of a pas- sionate discussion of new trends in information technologies. When a new smartphone is demonstrated, its amazing functionality is instinctively but unfairly linked with pressing of keys or touching of icons on the screen– a physical sensation connecting our experiences more with hardware than with ... yes, with what? What is exactly happening when a smartphone is turned on? Well, several things are happening: the screen lights on, the radio is turned on, several icons appear, information appears about received e-mails, text messages, up- dates, and other information. The device begins to ”listen” to our requests: screen touches, key presses, spoken commands. How is all of that accom- plished? When a new game is downloaded for, say the Microsoft’s Xbox360/Kinect console, what exactly is being downloaded? how does the downloadable stuff that constitutes a game look like? and how a click on the ”download game now” link results in such a game finding its way into an Xbox? 1
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The majority of computer and communication devices operate by following instructions listed in the so-called program and stored in the device’s mem- ory. This applies to computers and tablets as well as to game consoles and smartphones. So, an operating system of a smartphone (or OS), such as the Android (Google), Symbian (Nokia) iOS (Apple), BlackBerry OS (RIM), Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile (Microsoft) are programs, and so are Xbox games. Without programs, computers and other computing and information devices would be as useless as a book with empty pages or a game console without games. Without software your computer would be a very expensive paper- weight. The next time you send an email or play Star Wars Kinect (Lu- casArts Entertainment) take a moment to think about software engineers that made all of that possible. 2
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Hardware – Software Computer hardware : computers, their components and peripherals. Fig. 1. (Personal) computer hardware. Source: Computer software : computer programs and associated data that deter- mine a computer’s operating environment and provide users with applications by commanding the hardware to perform specific tasks.
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  • Fall '12
  • ZbigniewStachniak
  • Computer program, software industry

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