WHAT IS SOFTWARE?
No matter how much RAM your computer has, it won’t be able to accomplish much without software, or programmed instructions. Software comes in different forms. The most visible kind is packaged software, which you can find in brightly colored boxes at local stores. These packages contain programs; some are games and some are intended for educational or business uses. When you buy one of these programs, it’s ready to run as soon as you unpack it.
Another kind of program that needs no work on your part is the kind that is built into your computer as ROM. Some computers have much more built-in programming than others. A dedicated computer – one designed for a particular job – may have a great of software included as part of the machine itself. For example, a word processor is really a dedicated computer. The word processing software is built into it. Because of this, you can’t use it for computing – only for word processing. But a word processor is ready to do its job as soon as it is turned on. It doesn’t need outside software to tell it what to do.
The third kind of software is the kind you write yourself. Some people program simply for the pleasure or the challenge it provides. Others learn programming so that they can develop software geared to their own unique needs. Many computer users have never written a program of their own and probably never will. They will use the computer’s built-in software, and they will run programs that someone else has written. On the other hand, many users will learn to write original programs.