Computer software, or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provides the instructions for telling a computer what to do and how to do it. Software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer. In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system. Program software performs the function of the program it implements, either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece of software. The term was coined to contrast to the old term hardware (meaning physical devices). In contrast to hardware, software "cannot be touched". Software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaning application software only. Sometimes the term includes data that has not traditionally been associated with computers, such as film, tapes, and records.
computer software is so called to distinguish it from computer hardware, which encompasses the physical interconnections and devices required to store and execute (or run) the software. At the lowest level, executable code consists of machine language instructions specific to an individual processor. A machine language consists of groups of binary values signifying processor instructions that change the state of the computer from its preceding state. Programs are an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer in a particular sequence. It is usually written in high-level programming languages that are easier and more efficient for humans to use (closer to natural language) than machine language. High-level languages are compiled or interpreted into machine language object code. Software may also be written in an assembly language, essentially, a mnemonic representation of a machine language using a natural language alphabet. Assembly language must be assembled into object code via an assembler.
Other articles related to "machine, machines, languages":
... The machine consisted of between two and 16 cpus, organized as a fault-tolerant computer cluster packaged in a single rack ... They were both microprogrammed, 16-bit, stack-based machines with segmented, 16-bit virtual addressing ... to be programmed exclusively in high-level languages, with no use of assembler ...
Famous quotes containing the words machine and/or language:
“Wherever you see a man who gives someone elses corruption, someone elses prejudice as a reason for not taking action himself, you see a cog in The Machine that governs us.”
—John Jay Chapman (18621933)
“German poetry is going in a very different direction from French poetry.... Its language has become more sober, more factual. It distrusts beauty. It tries to be truthful.”
—Paul Celan [Paul Antschel] (19201970)