Software is simply a set of instructions and data which tell the computer how to perform a particular task. This differs from physical hardware, in which the machine actually does the work and is assembled. Both hardware and software can be free or paid, depending on what you want and the quality of it. The term “open source” describes software that is freely distributed and whose license allows it to be modified, used and altered by anyone who has the ability and the legal rights to do so. It is not designed for any one particular use.
With the development of greater flexibility and reliability with desktop machines, along with the increase in embedded system software applications and better user training, the need for software engineers and software development grew rapidly. The main difference between software engineers and software development teams is that the engineer is concerned only with functionality; the developer is concerned with the form and style of the application software. Software engineers must understand both hardware and software, but must work with both disciplines in parallel to achieve the desired result. For example, an engineer may create a driver for a particular computer hardware architecture while a software engineer will implement it using his understanding of software.
Software engineers are responsible for writing applications that interface with a specific hardware device. The software engineer will write the application software to run on a specific operating system. They will also test the application for its compatibility with the operating system. Testing is very important for software because any mistake in the implementation of the application could result in problems with the operating system, the computer itself, and the user.
Hardware is generally speaking a device which acts as a medium between the user and the computer system. All hardware devices have a driver which enables them to communicate with a computer system. Some of the more common devices include printers, keyboards, monitors, video game consoles, wireless cards, wireless sensors, USB drives and other physical computing devices. In general, any device which uses input and output (I/O) needs a driver in order to operate correctly. A device driver is therefore needed for almost every piece of hardware that makes up a computer system.
As previously stated, a hardware device driver is needed for almost every piece of hardware that comes with a computer system. Often, however, there are some I/O devices which are included in the operating system itself. Examples of this type of I/O devices are a mouse, keyboard, joystick, gamepad, monitor, and printer. Operating systems provide the utilities necessary to communicate with these types of I/O devices. User interface or window management utilities are also provided by the operating system to assist the user with the various aspects of the computer system. Window manager utilities act as a user interface for a computer system by controlling the desktop and menu management.
There are many other components that come in use with different types of operating systems. One of the main examples is the Cryptainer utility, which authenticates passwords. Another important example is the SSL utility, which creates secure connections to the internet using certificates. One of the more common examples of an embedded utility software is the cryptowsutil utility. cryptowsutil has different types of features such as controlling swap space and controlling pagefile sizes.
There are many different categories of embedded devices and software that make up an embedded computer system. Some of the main examples include printers, scanners, keyboards, touch pads, USB drives, and cameras. All of these devices use different I/O hardware to function properly. Many devices are commonly manufactured by different manufacturers. For example, Xerox produces both printers and faxes under the name of Xerox.
It is very important that embedded computer software is released under a free license. This is because some pieces of hardware are used to control other pieces of hardware. This means that the main software package could be capable of sending or receiving data from one hardware device but not capable of being programmed in a certain way to function differently when used with another hardware device. For this reason, it is imperative for the embedded software to have a patent, which allows it to be protected from being modified or copied. Moving data from one computer program to another is very complex and requires a lot of programming, which only the best embedded software can perform.