Discovering Computers 2005 Page 1 of 20
Discovering Computers 2005
After completing this chapter, students will be able to:
1. Identify the categories of application 6. Identify the key features of widely
software used home, personal, and educational
2. Explain ways software is distributed programs
3. Explain how to start and interact with 7. Identify the types of application
application software software used in communications
4. Identify the key features of widely 8. Discuss the advantages of using
used business programs application software on the Web
5. Identify the key features of widely 9. Describe the learning aids available for
used graphics and multimedia application software
Application software, 132
Describe application software. List the purposes for which application software is used. Use
Figure 3-1 to characterize the major categories of popular application software. Emphasize that
the categories are not mutually exclusive. List the forms in which application software is
available. Define packaged software. Discuss Figure 3-2. Much of the software with which
students are familiar will be packaged software. Explain how packaged software is purchased.
Define custom software. Emphasize the difference between packaged software and custom
software. Of the forms of application software, custom software probably is the type with which
most students will be least familiar. Define shareware. Although it sometimes is possible to use
shareware beyond the specified period of time, emphasize the advantages of registering the
software. Differentiate between freeware and public-domain software. The distinction
(freeware is copyrighted but public-domain software is not) is subtle but important. Give
examples of shareware, freeware, and public-domain software. Tell how these programs can be
Encourage students to suggest specific software applications (e.g., Microsoft Office Word 2003,
Adobe GoLive, Intuit Quicken) with which they are familiar. Attempt to determine the specific
type of software each suggested package represents (i.e., word processing, Web page authoring,
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personal finance, and so on), the category (business, graphics and multimedia,
home/personal/educational, communications) in which each package belongs, and the form in
which the software is available (i.e., packaged software, custom software, shareware, freeware,
or public-domain software).
How is freeware different from public-domain software? (Answer: Freeware is copyrighted and
cannot be incorporated into applications intended for sale; public-domain software is not
copyrighted and can be copied or distributed to others.)
The role of the system software, 133
Define system software. Use Figure 3-3 to explain the relationship between a user, application
software, system software, and computer hardware. Describe an operating system. Mention the
two most popular operating systems. Note that the operating system is loaded, or copied, from a
computer’s hard disk into memory each time the computer is started. Summarize the role of the
operating system. Operating systems are covered in depth in Chapter 8. Many application
programs are designed to run with a specific operating system. When shopping for an application
software package, buyers must make sure they have a compatible operating system. A software
package designed to be used with the Macintosh operating system might not work with the
Windows operating system. The operating system version also is important. An application
designed for Windows XP might not work with Windows 95. Yet, because most operating
systems are downward compatible, software written for earlier versions of an operating system
(such as Windows 95) usually can be used with recent versions of the operating system (such as
Starting and interacting with application software, 134
Use Figure 3-4 to illustrate how to start and interact with an application program. Most of
today’s operating systems have a graphical user interface (GUI) that allows people to use visual
images to enter commands. Point out that Windows XP and the Mac OS X operating systems use
a desktop metaphor. Windows is the most widely used GUI. Although some users still feel the
Macintosh interface is superior, today some form of Windows is used on almost 90 percent of
personal computers. Because of its popularity, even competitive products often have similar
features, such as the same menu names. Some software developers wonder if the traditional GUI
can be improved. In today’s digital world, the tidy “desktop” metaphor embraced by traditional
GUIs might no longer be appropriate. Now, a typical computer desktop is so jammed with icons,
windows, and menus that finding exactly what you want can be a frustrating task, made even
more overwhelming with increased use of the Internet. As a result, newly designed interfaces
continually are developed for each of the major operating systems. These interfaces hope to
simplify computers with such features as: blending the desktop with the Web, employing Web-
style techniques for tasks, allowing various levels of complexity, displaying files and folders in a
way that indicates their contents, and using transparent menus that let the user see what is
covered. Define desktop. Use Figure 3-4 (Step 1) to define icon, button, click, and pointer.
Note common pointer shapes. Define menu, command, submenu, and shortcut menu
(sometimes called a context-sensitive menu). These terms and their functions are common to
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applications operating in the Windows environment. Point out that an arrowhead () follows
commands with a corresponding submenu. Shortcut menus are context-sensitive, meaning that
they change depending on where the pointer rests, or the activity that is taking place, when the
mouse is right-clicked. Dimmed commands on a menu, submenu, or shortcut menu are
unavailable. Discuss Figure 3-4 (Step 2). Tell how to start an application. Use Figure 3-4 (Step
3) to define window and title bar. In addition to the window title, the title bar usually displays
three buttons in the right-hand corner:
Minimize (_) — when clicked, this button reduces a window to a button on the taskbar.
Maximize () — when clicked, this button enlarges the window so it covers the entire
desktop. When a window fills the desktop, the Maximize button is replaced by a Restore
button () that, when clicked, returns a window to its initial size.
Close () — when clicked, this button closes the window, removing the window from the
desktop and its button from the taskbar.
Define file and file name. Point out that the title bar usually displays a document’s file name in
Figure 3-4 (Step 4). Restrictions on file names once were severe: file names could be no more
than eight characters long, and many characters, including spaces, could not be used. Modern
operating systems, however, have far fewer restrictions. In Windows, a file name can have up to
255 characters, including spaces. A Windows file name cannot contain nine characters: \ / : * ? "
| < >. Use Figure 3-4 (Step 5) to describe a dialog box. In a dialog box, option buttons stipulate
desired alternatives; check boxes turn specific capabilities on or off; text boxes allow text to be
entered; and command buttons immediately perform an action. Point out FAQ 3-1: Will a
document print like it looks on a screen? on page 135.
Using Figure 3-4 (Step 2), ask students to identify the commands that have corresponding
As a quick review, have students visit the Discovering Computer 2005 Quiz Yourself Web page
(scsite.com/dc2005/quiz) and click Objectives 1 – 3 below Chapter 3. Field Code Changed
Business software, 136
Define business software. Use Figure 3-5 to list business software applications and specify
popular packages. This list includes applications that did not even exist, or rarely were used, 10
years ago. Several years ago, a survey was conducted to show the percentage of large businesses
that used various business software applications. The most often used business applications, and
the approximate percentage of businesses that used them are:
Word processing and spreadsheet (100 percent)
Communications, electronic mail, database, and presentation graphics (95 percent)
Desktop publishing (85 percent)
Project management (70 percent)
Personal information management (50 percent)
Point out Web Link 3-1: Sun StarOffice.
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Ask students what additional applications might be used a decade from now. As an exercise, ask
how many students are familiar with each type of application in Figure 3-5. Express the numbers
as a percentage of the class, and compare them with the percentages for business use expressed
above. How are the percentages similar? How are they different? How might the results of a
more recent survey of large businesses be different? Encourage students to consider why some
applications are more popular than others.
Discuss Issue 3-1: Is It Ethical to Copy Software?
PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
Each software application is characterized by certain key features, but every software package in
an application is not exactly the same. Different spreadsheet packages, for example, might use
different methods to enter formulas, offer different functions, and have different ways to draw
charts. People who use a software package at work often have strong feelings about the
package’s strengths and weaknesses. Have students interview someone who works with one of
the software applications described in this chapter. What software package does the person use?
Why was that package chosen? How did the person being interviewed learn to use the package?
What does the person like, or dislike, about the software? For what purpose is the package used?
If a friend was choosing software to perform a similar task, would the person recommend this
software package? Why or why not?
Word processing software, 137
Define word processing software, or word processor. In the modern office, word processing
software has replaced the typewriter for almost all written work. Word processing offers several
advantages when producing a document. For example, consider producing a 10-page report
using both a typewriter and a word processor, and then discovering that a paragraph must be
added to the first page. In this circumstance, most people would rather be using the word
processor. Discuss Figure 3-6. List, and define, some features of the word processing software,
such as clip art, margins, wordwrap, scrolling, search, replace, spelling checker, header, and
footer. Use Figure 3-7 to describe some additional word processing features, such as a macro,
smart tags, and a template. When macros are recorded, the sequence of keystrokes and
instructions is written in a programming language included with the application. For example,
macros written in Windows-based applications (such as Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint)
are written using Visual Basic. Visual Basic is described in Chapter 13. Often grammar checkers
offer explanations and suggestions. Some grammar checkers allow users to employ different
standards for different types of composition, such as business writing or casual writing.
Some word processing features should be used with discretion. Overzealous use of a spelling
checker in a Wall Street Journal article caused the name Clyde Leff to appear as “Cloyed Elf.”
Even a spelling checker cannot ensure that all words in a document will be spelled correctly. As
an extreme example, the sentence, “I here ewe deer, but I am busy write now” clearly is
incorrect, but it would go unnoticed by a spelling checker. It might be fun for students to suggest
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other misspelled sentences that would be ignored by a spelling checker. Will spelling checkers,
thesauruses, and grammar checkers some day eliminate the need to learn spelling, vocabulary,
and grammatical rules. Why or why not?
Consider inviting an administrative assistant to visit and describe the impact word processing has
had on his or her work.
Discuss Issue 3-2: Personal or Processed? on page 138.
Developing a document, 138
Some students might be put off by the word “document,” thinking it is reserved for valuable
manuscripts or legal papers. In word processing, a document is any work developed through the
writing process. List the activities involved in producing a document using word processing.
Point out that these steps need not always be performed sequentially; a document can — and
probably should — be saved before it is edited or formatted. Define create and edit. Identify
common editing tasks. For many writers, the editing capabilities of word processing software
have altered, and improved, the creative process. The freedom to express yourself without
reservation, knowing you easily can revise what you have written, can improve the quality of
written work. “There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very
beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred
pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don’t see them.” (Elie Wiesel, U.S. writer). Describe
the clipboard and pasting. Define format. Offer examples of formatting tasks. An axiom of
business is that the higher up the corporate hierarchy a document is destined, the greater the
effort that must be invested in formatting. Use Figure 3-8 to define font and differentiate
between a serif font and a sans serif font. Choosing a font is one of the most important tasks
undertaken by a document designer, especially if the document is intended for a wide audience.
Serif fonts are easy to read — the decorative lines help a reader’s eyes move from one character
to the next. Because they lack the decorative lines, sans serif fonts slow a reader’s eyes and often
are used for headings or to add emphasis. Use Figure 3-8 to define font size, point, and font
style. Font size generally stipulates the distance from the top of an ascender to the bottom of a
descender. Therefore, 12 point font size is 12 points from the top of an h to the bottom of a p.
Some European countries (France, Germany, Italy) measure font size in Didot points, which are
slightly larger than American points. Printers often use a unit called a pica, which is equal to 12
points (12/72 or 1/6 of an inch) to determine the dimensions of lines, illustrations, and pages.
Describe save and print. Point out that many word processing programs have an AutoSave
feature. Today, most word processing software has a capability known as WYSIWYG (what you
see is what you get) that allows users to see on the screen using the Print Preview command
exactly how a document will look when printed. Most word processors can display more than
one page or enlarge a single page in print preview. Point out FAQ 3-2: How does the computer
know which application software was used to save a file? on page 140.
Ask what effect, if any, word processors have on the creative process. Are people using word
processing software more willing to adopt a “stream-of-consciousness” style, knowing that
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whatever they write easily can be changed? If possible, compare a formatted document to an
unformatted document. Which document has more impact? Why?
How are creating, editing, and formatting a document different? (Answer: Creating involves
entering text or numbers, inserting graphical images, and performing other tasks using an input
device; editing involves making changes to a document’s existing content; formatting involves
changing a document’s appearance.)
Voice recognition, 141
Define voice recognition, or speech recognition. Describe voice recognition programs.
Discuss Figure 3-9. Voice recognition is a key component of Microsoft’s Office 2003 software
suite. Voice Command mode allows Office users to perform many of the tasks once done using
menus or toolbar buttons by saying certain preset phrases. For example, Microsoft Office Word
2003 users can check the spelling and grammar in a document simply by saying, “Spelling and
Grammar.” Point out Web Link 3-2: Voice Recognition Software.
Spreadsheet software, 142
Characterize spreadsheet software. Use Figure 3-10 to illustrate a worksheet. Note the features
shared by word processing software and spreadsheet software. The basic spreadsheet concept of
double-entry bookkeeping was originated by Pacioli in 1494. The first spreadsheet software,
VisiCalc, was introduced in 1979. For some accounting professionals, a worksheet is an
electronic spreadsheet, but for most people (and in this textbook), the words “spreadsheet” and
“worksheet” are synonymous.
Ask students if formatting is as important to a spreadsheet as it is to a word processing
document. Why or why not?
Spreadsheet organization, 142
Describe a spreadsheet file. Use Figure 3-10 to illustrate the organization of a worksheet. Tell
how columns and rows are identified. Define cell and explain how cells are named. In Figure 3-
10, cell B15 is selected (note the box around cell B15 in Figure 3-10), and the cell reference
appears just below the toolbar. List the three types of data that cells might contain. Define label.
Using Figure 3-10, suggest the contents of a cell (e.g., Revenue), and ask students to determine
the corresponding cell reference (A4).
Define value, formula, and function. Use Figure 3-11 to identify some common spreadsheet
functions. Some spreadsheet programs offer more than 200 internal functions. Additional
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collections of functions can be purchased or custom-developed for specific applications.
Formulas and functions usually must be preceded by a special character (such as =, +, or @) to
distinguish them from labels or values. Labels, values, formulas, and functions can be copied
from one cell to another. When labels and values are copied, they remain the same. When
formulas and functions are copied, however, the cell references are updated to reflect the new
location. For example, if the formula in cell B16 (=B7 – B15) is copied to cell C16, the formula
becomes =C7 – C15; if the function in cell F10 (=SUM(B10:E10)) is copied to cell F11, the
function becomes =SUM(B11:E11). Because the cell references change when the formula or
function is copied, this type of cell reference (e.g., B7) is called a relative reference. To keep cell
references constant (unchanged) when a formula or function is copied, absolute references are
used. In Excel, in an absolute reference both the column letter and row number are preceded by a
dollar sign (e.g., $B$7). A third type of reference, called a mixed cell reference, is used to keep
only the row (e.g., B$7) or only the column (e.g., $B7) constant. A function key, such as F4,
often can be used to change the reference type.
Using Figure 3-10, challenge students to identify the contents and type of data in various cells.
Cell A5 – Natural Gas – label
Cell B5 – $87,345,450 – value
Cell F5 – $315,719,194 – formula (=B5+C5+D5+E5) or function (=SUM(B5:E5))
Explain why recalculation is a powerful feature of spreadsheet software. Tell how changing a
value in Figure 3-10 would impact the worksheet. An interesting example of the benefits of
recalculation is the 1790 U.S. census. An examination of the census report shows a small error in
arithmetic (one total is off by two persons). Was the error undetected or, perhaps equally likely,
was the mistake spotted but not considered significant enough to warrant redoing the report?
Define what-if analysis. Another powerful spreadsheet capability, called goal-seek, finds what
value is needed to reach a specified goal. With goal seek, a spreadsheet software user could
determine the exam grade needed to earn a desired final grade. Point out Web Link 3-3:
Spreadsheet Software on page 144.
Encourage students to suggest situations in which what-if analysis would be valuable, such as
deciding the effect of exam performance on a final grade.
Define charting. Describe line chart, column chart (or bar chart), and pie chart. Other popular
chart types include XY (scatter), doughnut, stock, bubble, radar, surface, cone, pyramid, and
cylinder. Discuss Figure 3-12.
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Different chart types are used for different purposes. To test student understanding of the basic
chart types, have them decide what chart type would be best to illustrate various type of data,
such as temperature variations, item prices, family budgets, and so on.
Database software, 145
Although most spreadsheet packages can manage data tables of a few thousand records, database
software efficiently can handle much larger data tables. Define database and database software
(sometimes called a database management system (DBMS)). Describe a record and a field.
When a database is designed, a unique but descriptive field name is assigned to each field. The
field size (number of characters in the field) and data type (text, numeric, currency, date, memo,
hyperlink, or object) also are determined. Together, these items are known as the database table
structure. Entering individual records is called populating the table. The process of checking if
the data is correct by comparing the data with a set of rules or values is called validation. Point
out that data also can be imported from an existing file. Discuss Figure 3-13. Explain how
records in a database can be manipulated to produce information. Define query and form. A
query is run by identifying criteria, which are restrictions that the data must meet. Data also can
be sorted, or arranged in a particular order, such as alphabetical or by date. The form that
displays the results of a query is temporary, but it can be renamed and saved.
To reinforce the concepts of record and field, ask students what records and fields they would
use for a class database (e.g., last name, first name, final average, and so on). Encourage students
to suggest rules, or values, that might be used to validate (ensure the accuracy of) data entry
(e.g., final average must be greater than 0 but less than 100). Ask students how the database
might be queried or sorted.
Presentation graphics software, 146
Word processing and spreadsheet software came out around 1980. Presentation graphics
software was not introduced until the mid- to late-1980s. Yet, it can be argued that presentation
graphics software has had almost as great an impact on business, and on how people do business,
as either of the older applications. Describe presentation graphics software. Use Figure 3-14 to
illustrate slides used in a slide show. Point out how presentation graphics software helps users to
build a presentation. Some packages offer templates for various presentations (company meeting,
financial report, marketing plan, progress report, employee orientation, training, and so on).
Mention that presentations can be enhanced with automatic timing or special effects. Define
slide sorter view. Tell how a clip gallery is stored and organized. Define import. Use Figure 3-15
to describe a slide sorter. The miniature slides commonly are called “thumbnails.” Tell how a
presentation is viewed. Use Figures 3-16a and 3-16b to describe alternative presentation formats:
an outline, an audience handout, and a notes page. Point out word processing features that are
available in presentation graphics software. Consider how presentation graphics software
improves a presentation. Mention Web Link 3-4: Presentation Graphics Software on page 147.
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PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
As an extra-credit project, have students use presentation graphics software, such as Microsoft
PowerPoint, to present the history, features, or uses of a business software application to the
Note taking software, 147
Describe note taking software. Discuss Figure 3-17. Point out how note taking software can be
used once notes are captured. Explain how notes are entered on a desktop or notebook computer
and on a Tablet PC. List some of the features of note taking software.
Personal information managers, 148
Describe a personal information manager (PIM). Characterize an appointment calendar,
address book, and notepad. Mention other PIM capabilities. Point out that most PDAs include
PIM functionality. PIMs essentially are “free style” database managers. They have become very
popular with people who spend much of their time in business travel. These people, often called
road warriors, find PIMs a valuable weapon in the arsenal they bring to their daily battles. Like a
daily planner, PIMs must be reviewed regularly to be effective. Tell how PDA users can
synchronize information between their PDAs and a personal computer. Discuss Figure 3-18.
PDA business software, 148
Note the variety of applications available for PDAs. Explain that most PDAs can access software
on miniature storage media. Various types of miniature storage media are introduced in Chapter
7. Capacities for most miniature storage media range from 16 MB (16 million bytes) to 2 GB (2
billion bytes). Most miniature storage media is smaller than a postage stamp. Mention the types
of software on memory cards available for PDAs. Encourage students to read the PDA Software
feature following Chapter 5. Point out Looking Ahead 3-1: 3G Wireless Service Developing.
Software suite, 149
Define software suite. List the applications typically included in a software suite. Mention the
two more widely used software suites, Microsoft Office 2003 and Sun StarOffice. Note the two
major advantages of a software suite: lower cost and ease of use. Use catalogues or
advertisements to compare the cost of applications purchased individually to the cost of the same
applications purchased as part of a software suite. Mention FAQ 3-3: What is the difference
between Microsoft Office 2003 and Microsoft Office System?
Ask students when it makes sense to buy a software suite. When would it be wiser to purchase
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Project management software, 149
Use Figure 3-19 to describe project management software. Most project management
programs are based either on a system designed by the U.S. Navy called Program Evaluation and
Review Technique (PERT) or an approach developed by Remington Rand and E.I. du Pont
called Critical Path Method (CPM). Point out the value of project management software. In
addition to the information shown in Figure 3-19, project management software can convey the
critical path (activities that, if delayed, would delay the entire project), project budget, project
crashing (the shortest time necessary to complete a project given unlimited resources), and the
probability of project completion.
Accounting software, 149
Define accounting software. Discuss Figure 3-20. Consider the capabilities of accounting
software. List the more sophisticated features offered by some accounting software packages.
Ask students to imagine that they have a small business. How might these factors affect whether
or not they decide to use accounting software: The service or product sold? The number of
employees? The number of clients? The business’s location? The clients’ locations? What other
factors might influence their decision?
Graphics and multimedia software, 150
List occupations that often work with graphics and multimedia software. Use Figure 3-21 to
identify types of graphics and multimedia software and popular software products. Mention FAQ
3-4: What prevents me from opening some files on the Web that contain company literature and
brochures? on page 151.
Johann Guttenberg’s introduction of movable type in the 15th century and the subsequent
development of the printing press had a profound impact on Western thought. Books once
available only to a privileged elite became accessible to a much wider audience, thereby
broadening the distribution of ideas. Some believe Web page authoring software, desktop
publishing software, presentation graphics software, multimedia authoring software, and other
applications that help people communicate more effectively will have a similar impact.
Unpublished authors can use these applications to produce works that, because of their
professional looking appearance, are considered thoughtfully and circulated extensively. Will
these applications really help give previously unheard speakers a louder voice? Why or why not?
What effect, if any, will these applications have on the delivery, and possible acceptance, of
material that reflects unconventional, or not generally accepted, ideas?
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Computer-aided design, 151
Define computer-aided design (CAD) software. Discuss Figure 3-22. Consider the advantages
of CAD software. By allowing design alternatives to be created and tested on a computer, CAD
systems can reduce planning costs, save development time, and result in superior products.
Ask students to suggest areas in which CAD software could be used.
Desktop publishing software (for the professional), 151
Despite their advanced features, the design capabilities of word processing software are
exceeded by the capabilities of desktop publishing software. Use Figure 3-23 to describe
desktop publishing (DTP) software. Point out how word processing software is different from
DTP. Define page layout (sometimes called page makeup). Explain how text and graphics used
in DTP can be created or imported. Mention the capabilities of DTP. Define color library.
Unlike word processing software, DTP software increases hardware requirements. Because of its
relatively low cost (an advanced DTP system can be purchased for less than $10,000) and the
speed, control, security, and flexibility offered by desktop publishing, many companies are using
DTP instead of outside printing firms for their publishing needs.
PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
Users of desktop publishing software frequently enhance their work with scanned photographs or
graphics from illustration software. The Internet now is providing a new resource for desktop
publishers. Companies such as Corbis, Picture Network International, Muse, and Liaison
International are offering archives of artwork and photographs. Information about all four
companies can be found on the World Wide Web. Have students pick two companies that
provide digital images and find out more about their product. What kind of illustrations are
available? How are pictures on a specific subject located? How are the illustrations provided?
What fees are involved? Would the cost be different for a high school student creating one paper
than for an organization newsletter with a state-wide distribution? Which company do students
Paint/image editing software (for the professional), 152
Describe paint software (or illustration software) and image editing software. Discuss Figure
3-24. Paint software and image editing software have had a tremendous impact on commercial
art. Commercial artists praise the capabilities offered by these applications. At the same time,
many feel clients are demanding more, both in terms of time (by requiring work to be produced
more quickly) and expectations (by insisting more often on changes, because work is altered
easily). As a result, some commercial artists believe their income has dropped because of graphic
Discuss Issue 3-3: Should What We See Be What We Get?
Modern paint programs authentically mimic art produced by hand, right down to brush strokes
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and surface textures. Better yet, artists can import other graphic files and effortlessly change a
work in progress. Some complain, however, that computerization has made their work too easy.
Knowing illustrations can be readily altered, clients are more demanding and less forgiving.
Even worse, digital art has been denounced as having a bland quality that reflects little effort,
feeling, or imagination. What is the future of paint software? Will it ever be widely accepted?
Why or why not? How might paint software change commercial art? Will it ever be used by
noncommercial artists? Why or why not?
Video and audio editing software, 153
Define video editing software, audio editing software, and filters. Discuss Figure 3-25.
PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
Encourage interested students to research the impact of video and audio editing software on
popular films and music.
Multimedia authoring software, 153
Define multimedia authoring software. Discuss Figure 3-26. Point out how multimedia
presentations usually are used, stored, and delivered. Students might be familiar with multimedia
games on CD-ROM. Exploring Computers, the companion work to the student text, is an
example of a multimedia presentation.
A related legal issue is the use of multimedia software in the courtroom. Maya, a software
program developed by SGI, uses the laws of physics and complex calculations to produce a
video “simulation” of how a crime probably was committed. The video is so polished, it appears
to be a reenactment of the crime. Already, the software has helped to obtain convictions in some
trials. Critics argue that the software should not be used. They maintain that the software might
unfairly influence juries (“The simulation that jurors see makes one version of events appear
very certain,” one legal scholar says), and, at a cost of more the $5,000, the software might not
be equally available to everyone. Should the products of multimedia software be permitted in the
courtroom? Why or why not?
Web page authoring software, 154
Remind students how Web page authoring software can be used to create fascinating Web
pages. Web page authoring software was explored in Chapter 2. Explain how applications that
include the capability to create Web pages, and Web page authoring software, are different. Point
out FAQ 3-5: How do I know which program to buy?
As a quick review, have students visit the Discovering Computer 2005 Quiz Yourself Web page
(scsite.com/dc2005/quiz) and click Objectives 4 – 5 below Chapter 3. Field Code Changed
Discovering Computers 2005 Page 13 of 20
Software for home, personal, and educational use, 154
List examples of software designed for personal or educational use. Note the relatively
inexpensive cost of these applications. Use Figure 3-27 to review these applications and some
Software suite (for personal use), 155
Describe a software suite (for personal use). Mention that software suites are designed to have a
consistent structure. Tell how a software suite for personal use is similar to, and different from, a
software suite. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a software suite. Prices can vary for
the same brand of software suite. Significant discounts often are available for academia.
PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
The relative merit of software suites versus individual software packages sometimes is perceived
as quantity versus quality — software suites provides more “bang for the buck” by combining
several applications, but the capabilities of each component are eclipsed by individual software
packages. Many feel that a software suite is the best buy for average computer users. Have
students visit a local computer software vendor or the Web site of a software manufacturer and
compare a software suite package (such as Microsoft Works) to some individual software
application packages. How much does the software suite cost? How much would it cost to buy
comparable application software packages individually? What are the differences between the
capabilities of applications in the software suite and those of individual software packages? In
general, what type of people would be content with a software suite? Why? What type of people
only would be satisfied with individual application packages? Why?
How is a software suite for personal use, such as Microsoft Works, different from a more
powerful software suite, such as Microsoft Office 2003? (Answer: The programs in a software
suite for personal use cannot be purchased individually and typically do not have all the
capabilities of the programs in a more powerful software suite; thus, software suites for personal
use are less expensive than more powerful software suites.)
Personal finance software, 155
Define personal finance software. Discuss Figure 3-28. List the capabilities of personal finance
software. Some personal finance packages also can prepare reports on income and expenses,
budget, net worth, taxes, and investments. Personal finance software wizards can help to balance
accounts, prepare budgets, plan mortgages, calculate savings, and arrange retirements. Point out
the online services offered by many personal finance software packages. Describe online
banking. Mention Web Link 3-5: Personal Finance Software.
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Legal software, 156
Describe legal software. Show Figure 3-29. Explain how legal software is used. Legal software
is designed to facilitate creation of standard documents; unusual circumstances might still
demand the services of a lawyer.
Ask students when they think the cost of legal software would be justified. Why?
Tax preparation software, 156
Describe tax preparation software. Discuss Figure 3-30. Like legal software, tax preparation
software is best used by people in fairly common circumstances. Mention Apply It 3-1: Easing a
Taxing Part of Life.
Ask students if, because tax preparation software might be used more frequently than legal
software, its cost is more easily justified? Why or why not?
Desktop publishing software (for personal use), 156
Use Figure 3-31 to describe personal DTP software. List documents that personal DTP
software can be used to produce. Tell how personal DTP is used to create documents. Point out
Web Link 3-6: Personal DTP Software on page 157.
Paint/image editing software (for personal use), 157
Describe personal paint/image editing software. Mention how personal paint/image editing
software is like professional paint/image editing software. Discuss Figure 3-32. Characterize
photo editing software. Tell how photo editing software is used. Mention FAQ 3-6: How do
pictures get into the computer from a digital camera?
Clip art/image gallery, 158
Define clip art/image gallery. Discuss Figure 3-33. Explain how clip art/image galleries are
obtained and used. Mention Web Link 3-7: Microsoft Design Gallery Live.
Home design/landscaping software, 158
Describe home design/landscaping software. Show Figure 3-34.
Ask students what advantage home design/landscaping software has over traditional methods of
determining design changes. What might be disadvantages of home design/landscaping
Discovering Computers 2005 Page 15 of 20
Educational and reference software, 158
Define educational software. In 1999, American parents spent more than $424 million on
educational CD-ROMs. For some students, educational software is a welcome alternative to
traditional classes, allowing them to work privately at their own pace. Advocates also point out
that good educational software provides instant correction of errors, senses when a child is
struggling and provides immediate help, and offers a variety of activities to reinforce a topic. A
recent report from parents and educators, entitled Fool’s Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in
Childhood, takes a less sanguine view of educational software. The report maintains that
educational software has no proven positive effects on children. In fact, the report contends,
childhood use of computers even might result in problems, such as poor posture, repetitive-stress
injuries, and impaired social development. Describe computer-based training (CBT). Discuss
Figure 3-35. The quality of educational software can vary greatly. A reviewer of educational
software offers these tips for parent buyers:
Do not assume all of a publisher’s products are equally good.
Find a program that matches your child’s learning style.
Stay involved with your child’s computer use and set time limits.
Define reference software. Discuss Figure 3-36. Reference software articles often include links
that, when clicked, display related articles. Because referenced material can change frequently,
some reference software packages can be updated via the World Wide Web. Mention Looking
Ahead 3-2: Plagiarism Software Detects Cheating on page 159.
Have students consider the advantages and disadvantages of educational software, both as a
presenter of new material and as an aid for reinforcement. When, and for what subjects, might
they use educational software with their children? Why?
Software developed for elementary school children, kindergartners, and even pre-schoolers has
won the praise of educators and child psychologists. Yet, a minor furor has erupted over
Knowledge Adventure’s Jump Start Baby program, which is aimed at children nine to twenty-
four months old. According to developers, Jump Start Baby makes even young children
comfortable with computers. The software is tailored to tots and, supporters insist, certainly is
more beneficial than an equal amount of time spent watching television. Critics feel, however,
that digital blocks are no substitute for the real thing. Children need to experience the real world,
not a cyber representation. When should children be introduced to computers? Why? How can
parents ensure that a child’s computer experience is worthwhile?
Entertainment software, 159
Define entertainment software. Surveys show that more than 50 percent of Americans play
videogames. Although teenage boys are the most avid users of entertainment software (mostly
interactive games), 43 percent of users are women, and 13 percent of users are older than 50. List
purposes for which entertainment software are used. Discuss Figure 3-37. Mention Web Link 3-
8: Entertainment Software.
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Have students list entertainment software packages with which they are familiar.
The virtual game industry is one of the fastest-growing fields in the entertainment spectrum.
Recently, the United States Congress warned game makers that companies in the United States
could face government intervention if they fail to police themselves in marketing games with
violent content to children. Opponents of this warning argue that most children recognize that
computer games are just that — games — and simply provide an entertainment outlet. They
believe that parents, not government, should determine what games children play. Can computer
games have a detrimental influence? Why or why not? Should computer games be regulated? If
so, how should this regulation be applied? Should the responsibility for game playing be
primarily the responsibility of parents?
Industry experts claim more than 80 percent of entertainment and educational software is
purchased by males. As computer literacy becomes increasingly important to career
advancement, some feel this figure indicates an added obstacle for females entering the
workplace. Analysts insist much of the disparity in computer use is a result of the nature of
entertainment and educational software. Boys like the shoot-‘em-up, win-lose character of most
entertainment software. Girls, on the other hand, prefer exploratory, less competitive software.
Unless software adjusts, some fear that female interest in computers will continue to wane. Are
the analysts right? Do males and females favor different types of software? If so, should software
developers adapt their products? Why or why not? Is it important to modify entertainment and/or
educational software to meet the interests of different groups? Why?
Application software for communications, 160
Recall the communications capabilities of computers. Discuss Figure 3-38. Many of the
applications presented here (e-mail, FTP, Web browser, newsgroup/message board, chat room,
instant messaging, and video conferencing/telephone calls were explored in Chapter 2).
Communications and networks are dealt with extensively in Chapter 9. Communications
software does not have to be expensive or difficult to use; in fact, it is included with several
Computer communications touch everyone’s life. Consider the ATM that “knows” a bank
balance even though it is located 500 miles from the bank. Ask students to suggest other
occasions when they face communications software.
Discuss Issue 3-4: Is Someone Watching You?
PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
The most popular Web browser is Netscape Navigator, once used by almost 80 percent of people
who surf the Web. Next in line is Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, at one time a distant second with
a constituency of about 10 percent. Internet Explorer is narrowing the gap, however, by
emulating some of Netscape’s strengths, forming alliances with online services, and becoming
Discovering Computers 2005 Page 17 of 20
an integral part of the Windows operating system. Yet, Netscape Navigator maintains that it still
is a smaller and better browser. Information about both browsers can be found on the World
Wide Web. Have students compare these two browsers, or another two browsers, and form their
own opinions. What features are offered by both? What capabilities does one have that the other
does not? What is the cost of each? Based on their evaluations, which Web browser do they
think is better? Why?
Application Software on the Web, 161
Point out the two disadvantages of installed software. Mention Apply It 3-2: Obtaining
Application Software. Describe a Web application. Web applications can be a better buy than
packaged applications. For example, a $50 packaged antivirus program can be replaced by a
Web application that costs less than $30 annually, is updated frequently, and uses less space on a
hard disk. In addition, packaged software can include features someone might never use (which,
of course, increase the cost of the package). Often, you can use the standard version of a similar
Web application for less money or even for free, and only pay more for the additional features
you want. Web applications can save businesses money with reduced installation, upgrade, and
maintenance costs. Some social analysts believe that the lower cost of Web applications also can
help close the “digital divide.” For Web application vendors, benefits include easier updating
and debugging (error correcting), removal of packaging and distribution costs, and elimination of
software piracy (the illegal copying and selling of software). Note the different ways in which
Web applications are accessed. Discuss Figures 3-39 and 3-40. Describe .NET. Microsoft.NET
tightly integrates its Web applications with the Microsoft’s Windows operating system. In 2001,
a company called Ximian announced that it intended to develop open-source versions of .NET
products. These open-source versions will be able to be used with other operating systems (such
as the increasingly popular Linux) thus, according to one Ximian marketer, creating “an
alternative to living in a Window’s based world.” Despite their advantages, analysts point out
that Web applications might not be right for everyone. For some consumers, paying a monthly
fee ultimately costs more than the one-time purchase of packaged software. Also, many
households do not have the fast Internet connection needed for certain Web applications to run
smoothly. Finally, some people worry that files stored at a Web application site can be infected
with viruses. Web application vendors, however, believe these worries are groundless and that
Web applications benefit both buyers and sellers. Point out Web Link 3-9: Web Applications.
Application service providers, 162
Define application service provider (ASP). Differentiate among the five categories of ASPs:
Enterprise ASP, Local/Regional ASP, Specialist ASP, Vertical Market ASP, and Volume
Business ASP. Point out why some companies have been slow to outsource ASPs. Some Wall
Street analysts predict that ASPs “will be the key of our global economy over the next decade.”
Popular ASPs include cMeRun, Personable.com, and Media Station.
Web-based training, 162
Describe Web-based training (WBT). Tell how WBT is used. Describe distance learning (DL),
also called distance education (DE) or online learning. Web-based courses allow students to
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pursue subjects and access instructors that otherwise might not be available. Distance learning
students should be careful, however, when choosing a school at which to matriculate. Experts
claim the number of fake “schools” engaged in distance learning tripled in the 1990s. These
schools, usually with official-sounding names, profit from offering courses with little legitimacy
or degrees with no validity at prices ranging from $3 to $5,000. Before enrolling in a distance
education course, students should make sure the school’s accrediting agency is recognized by
either the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) or the Accrediting Commission for Higher
Education Accreditation (CHEA). Discuss Figure 3-41. Note the appeal of Web-based
instructional sites. Point out Web Link 3-10: Web-Based Training.
Learning aids and support tools for application software, 163
List the resources available to help application software users. Use Figures 3-42a through 3-42c
to describe online Help, FAQs, and wizards. Define online Help. Explain how to access online
Help. In Windows applications, function key F1 often is used to activate the Help feature. In
many applications, an audible “beep” indicates an error, and the last entry should be reviewed.
Define context-sensitive. Some applications have a Help button that, when clicked, changes the
mouse pointer to a Help arrow. This arrow can be used to obtain help on a command, button, or
bar by pointing at the item and clicking. Describe Web-based help. Define FAQ (frequently
asked questions). Describe the FAQ available on many companies’ Web pages. Trade books,
which detail the features of an application, are available for many software packages. Although
computer stores carry some trade books, entire aisles of computer-related books can be found in
most large bookstores. Discuss Figure 3-43. For some applications, other learning aids such as
tutorials or keyboard templates are available. Tutorials are step-by-step instructions using real
examples that show how to use an application. Tutorials can be printed, software-based, or
Internet-based. Keyboard templates (plastic sheets that fit around a portion of the keyboard)
illustrate the keyboard commands for various tasks. As the cost of traditional manuals increases
and the price of CD-ROMs decreases, multimedia tutorials are increasingly common. Define
wizard. In addition to the documents mentioned, wizards can be used to help create faxes,
awards, pleadings, calendars, postcards, envelopes, mailing labels, newsletters, and Web pages.
Some applications also provide templates, which are special documents that provide basic tools
for shaping a final document. The availability of learning aids and support tools is an important
consideration in selecting an application package.
Many software developers have eliminated user’s manuals in favor of extensive online Help.
Ask students how they feel about this trend.
PROJECTS TO ASSIGN
Although most software packages can be learned with online Help or tutorials, many people
prefer using trade books — written texts that explain the features of an application and how to
use them. Have students pick a software application, such as word processing, and visit a
bookstore or software vendor to survey the trade books on that application. For what particular
package (e.g., Microsoft Office Word 2003, Sun StarOffice Writer, Corel WordPerfect) are the
most titles available? How difficult would it be to learn each software package using the trade
books at hand? Which trade book do you think is the best? Why? If they were going to purchase
Discovering Computers 2005 Page 19 of 20
a software package solely on the basis of the related trade books, which package would they
As a quick review, have students visit the Discovering Computer 2005 Quiz Yourself Web page
(scsite.com/dc2005/quiz) and click Objectives 6 – 9 below Chapter 3. Field Code Changed
Chapter summary, 164
Briefly summarize the material presented in this chapter. Point out Career Corner: Help Desk
High-Tech Talk, 165
Have students read Infection and Delivery: How Computer Viruses Work. Define virus and
payload. Note the number of computer viruses that exist. Explain how viruses spread. Describe
the three actions viruses typically perform during the infection phase. Tell how a macro virus, a
boot sector virus, a file virus, a stealth virus, a polymorphic virus, a logic bomb, a time bomb, a
malicious-logic program, a worm, and a Trojan horse are different. Explain how students can
use the Discovering Computers 2005 High-Tech Talk Web page (scsite.com/dc2005/tech) to Field Code Changed
learn more about viruses.
Companies on the Cutting Edge, 166
Have students read Microsoft and Apple Computer. Students can visit the Discovering
Computers 2005 Companies Web page (scsite.com/dc2005/companies) to learn more about Field Code Changed
Microsoft and Apple Computer.
Technology Trailblazers, 167
Have students read Dan Bricklin and Masayoshi Son. Students can visit the Discovering
Computers 2005 People Web page (scsite.com/dc2005/people) to learn more about Dan Bricklin Field Code Changed
and Masayoshi Son.
Chapter Review, 168
This section provides a general survey of the material in the chapter. Students can use these
pages to reinforce their achievement of the chapter objectives. Students can use the Web address
scsite.com/dc2005/ch3/review to display this page from the Web. Field Code Changed
Key Terms, 170
Students can use these terms to prepare for tests and quizzes. Students should know each
Primary Term (shown in bold-black characters in the chapter) and be familiar with each
Secondary Term (shown in italic characters in the chapter). Primary Terms include terms
commonly used in the computer industry and in advertisements, or terms that identify a major
category. Secondary Terms include terms primarily used by IT professionals and other technical
people, terms that identify subcategories, or terms that are discussed in more depth in a later
chapter. Students can use the Web address scsite.com/dc2005/ch3/terms to display this page Field Code Changed
from the Web.
In the Test Bank that accompanies this Instructor’s Manual, the answers to questions pertaining
to Primary Terms are labeled (P), and the answers to questions pertaining to Secondary Terms
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are labeled (S). If you are using the ExamView test generator, you can use the Primary or
Secondary difficulty designations to choose questions that involve only Primary Terms, only
Secondary Terms, or both Primary and Secondary Terms.
These exercises review key terms and concepts presented in the chapter. Have students complete
the Label the Figure, True/False, Multiple Choice, Matching, Short Answer, and Working
Together exercises. Students can use the Web address scsite.com/dc2005/ch3/check to display Field Code Changed
this page from the Web.
Learn It Online, 174
These exercises ask students to visit Web pages that offer additional information, resources, and
activities related to topics presented in the chapter. Students can use the Web address
scsite.com/dc2005/ch3/learn to display this page from the Web. Field Code Changed
Lab Exercises, 176
These exercises help students learn more about using a computer and working with Windows
XP. Students can use the Web address scsite.com/dc2005/ch3/lab to display this page from the Field Code Changed
Web. Have students complete selected exercises.
Web Research, 177
In these exercises, students use various Web resources to find out more features related to this
chapter. Encourage students to use their browsers and the link in each exercise or a search engine
to complete selected exercises.