A program is a spell cast over a computer, turning input into error messages.

—Anonymous

CHAPTER 8

System Software

8.1   INTRODUCTION

Over the course of your career, you may find yourself in a position where you are compelled to buy “suboptimal” computer hardware because a certain system is the only one that runs a particular software product needed by your employer. Although you may be tempted to see this situation as an insult to your better judgment, you have to recognize that a complete system requires software as well as hardware. Software is the window through which users see a system. If the software can’t deliver services in accordance with users’ expectations, they see the entire system as inadequate, regardless of the quality of its ...

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