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Computer science term paper

"Personal computer software was a new type of product that had to evolve its own styles of marketing. When industry pundits searched for an analogy, they often likened the personal-computer software business to pop music or book publishing. For example, a critical success factor was marketing. Advertising costs typically took up 35 cents of each retail dollar. Promotions took the form of magazine advertising, free demonstration diskettes, point-of-sale materials, exhibitions, and so on. Marketing typically accounted for twice the cost of actually developing a program. As one industry expert put it, the barriers to entry into the software business were "marketing, marketing, and marketing." By contrast, the manufacturing cost-which consisted simply of duplicating floppy disks and manuals-was the smallest cost component of all."

"A computer virus is simply a small self-replicating program that, once placed in the memory of a computer, continues to make copies of itself in the computer memory or on the computer's disks. Like the self-replicating memo and the chain letter, a computer virus contains instructions for its own duplication. It is easy to see how computer viruses can be extremely destructive when they are released into the computers in the community. Viruses have the capacity to hide, undetected, in the memory of a computer and copy themselves onto floppy disks so that they will be transported to other computers where they can continue to replicate themselves. They may incorporate themselves surreptitiously into other programs or attach themselves to document files. They may even attach themselves to email messages and other Internet files so they can spread internationally. To combat them, software companies have released antivirus programs which "hunt down" the viruses by looking for their characteristics and erase them from the memory and disks of the computer. Virus creators have in turn become more devious, writing viruses that hide themselves more efficiently or replicate more rapidly."

"The situation is quite different for microcomputer systems, that is, stand-alone computers that operate from disks. Hundreds and thousands of copies, not just one copy of the lesson, are used by students. If a lesson contains errors, they must either be corrected on every disk or else new, revised disks must be distributed. It may be impossible to know who all the users are, if the lesson is widely used. Even if one could reach all holders of erroneous lessons, the cost would be prohibitive. Therefore, it is particularly important that evaluation be carefully planned and implemented if lessons are written for microcomputer systems."

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