A computer is able to operate with many different programs for different jobs.
Each program is copied from the hard drive to the random access memory (RAM)
in a microcomputer when it is needed. When the machine is switched off, any
information currently in the RAM is lost. Software is generally stored on hard
drives, and when it is loaded into the machine it is not removed from the hard
drive but only copied for use into the RAM.
Once stored on the hard drive, information can be used with other computers
of the same general type. Information on the hard drive (disk) is read when
the computer scans the magnetic surface of the hard drive, copying encoded program
data into the computer’s temporary RAM memory. Once the data is in the
computer, it can be amended, added to, manipulated, or removed if no longer
wanted before being stored again on the hard drive or other storage media.
Good hardware is not hard to find, but a good software program is the key
to a computer system’s performance. Software can be written in a programming
language to create industry- or company-specific software. However, many hospitality
organizations buy existing software programs from vendors that specialize
in industry software.