These are programs used in converting programs written in other languages to machine language. They are also called language processors. The computer can only execute programs written in machine codes. These codes are tedious for programmers to write; hence they prefer other languages close to human. The translators are then required to change the programs written by the programmers (source codes) to machine language (object code)
Types of translators
There are three types of translators.
- Assemblers: An assembler is a program that translates from assembly language into machine language. Assembly language involves mnemonic and short codes. It is a low level programming language. Examples of codes, used in assembly language are STO for store, ADD for addition and SUB for subtraction
- Interpreters: These are programs that convert high level language to machine codes without generating object codes. An interpreter analysis and executes each line of source code one by one.
- Compilers: These are translators that convert from high-level language to machine language by generating object codes. They collect and reorganize all the instructions in a given set of source code to produce object codes.
These refer to programs designed to help analyse, configure, optimize and maintain the computer. They focus on low the computer resources operate. They reside in the memory until summoned by the user or the operating system.
Examples of utility programs are sort, editor, file copying, dump, file management, tracing and debugging programs, disk utilities, anti-virus, drive converter, registering checker, system file checker, Microsoft Magnifier, desktop enhancer, etc.
Sort Utility: This is a program used to arrange record or file into a predetermined sequence or order.
Dump Utility: This is a program used to copy the content of the main storage into an output medium.
File Copying: This is used to copy data from one medium to another e.g. from hard disk to flash drive.
Tracing and Debugging Program: Tracing is used (to copy data) in testing a program to locate error while debugging is used in removing the errors from the program.
File Viewer: This is a utility that allows you to display and copy the content of a file.
File Compressor Utility: This shrinks the size of a file
Diagnostic Utility: It compiles technical information about a computer hardware and certain system software programs and then prepares a report outlining any identified problems.
Uninstaller: This is a utility that removes an application as well as any associated entries in the system files.
Disk Scanner: This detects and corrects both physical and logical problems on a hard disk and searches for and removes unnecessary files.
Disk Defragmenter: This reorganizes files and unused space on a computer hard disk so that data can be accessed more quickly and programs can run faster.
Backup Utilities: This is used to copy or backup selected files or an entire hard drive into another disk or tape
Screen Saver: It causes the monitor’s screen to display a moving image on a blank screen if no keyboard or mouse activity occurs for a specified period.
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