"Software" is a song from the Schoolhouse Rock! segment Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips. It teaches us about computer software.


To have some fun or pass a quiz
Just follow this computer whiz
Scooter Computer and Mr. Chips
They've got the answers at their fingertips

Here I am and there you stand, such distance in between
Because I am a human and you are a machine
How can I communicate exactly what I mean
When I am a human and you are a machine

Parlez-vous Francais?
¿Habla Español?

Mr. Chips:
I am a computer with so much in store
If you could learn my language or I could speak in yours
Then I'd do more work for you than you could ever dream

Though you are a human and I am a machine

Ok, I'll give it a try

Mr. Chips:
First I hope you'll clear your mind and listen closely, Scooter
Forget the words you thought you knew and start to think computer
Computers change the letters and the numerals humans type
To a number code made up of things that we call bits and bytes

Bits and bytes?

Mr. Chips:
Think computer, Scooter
A byte is several digits all standing in a row
They help present a letter or a number that you know
For instance when you write an "A"
This byte is what I see
And 00110011 is my way of saying "3"

This bit is one little bit of a byte

I get it - bits and bytes are sort of a computer's alphabet

Mr. Chips:
That's right, but ABC and 123 isn't talking
Hey, let's face it
That's why one language that we use is called computer BASIC

Computer BASIC?

Mr. Chips:
"Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code"
BASIC is a language that most computers know, and once you start to speak it, communications flow. You use words and phrases - I use bits and bytes instead, and BASIC lets us understand what the other one just said.

So BASIC is a language that I can talk in human and you can talk in machine and we can understand each other.

Mr. Chips:
Yes, BASIC is the language you'll be using to feed in my data. It's also the language all my programs or software are written in.

Data, programs, software?

Mr. Chips:
Data is information
Data means the facts
It's everything you store in me
For solving problems back
A program means directions
That tell me what to do
How to analyze my data
And find answers just for you
And Software is just another name
For all the instructions of programs that you feed me

Here I am and there you stand, we're closer than we seem
Though I am a human and you are a machine
I'll get a book on BASIC and as quickly as I can
I will talk computer, and you will understand

We didn't do too badly, did we Mr. Chips?

Mr. Chips:
It was pretty amazing, Scooter

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