Hardware vs Software

July 28, 2010

Whats the difference between Hardware and Software?

I remember the very first time I ever saw a similar question.  It was for a competition I was entering when I was about 12 years old and it gave like a multichoice answer, to which, well, I couldn’t answer!

Bare in mind that it was 1987 and I was still in Primary School and had only then seen computers from a distance under the watchful scrutiny of a classroom teacher!

A lot has changed since then of course, and so, let me try to impart a bit of information on those few of you who don’t know this differentiation in the simplest way I know how (and for those of you who DO know the difference, why are you even reading this post?!) 🙂

Hardware:

These are the PHYSICAL parts to a computer system (well, hardware can be used as a term in many an industry but lets stay on subject).  Hardware are the parts you can touch and hold, the parts that gather dust on your desk and on occassion, break, costing you money to replace!

Software:

Software is the name given to the PROGRAMS that are installed or copied or ran, on the afore mentioned hardware.  Software is the the Operating Systems (think, Windows XP or Vista etc), its the Applications (Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer etc) and the Games and Utilities that all let you make use of the hardware.

Without software, your computer hardware is really just a big box of bits with little to do!

Likewise, without hardware, your software can’t exist!

 

Now a tricky question:

Is a CD Hardware or Software?

This is kinda like the age old ‘Is a Tomato a Fruit or a Vegetable?’

My answer is, a CD is a consumable…its a medium.  Though if you had to pick one, I’d say its Hardware, coz its physical!

(Also, my opinion is that a Tomato is a vegetable!) 😀

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