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What is Hardware?
Hardware is the physical component of a computer system. It includes the computer itself, as well as the various peripherals and devices that are connected to it.
The most common types of hardware are the central processing unit (CPU), the memory, the hard drive, the video card, and the audio card. Hardware also includes input and output devices, such as the keyboard, the mouse, the monitor, and the printer.
Types of hardware
When most people think of hardware, they think of the physical devices that make up a computer system: the monitor, the keyboard, the mouse, the CPU, etc. But there is more to hardware than just the physical devices.
Hardware also refers to the software that controls those devices. The operating system, which is responsible for starting up your computer and running the programs you need, is an example of hardware. Device drivers, which control the communication between the hardware and the software, are another example.
In essence, hardware is everything in your computer system that you can touch; software is everything that you can’t touch.
What is Software?
When most people think of hardware, they think of the physical objects that make up a computer system—the processors, the memory, the input and output devices, and so on. However, in the context of this guide, the hardware also refers to the software that controls those physical objects.
The software can be anything from the system BIOS that initializes a computer system on start-up, to the operating system that provides the user interface and basic functionality, to the countless applications that run on top of the OS. In fact, the software is so important that it’s often referred to as the “brain” of a computer system.
Types of Software
There are four main types of software: system software, utility software, application software, and development software. System software is responsible for the basic functions of the computer, such as starting up, shutting down, and managing files.
Utility software is used to help manage and maintain the computer and includes things like disk cleaners and virus scanners.
Application software is what most people think of when they think of software, and includes programs like Microsoft Word and Adobe Photoshop. Development software is used by developers to create new applications and software.
How does Hardware Work?
When you turn your computer on, the Hardware starts up first. This usually includes the Central Processing Unit (CPU), the memory, the input and output devices, and the motherboard. Once these are up and running, the software startup process begins.
This is when the operating system loads and your computer is ready to go. The Hardware and Software work together to make your computer run. The Hardware provides the physical components, while the Software tells the hardware what to do.
How does Software work?
Software is a program that tells the hardware what to do. The software can be installed on a computer, phone, tablet, or any other electronic device.
Once installed, the software can run, or execute, on the device. Software is written in a specific language that the computer can understand. This language is called machine code, and it’s what tells the hardware what to do.
Hardware vs. Software
People often confuse hardware and software, but they are actually two very different things. Hardware is the physical components of a computer system, such as the CPU, the motherboard, the memory, and the hard drive.
Software, on the other hand, is the programs that run on the computer, such as the operating system, the word processor, and the browser. Software is installed on the hardware and tells the hardware what to do. The software can also be stored on external devices, such as a USB drive, a CD, or a DVD.
Types of Hardware and Software in a Computer
A computer typically consists of the following types of hardware and software: the central processing unit (CPU), the graphics processing unit (GPU), the main memory, the input/output (I/O) subsystem, the storage device, and the operating system (OS).
Hardware and software in a smartphone
A smartphone wouldn’t be complete without both hardware and software. The hardware consists of the physical parts of a device, such as a screen, case, and buttons. Software, on the other hand, is the collection of instructions that make the device run. It’s what tells the hardware what to do.
The software can be changed or updated, which is why you might see new releases and updates for your phone. In fact, your phone’s software is what allows you to use different apps and access different functions. Without software, your phone would just be a collection of pretty, but useless, parts.
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From the history of hardware and software to the latest trends and developments, this guide covers it all. So if you are considering a career in computing or are just looking to broaden your knowledge, be sure to download this invaluable resource today.
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When you consider the hardware and software in your computer, it’s easy to focus on the most visible parts like processors, hard drives, and monitors. But if you don’t know about all of the other pieces that make up your device, you might not be getting everything that you need. You may also be wondering how much different types of hardware or software can affect productivity or efficiency.