In computing, the terms hardware and software refer to different aspects of every computer system: the physical and digital aspects, respectively, the body and soul of every computer.
The hardware is the set of the physical parts which make up the body of a computer system: the plates, circuits, mechanisms and electrical devices and processing, support, and connection.
In fact, hardware can be classified and sorted according to its role in the overall system process:
- Processing hardware. The heart of the system, types, calculates, and solves the operations necessary for its operation.
- Storage hardware. It is used to contain the information and data of the system. It can be primary (internal) or secondary (removable).
- Peripheral hardware. It is the set of accessories and accessories that can be incorporated into the system to provide new functions.
- Input hardware. It allows data to be entered into the system by the user or operator, or from telecommunications networks and systems.
- Output hardware. It allows us to extract information from the system or send it to telecommunications networks.
- Mixed hardware. It fulfills the input and output functions at the same time.
The software is the intangible content of the system: the set of programs, instructions, and languages that perform tasks and serve as a user interface. In turn, the software can be classified according to its main function in:
- System or basic software ( operating system ). They are in charge of regulating the operation of the system and guaranteeing its maintenance. They are usually incorporated into the system before the user accesses it. Eg Windows 10.
- Application software. All those additional programs that can be incorporated into the computer once the operating system is installed and that allow to carry out an endless number of possible tasks, from word processors to internet browsers to design tools or video games. Eg Chrome, Paint.
As a whole, hardware and software make up the entire computer system.
It can serve you: Free Software Examples
- Monitors or screens, in which the information and processes are displayed for the user. They are usually considered output hardware, although there are touch monitors that allow data entry as well (mixed).
- Keyboard and mouse, the classic input or data entry mechanisms by the user, the first through buttons (keys), and the second through movements mainly.
- Video cameras. Also called webcams, since they became popular with the arrival of the Internet and videoconferences, they are a typical mechanism for image and audio input.
- Processor. The core of the CPU ( Central Processing Unit ), is a chip capable of performing thousands of calculations per second, and that provides the central power of information processing to the computer system.
- Network card. A set of electronic circuits integrated into the motherboard of the CPU and that gives the computer the possibility of interacting with different remote data networks.
- RAM Memory Modules. Circuits that integrate various random access memory modules (RAM into which the various system processes are to run).
- Printers. Very common peripherals that transcribe the digital information managed by the system to paper (output). There are various models and trends, some of which even allow data to be entered from a scanner (mixed).
- Scanners. Input peripherals, which digitize the content entered to the best use of a photocopier or the now extinct faxes, and allow it to be digitally reproduced for shipment, storage or editing.
- Modem. A communications component, often integrated into the computer, responsible for managing data transmission protocols (output) for connection to computer networks.
- Rigid discs . The storage hardware par excellence contains the basic information of any computer system and also allows the data entered by the user to be archived. It is not removable and is inside the CPU.
- CD / DVD reader. Mechanism of reading (and often writing, that is, mixed) of removable discs in CD or DVD format (or both). It is used to extract and save information from these supports, for their extraction and physical transfer or to reinsert them in the system from original matrices.
- Pendrivers. The most practical information transfer peripheral available to date, it allows you to quickly enter and extract data from the system in its storage memory body and carry it in a pocket. It connects through USB ports and is usually fast, easy and discreet.
- Electric battery. Although it may not seem like it, the power source is an indispensable addition to the system, especially in computers or portable digital devices, but also in a table or fixed ones, since it allows to keep certain sectors of the system always on the move, such as those in charge to perpetuate the time and date, or similar information.
- Floppy drives. Already globally extinct, floppy drives read and write information to floppy disks, a popular storage medium during the 1980s and 1990s. Today they are nothing more than a relic.
- Video cards. Similar to those of the network, but focused on the processing of visual information, they allow for greater and better displays of information on the screen, and novel models are often necessary for the execution of design software or even cinematographic video games.
- Microsoft Windows. Perhaps the most popular operating system in the world, used in thousands of IBM computers and that allows the management and interaction of different computer segments from a user-friendly environment, based on windows that overlap with information.
- Mozilla Firefox. One of the most popular Internet browsers, available for free download. It allows user interaction with the World Wide Web, as well as data searches and other types of virtual interactions.
- Microsoft Word. Probably the most popular word processor in the world, part of the Microsoft Office suite, which includes business tools, database management, presentation development, etc.
- Google Chrome. The Google browser imposed a paradigm of lightness and speed in the field of Internet browsers and quickly became popular among Internet fans. Its success was such that it opened the door to Google operating system projects and other software to come.
- Adobe Photoshop. Application for image editing, production of visual design content, and various tasks of photographic retouching, aesthetic composition, and others, from the company Adobe Inc. It is undoubtedly a popular software in the world of graphic design.
- Microsoft Excel. Another tool from Microsoft’s Office suite, this time to create and manage databases and information tables. It is extremely useful for administrative and accounting tasks.
- Skype Very popular telecommunications software, which allows free video calls or even video conferencing over the Internet. Even if you don’t have a camera or don’t want to use it, it can become a simile of phone calls, using data instead of phone impulses.
- CCleaner. Digital tool for cleaning and maintaining the computer’s operating system, capable of detecting and eliminating malicious software (viruses, malware) and accommodating registry errors or other consequences of the use of the system itself.
- AVG Antivirus. A defense application: protects the system from possible intrusions by third parties or harmful software from networks or other infected storage media. It acts as a digital antibody and a protection shield.
- Winamp. Music player for both IBM and Macintosh systems is freely available and keeps up with trends in internet radio, podcasts, and more.
- Nero CD / DVD Burner. In frank disuse, this tool allowed to personally manage the writing units on CD or DVD, as long as they had the appropriate hardware.
- VLC Player. Video playback software in various compression formats, allowing the multimedia display of audio and image required to watch digital movies or series.
- Comix. A popular digital comic viewer, which allows you to open image files of various formats to have a reading experience similar to that of a physical comic, being able to determine the size, zoom of the image, etc.
- OneNote. This tool is used to take and manage personal notes, just like a notebook in your pocket would. Using it you have quick access to lists, notes, or reminders, so it also acts as an agenda.
- MediaMonkey. An application that allows you to play, order, and manage music and video files, through a series of libraries that serve the author, disk, and other relevant information, as well as synchronize them with mobile devices such as music players and cell phones.
- Hardware Examples
- Software Examples
- Examples of Input Devices
- Examples of Output Devices