Hardware And Software And Functions of a Computer

  1. What are hardware and software?

In  computer science , the terms  hardware  and  software  are used to refer to  the two different and complementary aspects of any computerized system : the physical and tangible, on the one hand; and the virtual and digital, on the other. Body and soul, respectively, of any  computer system .

When we speak of hardware ( hard English  , rigid, and  ware , product) we refer to the mechanical, electrical or electronic assembly of the real parts that make up the body of a computer , that is, the plates, cards, integrated circuits, mechanisms, electrical devices,  responsible for the processing, support and connection of the machine .

This hardware is classified according to its function in the general system process:

  • Storage hardware . It operates as the “memory” of the computer, where information and data are stored . It can be of primary storage (internal, inside the computer) or secondary (removable, portable).
  • Processing hardware . The heart of the system is where the calculations are carried out and the logical operations are solved.
  • Peripheral hardware . This is the accessories and accessories that are incorporated into the system to communicate with the outside and / or provide new functions. It can be of three types, in turn:
    • Hardware input . It is used to enter data into the system, either by the user or operator, or other systems and computers on the network.
    • Output hardware . Similarly, it allows retrieving information from the system, or sharing it through telecommunications networks.
    • Mixed hardware It executes the input and output functions at the same time.

When talking about software, instead, we refer to the virtual content of the system: the programs, applications, instructions and  communication protocols that serve as an interface with the user and control the way in which the system operates , and give it a sense. It is about the “mind” of the system.

Said software can be classified, also, according to its function in the system:

  • ystem operating  (or system software ) . They are concerned with regulating the way in which the system operates and ensuring its continuity, serving as a basis for other programs or applications, and allowing the user interface. They are usually incorporated into the factory system.
  • Application software . This is the name given to all the additional programs that are incorporated into the computer, already equipped with an  operating system , with the purpose of carrying out a multitude of possible tasks: from text processors, spreadsheets ,  internet browsers , design applications or video games.

The sum of hardware and software complete the entirety of any computer system.

See also: Application Software .

  1. Examples of hardware and software

Some examples of hardware: 

  • Monitors  or  projectors . Where information and processes are displayed for the user, they are considered output hardware, although there are already tactile monitors (which would then be mixed peripherals).
  • Keyboard and mouse .  Peripherals of entrance  par excellence, allow the entrance of data of the user: through buttons (keys) and through movements and buttons, respectively.
  • Webcams . Also called  web cameras , since they became popular with the arrival of Internet and videoconferences, they allow the entry and transmission of audio and video through the system.
  • Microp rocessor is . The core of the CPU (The Central Processing Unit), is a very powerful microchip, which performs thousands of logical calculations per second.
  •  Network card s . These integrated circuits to the CPU baseplate give you the possibility of interacting with data networks remotely, either through cables, radio signal, etc.

Some software examples: 

  • Microsoft Windows . Probably the most popular of the operating systems currently used, is typical of IBM computers. It allows the user to manage and interact with the different segments of a computer, through a friendly user environment, based on windows and visual representation.
  • Mozilla Firefox. An extremely popular Internet browser, available for download without payment. Connects the user to the World Wide Web , to perform data searches and other types of virtual operations.
  • Microsoft Word. Part of the Microsoft Office package, it is a text processor of the most recognized there is, and includes tools for business, database management , preparation of presentations, among others.
  • Google Chrome. Another Internet browser, offered by the company  Google , whose lightness and speed made it quickly popular with Internet users. In addition, it opened the door to projects of a Google operating system.
  • Adobe Photoshop. A well-known  application for image editing and visual content development, useful for graphic design and photo retouching, product of the company Adobe Inc.

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