Hardware vs software, how are they different?

Hardware and software, two necessary parts

Although the two concepts need each other, they are completely different. On the one hand, the software needs hardware able to run any type of program. And, on the other hand, the hardware needs the software to be able to use any of its physical parts.

To know; a computer or smartphone is useless if we can’t interact with with an operating system such as Android or iOS. In the same way, it is useless to buy one of the two operating systems if we cannot host it on a physical device.

You could say that software is the muscles of the human body and hardware is the bones, so they need each other. And in this context, although there are obvious differences in all types of computer systems, they are all based on both. Or what amounts to the same thing: although they are related, they are very different: software and hardware. The two key pieces that allow loa computers and systems perform their functions.

What are they and what are they for?

Let’s start at the beginning. What is hardware and software? First of all, as the name suggests, hardware is the physical support of a computer system. Or what amounts to the same: all those physical devices and elements that make up the accessories of a computer.

Instead, software is the operational support of a computer system. In other words, all these programs and code collection which serve as instructions for carrying out its functions.

Together, hardware and software are essential elements for the operation of the computer and other electronic devices. Thus, in the basic aspects, we can say that the screen on which we read the information and the mouse that we use to navigate are hardware. Meanwhile, the Internet browser or browser to visit this page and the operating system it is running on are software. And although the differentiation has already become very clear, we are going to observe some more precise differences that we can have between them.

Hardware is the physical medium; software, operational support

The most important difference and, without a doubt, the one with which we must stay. And it is that while the Material is a physical structure, software is code implemented in the computer system. Thus, where hardware is the set of physical elements and devices that make up the elements or accessories of a computer, it includes electrical, electronic, electromechanical, mechanical and peripheral components.

For softwares, it’s everything about a computer that doesn’t consist of a physical structure as such. Thus, it is not tangible components or accessories that are mounted on the structure of the computer, but rather the set of programs, a collection of computer codes, operating systems, and instructions that perform the functions that make the computer functional. The software allows the hardware, the physical structure, to be useful.

The software makes it possible to copy, modify and destroy

Since software is information and not something physical, there are few obstacles that prevent it. Software, if any, can be duplicated 3,000 or 300,000 times in many other devices, but in essence it does not require more physical resources than hard drives, for example.

Therefore, and in relation to the previous point, the software exists to interact with the rest, while all these digital applications are used with the hardware. At the same time, it is also very well known because the software is extremely flexible, allowing continually updating and modifying.

Digital physical software hardware elements

different lifespans

In another order of factors, while hardware can become obsolete, break or become damaged, software can only become obsolete if it is not updated. Thus, in terms of accounting depreciation, equipment has a finite life while the software does not necessarily have it.

In addition, and as something very characteristic of the second, is that with most programs or codes (to put it in a way) it has a cycle comprising several stages or stages, while in the case of the physical part only a deterioration of the structure is understood or, simply, the rupture of what may be its elements.

its elements

It’s a pretty notable thing. And it is that, as we know, the operational capacity (and computer if any) of the first ones that existed has nothing to do with what we enjoy today. This is why when all these elements are categorized, a first classification of the material can be made according to its location in computer system.

Thus a division is made between the internal hardware, usually that which is included inside a tower, and external hardware, anything that does not have an assigned place inside the computer case. In addition, there is the memory unit. In turn, there are two types: RAM memory (the larger it is, the more it is possible to use several programs at the same time) and ROM memory (it is the reading memory and it is located on the board mother).

Finally, there are the devices entrance and exit (which are the devices for entering and obtaining information, such as the keyboard, the screen or the mouse) and storage devices (components for storing information, such as a hard disk, a USB key or a CD-ROM).

Comments are closed.