computer parts

What is Hardware and Software?

Hardware--Your PC (Personal Computer) is a system, consisting of many components. Some of those components, like Windows XP, and all your other programs, are software. The stuff you can actually see and touch, and would likely break if you threw it out a fifth-story window, is hardware.

Not everybody has exactly the same hardware. But those of you who have a desktop system, like the example shown in Figure 1, probably have most of the components shown in that same figure. Those of you with notebook computers probably have most of the same components. Only in your case the components are all integrated into a single book-sized portable unit.

Hardware of a modern Personal Computer.
1. Monitor
2. Motherboard
3. CPU
4. RAM
5. Expansion cards
6. Power supply
7. Optical disc drive
8. Hard disk drive
9. Keyboard
10. Mouse

Computer software,- or just software, is a collection of computer programs and related data that provide the instructions telling a computer what to do and how to do it. We can also say software refers to one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for some purposes. Program software performs the function of the program it implements, either by directly providing instructions to the computer hardware or by serving as input to another piece of software. The term was coined to contrast to the old term hardware (meaning physical devices). In contrast to hardware, software is intangible, meaning it "cannot be touched".Software is also sometimes used in a more narrow sense, meaning application software only. Sometimes the term includes data that has not traditionally been associated with computers, such as film, tapes, and records.