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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What is Hardware?

Hardware is best described as a device that is physically connected to your computer or something that can be physically touched. A CD-ROM, Monitor, Printer, and video card are all examples of computer hardware. Without any hardware your computer would not exist and software would have nothing to run on.

There are several differences between computer hardware and software. However, the fundamental difference between hardware and software is that hardware is a physical device something that you're able to touch and see. For example, the computer monitor you're viewing this text on or the mouse you're using to navigate is considered computer hardware.

Computer hardware is the physical part of a computer, as distinguished from the computer software or computer programs and data that operate within the hardware. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, in comparison with software and data which are "soft" in the sense that they are readily created, modified or erased on the computer. Firmware is special software that rarely, if ever, needs to be changed and so is stored on hardware devices such as read-only memory (ROM) where it is not readily changed

The image to the right is of a webcam, an example of an external hardware peripheral that allows users to make basic videos, transmit videos of themselves over the Internet, and take pictures.


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