Hardware basics

This page also covers the very basics you need to know about hardware, and the differences between software and hardware. A computer is a self-directing, information processing machine with memory. Self-directing: directed by a command or assignment or a program created by a person and placed into the memory A program is a list of instructions Hardware is the physical, tangible parts of a computer.


Software are the instructions (when these instructions are embedded into an electronic component, we call it firmware (e.g.: the computer’s BIOS)). Hardware and software are logically equivalent: the choice whether to execute something through hardware or software is based on cost, speed and the impact of the modification on the rest of the computer. Both are capable of the same actions. There are two kinds of programs: Operating systems: a program that allows the computer to function. This is loaded into the memory during the starting up of the computer (this is called booting). It makes the computer accessible to the user. Its tasks include: Communication with peripheral devices Dividing system resources Examples include: MS-DOS, Solaris, Windows Phone, QNX, Android Applications: text processing, audio processing, games, etc