Hardware is a comprehensive term for all of the physical parts of a computer,as distinguished from the data it contains or operates on,and the software that provides instruction for the hardware to accomplish tasks.The boundary between hardware and software is slightly blurry-firmware is software that is "built-in" to the hardware but such firmware is usually the province of computer programming and computer engineers in any case and not an issue that computer users need to concern themselves with.
A typical computer (Personal Computer,PC) contains in a desktop or tower case the following parts.
- Motherboard which holds the CPU,main memory and other parts,and has slots for expansion cards.
- Power supply- a case that holds transformer,voltage control and fan.
- Storage controllers of IDE,SCSI or other tupe,that control hard disk-floopy disk,CD-Rom and other drives:the controllers sit directly on the motherboard (onboard) or one expansion cards.
- Graphics controller that produces the output for the monitor.
- The hard disk,floppy disk and other drives for mass storage.
- Interface controllers (Parallel,serial,USB.Firewire)to connect the computer to external peripheral devices such as printers of scanners
Software is a generic term for organized collections of code representing instructions executed by a computer.Software is often written first as source code and then converted to a binary format that is specific to the device on which the code will be executed.
Software for personal computers is often broken into two major categories : system software that provides the basic non-task-specific functions of the computer and application software used to accomplish specific user-oriented tasks.
System software is responsible for controlling,integrating and managing the individual hardware components of a computer system so that other software and the users of the system see it as a function unit without having to be concerned with the low-level details such as transferring data from memory to disk or rendering text onto a display.Generally,system software consists of an operating system and some fundamental utilities such as disk formatters,files,managers,display managers,text editors,user authentication (login) and management tools and networking and device control software..!
Application software,on the other hand,is used to accomplish specific tasks other than just naming the computer software.Application software may consists of a single program,such as an image viwwer:a small connection of programs (often called a software package) that work closely together to accomplish a task,such as a spreadsheet or text processing system:a larger collection (often called a software suit) of related but independent programs and packages that have a common user interface or shared data format,such as Microsoft Office,which consists of a closely integrated word processor,spreadsheet,database etc. : or a software system,such as a database management system,which is a collection of fundamental programs that may provide some service to a variety of other independent application...!!