Hardware, Software, Firmware and Liveware

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What is Hardware?

Hardware

The term hardware refers to the physical components of a computer system. Such as monitor, RAM, etc. as shown below.

  1. Monitor
  2. Motherboard
  3. CPU
  4. RAM
  5. Expansion cards
  6. Power supply
  7. Disc drive
  8. Hard disk drive
  9. Keyboard
  10. Mouse

What is Software?

Software

Software is a collection of programs or applications, which contain the instructions that make the computer work. For instance, when you type words via the keyboard; the software is responsible for displaying the correct letter in the correct place on the screen.

Software is held either on your computer’s hard disk, CD-ROM, DVD or on a diskette (floppy disk) and is loaded (i.e. copied) from the disk into the computer RAM (Random Access Memory) as and when required.

There are two types of software:

(1) System Software :- used to control the computer hardware and develop and run applications. System software can be categorized as Operating systems and Utility software.

E.g :-

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Linux
  • Ubuntu

(2) Application Software :- a set of computer programs designed to permit the user to perform a group of coordinated functions, tasks, or activities. Application software cannot run on itself but is dependent on system software to execute.

E.g :-

  • MS Word, WordPad and Notepad.
  • Internet browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome.
  • Microsoft Power Point, Keynotes.
  • Auto CAD.
  • MySQL, Oracle, MS Access.

What is Firmware?

Firmware

Firmware The main memory of a computer consists of two parts: Random-Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM). The RAM is used to load the software when you need to run them, while the ROM contains some programs written by the computer manufacturer, which can only be read but not written. These programs are called firmware and they are used to start up the machine (also called booting) with the necessary checks and then by loading the operating system to the RAM. Once the Operating System is loaded the control of the system is passed onto it.

What is Liveware?

Liveware

The human expertise needed in the field of IT. These people include: Software Engineers, Hardware Engineers, IT Managers, Project Managers, Database Engineers, Network Administrators, Students, Teachers, etc.

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