1.4 Concept of Hardware and Software

When we think of a computer, we generally picture computer hardware: the monitor, the keyboard, and the electronic circuitry contained within the rectangular case. There is more to a computer than this, however. The missing element is software–the instructions that tell the computer how to operate the hardware. All computers must have these two components to function. However, it is software that gives the computer one of its most distinguishing characteristics—the ability to program a single machine to perform many different functions.

In this section we shall distinguish between hardware and software used in a Computer. There are different types of software and there are several generations.