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Computer Hardware and Software

A Computer system has two main categories Hardware and Software. They require each other to run the computer system.

Hardware and software are interdependent. Hardware provides the physical infrastructure, while software provides the instructions and functionality. Without hardware, software cannot run, and without software, hardware is useless.


Hardware refers to the physical components of a computer or electronic device. This includes the tangible parts such as the processor, memory, hard drive, keyboard, and monitor. These components are essential for the device to operate and perform tasks.

Hardware can be categorized into two main types: input devices and output devices. Input devices allow users to input data into the computer, such as keyboards and mice, while output devices display or provide the results of processed data, such as monitors and printers.

Basic Hardware Components:

  • Motherboard: It is a circuit board contains IC sockets and slots.
  • CPU: Full name central processing unit. It is the heart of the computer.
  • Math coprocessor: It is an IC (Optional) used for mathematical calculation.
  • ROM: Read only memory used to store information permanently.
  • RAM: Random Access memory used to write programs.
  • Display card.
  • Speaker.
  • SMPS.
  • UPS.


Software, on the other hand, refers to the programs and instructions that tell the hardware what to do. It is a collection of code and data that enable the computer to perform specific tasks or functions. Software can be categorized into two main types: system software and application software.

System software includes the operating system, which manages the hardware and allows other software to run smoothly. It also includes device drivers, which enable the hardware components to communicate with the operating system. Application software, on the other hand, includes programs like word processors, web browsers, and games that users interact with directly.

Two types of software are there;

  • System Software (Operating System).
  • Application Software (Language processors – Editor, Linker, Translator etc).

Operating System: The operating system is system software which links Computer Hardware and Software. Example: DOS (Disk operating system), Windows operating system, Unix operating system, etc.