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hardwareMachinery and equipment (CPUs, drives, keyboards, printers, scanners, cables, etc.). In operation, a computer is both hardware and software, and one is useless without the other. The hardware design specifies the command format it can follow, and the software instructions in that format tell it what to do. See instruction set and computer.
Hardware Is "Speed, Storage and Transmission"
The more memory (RAM) and storage (hard and solid state drives) a computer has, the more work it can do. The faster memory and drives transfer data and instructions to the CPU and the faster instructions are executed, the more work gets done in a given time frame. A hardware requirement is based on the quantity of data processed and the number of users or applications being served simultaneously. How much? How fast?
Software Is "Logic and Language"
Software deals with the details of an ever-changing business and must process transactions in a logical fashion. Languages are used to program the software. For the IT department, the "logic and language" involved in systems analysis and software programming is an order of magnitude more complicated than specifying a hardware storage and transmission requirement. See software, information system and wares.
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On drawings, abbr. for “hot water.”
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.