Can you better understand the meaning and origin of the word hardware? What is hardware, and what is it for? Check it out here.
What Hardware And What’s It For
The word hardware comes from English (“hard” means heavy, and “ware” means object ) and means “hardware”. Hardware is the physical part of any electronic equipment and is the counterpart to software. For example, the hard disk, ram, motherboard, etc., will be part of the hardware in a PC. All those material components are assembled to create a single household appliance or, more generally, an object, in our case, powered by electricity.
Therefore, hardware is the fundamental part around which every digital device we use daily revolves. A mouse is hardware, a screen is hardware, and a printer is hardware. And each of these pieces needs its software to function and communicate with other devices. Here the programming language comes into play, that is, how commands can be given to a machine and how this action can be carried out.
The hardware, being the physical component, cannot be replaced or modified once assembled, except by physically intervening on the components themselves (for example, by welding a contact or replacing a copper wire). In this sense, it differs completely from the software. Hardware construction materials are often overlooked, but they are essential to achieve high performance while minimizing consumption and environmental impact. You may not know it, but in every computer, there are precious materials and metals (such as sapphire and gold, for example) in more or less high percentages based on the physical benefits to be obtained from them.
In creating hardware, patents (very often) come into play, rules that protect the inventors of new ways of building and assembling objects. In addition to patents, technological development must be considered, which plays an equally important role in constructing electronic devices. Mainly for these reasons, you will never find the same pieces in the same object (for example, a mouse) built by two production houses or in two different periods. On the one hand, these aspects protect the inventors of new technologies.
On the other, however, they generate two of the biggest problems of contemporary technological development: planned obsolescence and the inability to agree often to develop global construction standards that impact less on the environment and on pollution (think if all cell phones had the same charging cables instead of different proprietary cables for each brand!). When choosing hardware, you should value those realities attentively to the environment and from the point of view of patents. Another very important aspect that comes into play in the design and development of hardware is the cumulative progress made in its construction.
In fact, successful hardware is constantly being developed (both to introduce new, more performing versions and to correct defects), and the new versions, while based on the old ones (and often renewing the patent from scratch!), are the result of a process “gradually accumulable” where that is, slowly, the gap is getting bigger not only with the old versions, but also (and above all) with the same hardware that could have the same functions but, for example, are not developed by a team of 100 hired engineers but ten volunteers.
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