Elements of Computer – Hardware and Software

Generally, the basic elements of computer are ‘hardware’ and ‘software’, which are frequently used in computer system.

Hardware and Software

The hardware consists of the physical equipment's which makes up the computer system like Monitor, Keyboard, CPU, Hard Disk, Floppy drive, Printer etc. Normally all the items which can seen and touched are hardware items. Thus, storage, processing and control unit, I/O device (input/ output device) and peripherals devices – all are hardware. It is the physical part of the computer including the digital circuits inside the computer. Hardware includes not only the computer parts but also the cables, connectors, power supply units and peripheral devices such as the keyboard, mouse, audio speakers and printers. Entering and displaying information is carried out on a wide variety of accessory devices called peripherals, also known as input/output (I/O) devices. Some peripherals, such as keyboard is only input devices, other peripherals, such as printer is only output devices and some are both.

The term ‘software’ was first used by John W. Tukey in 1958 as the following sense – “In computer science and software engineering, computer software is all computer programs”. The most modern software theory was first proposed by Alan Turing in 1935 is – “Computer software, consisting of programs, codes or instructions that enables a computer to perform specific tasks”. Software is an ordered sequence of instructions for changing the state of the computer hardware in a particular sequence. In computers, software is loaded into RAM and executed in the central processing unit. 

Relationship between Hardware and Software

Computer software and computer hardware can exist independently of each other, just as a human soul and a human body. The human body does nothing when not indwelt by a soul and the human soul is inaccessible to us on earth after it has separated from its body in death.

Relationship between Hardware and Software
Relationship between Hardware and Software

Likewise, a computer program (software) cannot operate without the computer hardware. The hardware also cannot perform the processes that the software is programmed to perform, unless it has had access to the software to gain the needed instructions. ”A computer requires programs to function and a computer program does nothing unless its instructions are executed by a central processor” (“Computer Program”).

Computer Peripherals


A mouse is used to replace the key combinations with easier point and click actions. The mouse is connected to the main board of the computer by a cable. It is input device.


A computer keyboard is a typewriter-style device which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys to act as a mechanical lever or electronic switch. It enables to enter data into a computer and other devices.


Monitor is a display screen used to provide visual output from a computer. It uses CRT and LCD technologies.

Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

A hard disk drive (HDD, hard disk, hard drive or fixed disk) is a data storage device that is used to store files for the operating system and software that run on the computer, as well as files created or downloaded to the computer by a user.

CPU (Central Processing Unit)

A central processing unit (CPU) is the electronic circuitry within a computer that carries out the instructions of a computer program by performing the basic arithmetic, logical, control and input/ output (I/O) operations specified by the instructions. CPU is the brains of the computer.


In computers, a printer is a device that accepts text and graphic output from a computer and transfers the information to paper, usually to standard size sheets of paper.


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