Why Is Computer Software Soft

Why Is Computer Software Soft



Why is​ Computer Software Soft?
Have you​ ever wonder (I’m sure you​ have at​ least about other similar words) where a​ word like software comes from .​
I​ mean were floppy disks soft and malleable at​ one time .​
Or were the​ protective sleeves for the​ old hard diskettes made of​ some velvety material that made them software .​
Well I​ love this sort of​ thing and would like to​ explore with you​ in​ the​ following several paragraphs the​ origin of​ this word and why it​ is​ so commonplace in​ our computer software age.
In order to​ understand the​ derivation of​ the​ term software,​ as​ in​ computer software,​ you​ must first understand that there is​ hardware as​ well .​
The meaning of​ hardware probably has a​ lot of​ levels of​ meaning and most were probably serendipitous over a​ lunch or​ other social gathering.
Hardware refers to​ the​ guts of​ the​ computer machine,​ the​ actual physical reality of​ a​ disk drive and a​ hard disk and a​ monitor and the​ like .​
These are actual physical entities that make them hard .​
You can hold them,​ carry them,​ etc .​
Software on​ the​ other hand is​ more theoretical than physical .​
Sure the​ code is​ hard composed of​ 1’s and 0’s for bits and bytes but it​ is​ not hard in​ the​ sense that you​ can actually touch the​ ones and zeros with your hand,​ chew on​ them,​ and anything else that you​ might be able to​ do with hardware.
Software is​ the​ program that does things in​ more of​ a​ virtual or​ abstract level .​
It will save information as​ something that is​ unseen but totally retrievable and capable of​ with the​ help of​ hardware,​ produce an​ image that can be seen with the​ eyes.
There are two points to​ be made here .​
First the​ sensation of​ site does not make something hard or​ soft .​
Never has .​
It is​ touch that determines this description and this is​ a​ useful way to​ determine the​ hardness or​ softness of​ computer software and hardware.
A good example of​ this test is​ the​ phrase hard copy or​ soft copy of​ a​ document .​
The hard copy is​ on​ the​ document in​ actual paper page form and the​ softcopy is​ all of​ the​ ones and zeros that make up in​ a​ theoretical sense (more representative than actual) the​ writing on​ the​ page .​
Thinking about it​ this way may help you​ to​ sort out what is​ computer software and what is​ computer hardware.




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