Computer Systems Explained

Computer Systems Explained

A computer system can be broken down into two basic parts, the hardware and the software.  Software is what you use to accomplish everyday tasks, from writing a document to checking your Facebook account.  Hardware on the other hand are the parts that you physically touch, your keyboard, printer, mouse…all of it.  This is really an oversimplification of what computer systems are and what they can do, let’s look at computer systems explained in further detail.


The software in your computer system starts with the operating system.  This runs your computer and allows other software that you install to run properly.  You are probably familiar with Windows, and you have probably uses Microsoft Office on your windows based computer.  That isn’t the only operating system, your phone has one, Mac computers have their own and there is also Linux.  Your operating system serves as the middle man between your hardware and the programs that you use.

Software programs are what allow you to use your computer to do different task.  Chrome allows you to check your Facebook account, Facebook was also built using software.  Software can be as simple as a calculator program or as sophisticated as a social network.  Software is what has fueled  the changes and growth in the world of tech.  At its heart software is designed to complete things and you will find it everywhere, not just in your computer system.


Hardware has changed almost as much as software has since the early days of personal computers.  Back them a computer system included a monitor, tower, mouse and keyboard.  Today we have phones and tablets that have even more capabilities.  Storage has also changed, while most people still have some type of hard drive, but gone are the days of floppy disks, today we have flash drives that can hold an incredible amount of data.  We now have printers that can print in 3D and we have high definition monitors even in the smallest of devices.

While computer systems have gotten more sophisticated they have also gotten easier to use.  Think about how complex a program Facebook is, yet there are 85 year old grandmother’s looking at family photos with their tablets at just the push of a button.  That also demonstrates how entrenched computer systems have become in our lives, we would be hard pressed to learn to live without them at this point in time.