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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

By ldankert2002 ·
Is IT hardware or software driven? Which typically pushes the other?

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by kees.valkenswaard In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

In the old days of computers a well known proverb was:
No matter how clever the hardware is, the software boys will fritter it away.

I remember that I designed a disk driver in a one K bank. OK, that was octal [512 words of 16 bits] and I could use the general message pool. In a 32 K machine we were able to run a real working model of a telephone exchange with relay switches.
Actually today we cannot do that much more. Only it is all graphical and no longer text oriented. But many pictograms [or icons] are of no use without text added.
So, in a way you have a very good question and at the same time a impractical one. There will always be a battle between software and hardware.

We may be grateful for all those games. They have been the driving force behind better video cards, sound cards and other hardware.

On the other hand we should realize that all those very fast machines are most of the time just doing nothing. If you type a letter on a PC it may look from the PC perspective if once in every 100 centuries or so a character is entered. However, due to all these background tasks as trying to find out which language might be used, if there are spelling or grammar errors, it may take longer to get a simple letter done than in the Stone Age of say WordPerfect 4.2. A letter could be less than 1 KB at that time. Nowadays it is a multiple of that and in many systems even a simple flag would eat at least 32 KB [for one cluster] on your hard disk. Talking about a waste of hardware.

So, in conclusion: it depends on your applications whether it is hardware or software driven. Also it depends on the fact if the answer should be correct only for today or for a period extending three months. Memory and speed are ever increasing, so is the use of it by software.
Looking at the overall progress, I am inclined to say: ICT is still not mature and still surrounded by so called magic.
Good luck

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by kees.valkenswaard In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

Actually it is neither SW nor HW driven. It is vendor driven. In the times of big brother blue hardware was dominant. Now with MS, probably the best marketing company in the world, it is software driven.
About a year ago I gave several training courses in Excel 5 under Windows 3.11. This was at a major company with over 50000 people. So everybody asked me: are they there still that old fashioned? However, at the company itself, someone explained that they use Excel for rather simple calculations with templates. With the old 386 machines, Windows 3.11 [probably the most stable version of all Windows development] and Excel 5 it turns out that they have faster an answer if they have to start up the machine than with any, I repeat any, modern hardware and software.
So it has everything to do with what you like to have installed, rather than what you need. Again, using Excel as an example: in Excel XP at last I discovered a few new functions. The remainder of the function collection is basically unchanged from Excel 3 upwards. The one I really should like, searching in strings from right to left I still have to program myself in VBA.

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by ldankert2002 In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by CEE_Prompt In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

I think hardware drives software & software drives hardware. Look at that disk driver the 1st answer was talking about. If a new programmer were told to write a disk driver you probably would bareley be able to fit it on a floppy. Look at all the drivers that come on CD now. At the same time, the hardware is getting more and more complex and a lot of the time you need a large driver just to include all the options. If there was no hardware we wouldn't need software, but if there was no softwarewe would need hardware. So the point is moot...

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by ldankert2002 In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by Alpha-Male In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

While both are of course important, I would have to say that IT is software driven. With the cost of hardware being so low, hardware devices and platforms being so cooperative (at least comparitively) and performance being so high (far beyond the needs of most users), I think software is far more significant. The primary concern for most users is "I need to run Program X"...and then they find hardware that will perform this. Generally it's Office applications. I don't think the average user cares if they are working on a Compaq, a Dell or an Apple. What they do care about is can they get internet access, e-mail and use (for example) MS Word. There are some specialized situations where they may be required to have specific hardware...but from what I see in the field, they want to use the OS they know best and run the programs they like/need. That determined, whatever box it runs stably on is fine.

Of course, we geeks are a different breed entirely....

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by ldankert2002 In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

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Which comes first today--HW or SW?

by ldankert2002 In reply to Which comes first today-- ...

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