Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What is Free Software?

Sometimes you hear people talking about software, hardware, freeware and other computer related terms without having a clue as to what the terms actually mean. Since the inception of the computer, technology has advanced to such an extent that a new term is coined almost everyday to refer to the newer phenomenon of the computer world. Since people who use computers a lot learn these terms as they go along, they don't bother explaining those terms that were introduced early on; they just expect you to already know them.

Software is one term that is used often. It's essentially used to denote an application or a program that is fed into the computer to tell it to do something. The computer follows the commands -- called programming -- contained within the software to do what you want it to do, such as create a document or browse the Internet. The software can either be downloaded directly from the web or purchased on an external device such as a CD or DVD.

Software can be created with any of many programming languages and can range from the basic applications you use each day, like Microsoft Word, to more complex programs like 3D interactive games that you play on your computer. Many software programs are available from websites on the Internet that allow users to download free software and use it at their convenience. If you come across software that you want to download, make sure the site is secure if you are required to give any personal information before downloading.

The difference between software and hardware is that software is the programming, while hardware is what the computer is made of. Hardware includes the motherboard, the ram, the processor, etc. Both hardware and software are necessary for the computer to function and do a job for you.

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