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Wii U pro controller – all the things you want to know about it.

Nintendo produces several controllers for their video game console. Nintendo was the pioneer of the gamepad design, NES introduced direction pad, and motion controls submitted by WII, analog stick brought to you by N64. All of this combination gives WII U pro a unique piece of the game controller.

The Wii U uses a bigger gamepad which Xbox One and PlayStation don’t use. Xbox One and PlayStation have unique, exceptional and conventional gamepads that are perfect for most of the recent games. If you want to have it with Wii U, then you need to have a different controller. You can use the GameCube Adapter and GameCube controller, but the most straightforward way would be using the Wii U pro controller.

History of Wii U

Wii U Console first came in November 2012, and Nintendo develops it. Their First Controller was Wii U Gamepad. Its concept was playing a game on the gamepad itself.

The GamePad’s display contents are rendered on the Wii U itself and stream wirelessly as video to the GamePad. The GamePad also supports near-field communications (NFC). Cards and specially-designed collectibles, such as Nintendo’s Amiibo line, can be used with the GamePad to interrelate with games. In Japan, it can also be used for contactless payments from eShop with Suica cards.

Wii U Pro Controller was released with Wii U.  This is an updated and upgraded version of the classic controller that is designed for the gamers and game geek. The Wii U pro controller is compatible with supported Wii U games but is not supported by Wii games.

Wii U Pro Controller at a glance

The Wii U Pro controller is a controller for the Nintendo Wii U that is suited more for players who prefer the classic control scheme instead of the Wii U GamePad, with its tablet screen and more. Let’s see what it features

Dual analog sticks

The analog sticks are quite smaller in size, but they are better comparing PlayStation and Xbox Ones.

Ergonomic button layout

Ergonomics of Nintendo’s standard Wii U controller, the console giant is planning a new ergonomic gamepad for games that can make do with just common controls.

A D-pad under the left analog stick

An ideal D-pad but sometimes gamers complain about the action genre gaming performance of D-pad. They said Wii U D-pad is probably only for the racing game or fighting genre game like Mario or Captain Commando.

Power button for the console

  • To turn on the controller and sync-
  • When on the Wii U Menu, press the SYNC Button on the Wii U console. You can also sync controllers from the HOME Menu.
  • The controller combination screen will display
  • Push the SYNC button on the rear side of the Wii U Pro Controller.
  • The Player LED on the controller will glow when the sync finishes.

Buttons

A Home, select and start button in the center. Shoulder bumper buttons and dual trigger buttons as well.

Built-in rumble feature

  • Push the HOME Button on the Wii U Gamepad
  • Go for “Controller Settings” on the left.
  • Go for “Settings” under “Wii U Gamepad.”
  • Next to “Rumble,” tap either “On” or “Off.”
  • Your current selection will mark with a green checkmark.

Rechargeable battery

A built-in rechargeable battery that’s charged via a USB cable connected to the console. This lasts up to 80 hours on a single charge, including USB charge cable-

Design

The Wii U Pro controller is designed with accessibility and extended gameplay comfort in mind. The Pro Controller is a dual-analog gamepad offered in black or white.

It has a more classic design than the more innovative models that appear with the console and makes for a good substitute for people who have trouble holding the bulky gamepad or the small remotes.

It’s comparable in shape to the Xbox 360 controller, with rounded wings for grips and solid trigger and bumper shoulder buttons. Moreover, It looks different from Xbox 360 and PlayStation gamepads.

The analog sticks are equal to one other, but they’re placed above the direction pad and face buttons, rather than below or alternating. It’s an unusual design when you’re used to the other two systems, but you might have little problem getting used to it.

The Buttons

The Home, Power, and +/- buttons are small, dug in circular controls in the middle of the gamepad, like on the Wii U gamepad and Wiimote.

The Power and Home buttons feel alike and are very close to each other, so you have to be wary when you want to enter into the Wii U’s main menu.

A micro USB port on the back will give you charge the controller, or use it wired with the alter micro USB cable and the Wii U’s front USB ports. A string of four lights on the bottom edge of the gamepad show if the controller is powered and connected, and which controller slot is assigned.

The layout is pretty good and pretty close but not quite as good as an Xbox controller – you might prefer the staggered stick layout of the Xbox offering as well as the placement of the face buttons, but this is still plenty comfortable to use. The battery life is incredible. Pretty much the best battery life you could see on any wireless controller to date. The Wii-mote, nunchuck is a cool design and great for certain games, but sometimes you just can’t beat a standard gamepad.

Compatibility

The Wii U Pro controller is wireless and will have around 30ft (10 M) of range. Players will be capable of using the controller in the majority of games instead of using the Gamepad, although this would negate the advantages that the tablet screen brings to gaming.

When Connecting the Pro Controller to the Wii U is precisely like connecting a Wiimote. You push the Sync button on the Wii U, stayed behind the door that covers the front USB ports, and then sell the Sync button on the controller.

You’ll see on screen if the controller is connected. Nintendo approximates 80 hours of regular use with the Pro Controller’s built-in battery, and it can be used tethered and charging from the Wii U itself.

Gaming and operating

We know about the GameCube adapter. You won’t have to end up using this for that game. The Wii U Pro is the perfect controller, but it just contains a couple of missteps and a generally un-special feel to it. To be clear, if you need a robust controller to play traditional style games, this will work fine.

Its main issue is the position of the right stick and face buttons (ABXY). Generally, the right stick is in the lower place, and the buttons are above, which is comfy and suitable for most games.

But to stay in line with the Wii U Gamepad’s layout, both sticks are above. This works adequately on the Gamepad because of how they located the buttons about where you hold the controller, but on the Pro, that’s not the case.

You have to rather ineptly reach your thumb down pretty far to reach the more face buttons, which doesn’t feel right, and definitely wouldn’t cut it for a round of Smash Bros.

Easy control

The feel of it is, and the battery is fantastic! The joysticks are both receptive and influential! The only thing that is a disadvantage to this controller is just getting used to where the D-pad and buttons locate. It seems like people with smaller hands might have a harder time. Especially with the Y and B buttons which someone even finds annoying to position hands to reach them comfortably.

Try this controller with some virtual console games, and it will work well. But it takes time to get used too. The only games that felt perfect with this controller were Super Metroid or Super Mario which you would never feel comfortable with the default button layout on any other controller including the Gamepad and the classic controller, but for some reason, you would feel perfect with this pro controller.

Specification at a glance

Header

Brand Nintendo
Product Line NINTENDO
Model Wii U Pro Controller
Packaged Quantity 1
Compatibility Game Console

Input Device

Product Type Gamepad
Connectivity Technology Wireless
Controls 4-way navigation button, A button, B button, Home, L button, R button, Select button, Start Button, X button, Y Button, Dual analog sticks.
Feature Game console

 

Battery

Rechargeable Battery Rechargeable

 

Miscellaneous

Color Black
Color Category Black
Compatible Game Consoles Nintendo Wii U

 

Dimensions and Weight

Width 6.6 in
Depth 6.3 in
Height 3.1 in
Weight 14.39 oz

 

General

Generation Eighth Generation
Availability Nov 18, 2012.
Power 1300 mAh, Mini USB B connector Pro
Input 2 × analog sticks, Digital d-pad,10 × digital face buttons (two buttons found under analog sticks; controller features additional button for syncing purposes), 2 × digital shoulder buttons, 2 × digital triggers 

 

Wii U Pro controller on Nintendo Switch

Longtime Nintendo fans or Wii U owners would notice that both this product skipped some features for their business.

There are a lot of other things Nintendo emerges to be turned away from as it prepares to enter a new generation of gaming. Nintendo seems to be leaving strong background to make room for everything the Switch has to offer.

You can connect your Wii U pro controller on Nintendo Switch with no lag with the big screen. You need to have a USBC cable, and a Dongle you need to buy is a Flash magic NS adapter. Then, You need to put the USBC cable into the Dongle and put that Dongle including USBC into a spare USB port on the dock, and you have to hit the power button, and you need to tap the sync button. It will automatically sync up.

There’s no rumble or NFC.

Wii U Pro Controller as Xbox Controller on Windows

Credit goes to Keypuncher at GBATemp.

With Windows 10 released and some improvements to the Wii U Pro Controller software, as well as some slight changes to the installation process. For those who are unaware, the Wii U Pro Controller can make a very reliable replacement for an Xbox controller on PC. The instructions provided are mostly for installing the proper Bluetooth stack. Connecting a controller is very simple.

Step: 1

Turn off Microsoft auto-detect drivers, otherwise, Windows will reinstall Microsoft Bluetooth drivers which will interfere with the Toshiba stack.

  • Press Windows, type Advanced Startup, select ‘Change Advanced Startup Options’.
  • Under Advanced startup, click on Restart now.
  • Choose Troubleshoot
  • Then click on Advanced options
  • Next click on Start-up Settings
  • Then click Restart
  • Select ‘Disable driver signature enforcement’ (F7)

Step: 2

Uninstall Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator drivers, and find the hardware ID of your built-in Bluetooth.

  • Press Windows, type and select Device Manager.
  • Under Bluetooth radios, right click and uninstall Microsoft Bluetooth Enumerator and Microsoft Bluetooth LE Enumerator
  • Right-click your built-in Bluetooth driver (Apple Broadcom Built-in Bluetooth in my case) and select Properties
  • Select the Details tab
  • Under the Property drop-down, select Hardware ID. It should list something like

USB\VID_05AC&PID_8286&REV_0131

USB\VID_05AC&PID_8286

The second listing is what you want. Right click and Copy, feel free to paste in Notepad.

Step: 3

Download and install the Toshiba Bluetooth Stack

  • Right after the installation starts (get past the agreements and so forth), cancel the installation
  • It will act as though it completed and prompt a restart, decline it
  • Navigate to C\Program Files (x86) \Toshiba\Bluetooth Toshiba Stack\Drivers\tosrfusb\
  • Copy tosfrusb.inf to your Desktop (You can’t easily edit it directly where it is)
  • Open the copied file in Notepad and add your hardware ID to it.

You’ll see two lists that start with “%TosrfUsb.DeviceDesc1%=TosrfUsb_Device”. The % number increases depending on how many are on the list, ending at 161 in my case. They have device IDs next to them. Add your device Id to the bottom of each one, like so %TosrfUsb.DeviceDesc161%=TosrfUsb_Device, USB\VID_05AC&PID_8286

At the very bottom of the file is a place for the device description. Name it whatever you want, though preferably the actual name of the device. Example TosrfUsb.DeviceDesc150 = “Apple Broadcom Built-in Bluetooth”

  • Save the file
  • You’ll have to do this next part rather quickly, so I recommend reading first if you are following this as you go
  • Start the installation again (which will remove the existing incomplete installation). Quickly navigate to C\Program Files (x86)\Toshiba\Bluetooth Toshiba Stack\Drivers\tosrfusb\ and paste the modified tosfrusb.inf back into the original folder. In case you were too fast, make sure you pasted after the installer already wrote that file
  • Everything should install properly, and you will be asked to restart. Do so and everything will be successfully installed!

Edit 3.5

Download and replace TosBtChk.dll

  • Navigate to C\Program Files (x86)\Toshiba\Bluetooth Toshiba Stack
  • Copy and replace the .dll

4 – Download WiinUSoft v2.0

  • Extract the contents somewhere you’d prefer to access it
  • There are SCP drivers included, but it may work without installing. If it doesn’t work, make sure you are opening ScpDriver.exe and only have Configure Service checked when installing
  • Connect your controller via Bluetooth
  • Run WiinUSoft.exe
  • If it crashes immediately, restarting the computer has worked in my case
  • Attach your controller and enjoy!

Wii U Pro Controller vs. Gamecube Controller

Wii U Pro Controller vs. Gamecube Controller

There is some dispute between choosing the Wii U Pro and Gamecube controller. Players used to select the Gamecube over any controller but after Wii Pro released all the impression has been swept away from Gamecube to Wii Pro.

But still the GameCube controller is an utterly great controller, but some multi-plat games had concerns due to the positions of the X and Y buttons. Even SNES Wii Virtual Console games were rigorous to play on the GCN controller because of the button position.

Also, button layout and shoulder triggers of GameCube are just perfect for gamers. It’s damn good for gaming outside of traditional 2D fighters. Wavebird is the real business though. Wii U Pro is nice and all, but it has something less in terms of layout. Still Wii U pro is a great controller.

Gamecube feels perfect for Nintendo games but not friendly to other third-party games. That’s not too much of a fault for Wii U.

Wii U Pro is adaptable and tremendous. The sticks are like better and prefer concave, but the coating/material on them is right that it doesn’t have an issue.

The GCN controller is perfect for GCN games, but not much else (which is possibly how it should be rated, be fair). Players don’t care for the tiny d-pad, the odd Z button, and the divots in the analog stick wells. That might be the reason that players prefer the Wii U Pro so much because they finally did away with those.

Gamecube controller

Gamecube controller is over-specialized and amazing with specific games, mediocre with others. It could easily be your all time favorite. Nintendo did a great job of creating games around the controller. On the other hand, the Wii U pro controller has no character at all. The stick placement is just ridiculous. It’s not a terrible controller, but players don’t find it nearly as high as many seem to.

Gamecube controller feels infinitely better. Short 2-3 hour sessions in Mario Kart 8 with the Wii U Pro Controller has proven that fact (for myself). The buttons and everything leave hands uncomfortable afterward. This would never happen with the GCN controller for similar games (Mario Kart Wii, MKDD). Most of the players don’t know what it is, but that’s just how it goes for most of the players. Buttons feel more comfortable on the GCN controller; the stick is better, the shoulder buttons feel good.

Gamecube is an older controller while Wii U Pro is an improvement for Gamecube and better than Gamecube. But still player find Gamecube is even better on controller layout perspective.

Pros and Cons of Wii U Pro Controller

Pros

  • Modern ergonomic design permits for more comfort for a more extended period.
  • Digital triggers. Allow for arguably quicker shielding.
  • C-stick is closer to the face buttons.
  • Face buttons are closer.
  • Face buttons have a more solid ‘’Click’’ feeling.
  • Bumpers are bigger and cozier (more comfortable grabs if you have the fenders set to grab).
  • Analog sticks move more freely and smooth than the GameCube controller.
  • Analog sticks don’t have the Octagon Lock. The GameCube analogs had.
  • D-Pad feels way better than the GameCube Controller.
  • Analog sticks are fantastic. They feel great, and the most players are fond of the curved design that Nintendo and Sony use as oppose to the concave design Xbox uses.
  • Wireless Bluetooth means you can use it on your PC, but the software isn’t there yet to emulate the Xbox controller for PC games.
  • D-Pad is phenomenal, little better than the DualShock D-Pads which is saying a lot.
    The bottom side has a great grainy texture that makes it comfortable to play for long periods and with sweaty/oily hands.
  • Excellent battery life. This thing will go beyond weeks without needing a recharge. Rechargeable battery with extraordinary battery life.
  • Light is great.
  • Extremely solid. You could not get this thing to creak no matter how much force you put into it. It feels indestructible and extremely lightweight. This item is as light as a feather, much lighter than ps3 or Xbox360 controllers.

Cons

  • Digital triggers might feel odd to some.
  • Face buttons are more accessible to press on accident because of how close they are.
  • Analog Sticks have click buttons, which can mess you up if you push down too hard.
  • Pro controller’s analog sticks don’t have the octagon lock the GameCube analogs had.
  • Pro controller is Heavier than the GCN controller.
  • Wireless, WILL cause interference problems at large tournaments.
  • Battery dependent could potentially cause problems in a tournament situation, even though the controller has approx 80 hours of life.
  • The bulkier design may be unsuitable for some.
  • This is not a massive problem for many first party Nintendo games where they place the priority on the A and X buttons, but it’s a pain when a developer just sloppily ports their games and copies the specific button arrangement from another console without thinking about this.
  • The mini USB port sends no data. It means that competitive gamers will have to rely on wireless even when they’re playing wired.
  • No headset jack! This and the point above are why pro gamers can’t take this console seriously.

Listing a lot of cons don’t make it unworthy. It’s a well-built controller overall, and it feels great. There are a lot of features lacking when balancing to the DualShock 3 like analog triggers, motion sensors, dual rumble, widespread PC support, etc. and it’s unsatisfactory mainly because they’re around the same price point. However, there’s currently a no better option on the Wii U, and it’s well worth buying for any Wii U owner.

Price

 

Comparatively Wii U Pro Controller’s lowest price is 118$ (Price may vary). You can buy this controller with additional supported games. For the list of supported games and more information, you need to visit the manufacturer website.

I conclude, if you like action packed games Wii U; you should seriously consider the pro controller. Wii U gamepad is serviceable, but it’s, and needless screen holds it back from really feeling at ease. The Pro Controller primarily considers better, and it’s sufficiently responsive for Platinum Games titles in different settings.

Increase productivity with wireless keyboard and mouse.

You just give a wonderful PowerPoint presentation in your office using wireless keyboard and mouse. But do you ever wonder how they work since they are not traditional peripheral connected to the computer with a wire? So, how do they work? Let’s take a look into the mechanism behind the best wireless keyboard and mouse.

How does a wireless keyboard work?

Though the name may imply otherwise, the working of a wireless keyboard is not complicated. To understand it easily, think about how a wired keyboard works. The keyboard is directly connected to the computer with a cable and the cable acts as a medium to transfer signal to the computer from the keyboard. But the wireless keyboard does not have any cable. So how it works?

What happens, in this case, is, the data from the keyboard is encoded and transmitted through infrared or radio frequency (RF) as a signal. Each letter on the keyboard has a corresponding code. For example, the corresponding code of the letter T is U+0054. The receiving end of the signal is a computer which has an integrated circuit (IC) chip. The IC circuit receives all the information that comes from the keyboard and transfers it to the operating system of the computer. The encoded data of the keyboard is then decoded in the central processing unit (CPU) and is displayed in the monitor.

Type of wireless keyboard

  • Standard size wireless keyboard
  • Foldable features hinges that allow folding of keyboard
  • Portable keyboard these keyboards come with an integrated touchpad
  • Portable with stand comes with a tablet or smartphone stand
  • Roll-up wireless keyboard these keyboards can roll up when not in use
  • Mini wireless keyboard these are palm size keyboards with an integrated touchpad
  • Slim keyboard

What is a Bluetooth keyboard?

Bluetooth keyboard is also a wireless keyboard but instead of using RF (radio frequency) technology it uses blue tooth technology to communicate with its parent device. Bluetooth technology uses radio waves for communication purpose. But it has the capability to communicate with many different devices at once without an interface.

The advantage of using a wireless keyboard

  • Wireless keyboards are much flexible and comfortable to use
  • Allow stress-free working and increase overall productivity
  • People suffering from a backache and joint pain should use wireless keyboards and mice for amazing health benefits.

How does a wireless mouse work?

Wireless mouse uses radio frequency technology to transmit information to your computer. Since radio frequency based, the device requires two primary components a transmitter and a receiver. Wireless mouse has some other components which include mouse controller, ceramic capacitors, 26.690 MHz crystal for transmission. The mouse features a standby mode and its transmission of the signal depends on your action, for example, clicking.

The transmitter resides in the mouse. Its function is sending an electromagnetic signal that encodes the information about the mouse’s movements and the buttons you click. The receiver, which is connected to the computer, accepts the signal, decodes it and passes it on to the mouse driver software and your computer’s operating system.

The receiver not necessarily to be a computer. It can be a separate device that plugs into your computer, a special card that you place in an expansion slot, or a built-in component.

Unlike infrared technology, which is used for short-range wireless communication for example, in television remote, RF (radio frequency) devices do not require a clear line of sight between the transmitter (in this case mouse) and receiver. Because a wireless mouse signal can pass through barriers, for example, desk or monitor.

Use of radio frequency

Nowadays, many electronic devices use radio frequencies to transfer data. They include cellular phones, wireless networks, and garage door openers. In order to avoid conflicts, different types of devices have been assigned different frequencies.

For example, an earlier version of the wireless mouse operated at a frequency of 27 megahertz. But newer mice operate at 2.4 GHz which makes them capable of working at a greater distance, for example, 100 to 150 feet.

Newer cell phones have been assigned to 900-megahertz frequency. Garage door openers function at a frequency of 40 megahertz, and 802.11b/g wireless networks operate at 2.4 gigahertz. Megahertz means one million cycles per second.

So, 900 megahertz means there are 900 million electromagnetic waves per second. Similarly, Gigahertz (GHz) means one billion cycles per second. So, in case of new wireless mouse 2.4 GHz means 2.4 billion electromagnetic wavers per second.

Types of wireless Mice

Optical Mouse

Two essential components of an optical mouse are the light emitting diode (LED) and light sensors (CMOS sensor). LED emitted red light which people use to track the movements of the mouse. The CMOS sensor is then capturing the image of the mouse movements.

After capturing, the sensor sends each image to a digital signal processor. The DSP’s function is to analyze the pattern of each image sent by the CMOS and examines how these images have changed, comparing to the previous image.

The pattern of mouse movements is on the coordinate axes. The monitoring of the mouse movements and capturing the images are to do with extreme precision. Because a smooth movement of the cursor on the screen depends on these two things. DPI (dot per inch) technology gives a fine resolution to the image which is similar to megapixels in mobile phones. Optical mouse use 400 to 800 DIP for image resolution.

Laser Mouse

The working of the laser mouse is similar to that of an optical mouse with a few differences. The main differences between them are laser mouse has more resolution (2000 DPI) as compared to optical mouse and it uses invisible laser rays to detect the movement of the mouse.

Advantages of wireless mice

Wireless mice utilize radio frequency technology. The technology offers a number of benefits

  • RF transmitter is in the mouse and requires low energy. Moreover, it can even run on batteries.
  • RF wireless mice are inexpensive. They are available for less than $50 and even as low as $25.
  • Wireless mice are lightweight. So, they are quite portable

Are wireless keyboard and mouse hackable?

wireless keyboard and mouse use a device called computer dongles. It is a hardware device without which a particular software program will not run. People use it to prevent unauthorized use.

The security issue of wireless keyboard and mouse has a relationship with this device. Because some computer dongles offer hackers a fairly simple way to remotely access and take over your computer. Internet-of-things security startup Bastille has identified and revealed This security issue.

Bastille is an Atlanta-based company. The company says that it has determined that a number of non-Bluetooth wireless keyboards and mice from seven companies including some reputed brand, for example, Logitech, Dell, and Lenovo have a design flaw that makes it easy for hackers from as far as about 90 meters away to pair with the dongle that these devices use to take control of your computer. Furthermore, hackers can add malware to your machine.

Upon testing, Bastille determined that while data is transmitting through the wireless keyboard. But none of the mouse it tested encrypt its click. Another issue is as a security requirement while most wireless keyboards encrypt their data before sending it to the dongle, on the other hand, the dongle did not always require that the data be encrypted.

Both of these two things that is mouse click does not encrypt and dongles allow non-encrypted data make it possible for a hacker to fool the dongle on a victims computer into thinking that his remote clicks and keystrokes are ok to accept.

What experts say about hacking –

Another fact revealed by Marc Newlin, a Bastille engineer, is that since each wireless keyboard or mouse use a unique radio frequency address. A hacker can simply use an inexpensive USB dongle to track data packets transmitting between a mouse and the dongle. That has a connection to its computer to determine the address. After figuring out the address, the hacker could transmit keystroke packets to the dongle as if he were the legitimate user of the computer.

Chris Rouland, Bastille founder and chief technology officer, says that his company draws the attention of manufactures of wireless keyboard and mouse about the security vulnerability of the devices. The companies took the issue seriously. According to Rouland, you can make some of the wireless keyboards and mouse more secure with a simple software update to the dongle. But, you can not patch most of them. So, he says the solution lies in replacing theed dongles.

Conclusion

Wireless keyboards and mouse offer many benefits. Wireless keyboard and mouse combo contribute to increasing overall productivity. They are reliable and stable. Like other devices, security is a concern that has recently been surfaced. But only a very few security breaches we know about. The good news is wireless keyboards and mice manufactures are working attentively to fix the security issue.

Difference Between Software & Hardware: The Major Takeaways.

The easy explanation of the differences between software and hardware is that the term hardware refers to the physical housing of a computer’s parts. It is the framework, case or container in which the components, made of metal and plastic, are fixed. Included under this heading are: cabinet or case, central processing unit, monitor, keyboard, computer data storage, graphic cards, sound cards, speakers and motherboard.  Software is the programs and applications that are housed within those hard-shell components or are accessed through them. Video gamers also use such hardware as trackballs, joysticks and gamepads. Software is in fact, digital language. It is non-tangible and logical, made up of electronic languages or codes. Hardware, on the other hand, is tangible and physical or rigid and solid. Hardware stores the software which stores the information necessary to perform tasks.

What Is the Difference Between Software and Hardware?

Hardware

Input Devices

  • The most common of these devices are mouse and keyboard, which many computers, such as laptops, now have incorporated within them. That also goes for microphones and webcams. Digital cameras, barcode readers, scanners and graphics tablets are others which are external and are used to insert information of one kind or another.

Some hardware devices that were once external are now incorporated into computers and are seen as standard issue. Computer technology develops at a lightning pace and terms once used to describe separate attachments are no longer used because they have been merged into the whole computer package.

Output Devices

  • Output devices can include prints, plotters, speakers and monitors. Again, external devices that extract information and images.

Secondary Storage Devices

  • Secondary storage devices are also called backup, external and auxiliary. Hard Disks, C.Ds and DVDs, they now include USBs. And Blue Ray Disks. They have evolved from floppy disks and magnetic tapes. Used for permanent storage of large chunks of data.

Internal Components

  • The main internal component of a computer is the motherboard, which connects with all the other essential components to ensure the computer functions. These include the central processing unit or CPU, the random-access memory or RAM and the read-only memory or ROM. The motherboard also manages the disk drives. There are also chipsets, BIOS and Buses that are used to connect the various parts to one another and ensure their correct function.

Software

System Software

  • System software manages the computer hardware, overseeing basic necessary functions that users need. It monitors other software and is used as a platform from which all the application software used. It provides basic utility functions that allow other programs to perform tasks. These include operating systems, programming and device drivers that deal with input/output, data storage and application. Operating systems play a supervisory role.

Application Software

  • Application software uses the computer’s system to do certain functions. Most computers come with some measure of built-in applications, but technically they are still independent of the system software. Almost all applications are bought separately, downloaded and installed for specific tasks. The functions of application software can be used for, information management, data manipulation, the creation of visuals, resource coordination and mathematical calculations.
  • There are also application platforms, which serve as providers and are designed for group use, mainly as a business tool.
  • Application software shouldn’t be confused with Apps. Although, still deemed software, they are created for different purposes. Apps are designed for one single and set purpose, whereas application software is designed for a variety of interconnected uses. Apps are non-essential programs, whereas application software serve essential services for mostly business purposes. Apps are for personal use, mainly on cell phones, whereas application software are designed for group users on multiple devices.

Usage

  • Software has an almost infinite range of usages. Public Administration on a local and national level. Public or private databases. Public health administration. Social security. Businesses use software for many tasks, for example: accounting or delivery and collection schedules. Household schedules such as weekly chores, in or outside of the house.

Categories

  • Computer software falls into three broad categories. System software, which starts and runs all other computer programs. Application software that sees to word processing and browsing the web. Computer programming tools made up of linkers and compilers that combine and translate computer program source code, along with libraries in executable RAMs.

Appearance

  • Hardware can be seen and physically touched, not only the computer itself, but the external devices that can be attached to one. Software, on the other hand, although it may be housed within a disk or another kind of device cannot be touched because it is made up of binary coding. It is the ghost in the machine that performs the functions it has been created to perform. Only the end result of the instructions embedded within the software in the form of code can be seen. An example of this would be a page of printed words on a monitor screen or a physical page of paper ejected by a printer. Graphic designs that can be used onscreen or printed out. Another side to appearance is what you actually see on the screen. Using the embedded programs you can personalise the onscreen display. Most of this can be done by going into Settings or the Control Panel and choosing the different options there. The Display option lets you control colours, enlarge or reduce text size or adjust screen resolution. Using the Taskbar and Navigation, you can reorder or change the Start menu. The Ease of Access Center is an especially designed shortcut to help those with physical difficulties. The File Explorer Option lets you manage the look and behaviour of files. Font styles and sizes are easily changed.

Type

  • Hardware controls the functions of the computer, such as processing, storage, plus input and output. There are three main types of software, system software, programming software and application software. Examples of what can be done and managed by application software are: online services and goods, retail buying and selling and marketing services. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Under these umbrella headings software types can be broken down into many more specific types of applications covering the whole range of human endeavour.

Method of Constructing

Replacement

  • Sometimes replacing hardware is unavoidable, but whether or not it is because of worn out components or for upgrade purposes, it is well to be prepared to change parts. Instead of buying a new computer when your old one starts to fail, it is a good idea to replace old or faulty parts and extend the life, and power, of your computer. The motherboard can be replaced, but usually that means starting from scratch again, but there ways around that. Monitors do fade over time, but the new LCD type are thin, light and easily installed. The keyboard, which is in continuous use, always takes a pounding and is prone to damage. New keyboards are easily replaced and come with new, added features. Hard drives crashes are a nightmare, you could lose all your stored data. If a hard drive show any sign of failure, it is best to replace it immediately. CD/DVD drives are getting better and more versatile all the time. The same goes for video and flash cards. UPS or surge protectors are overlooked, but are just as important as the other parts. A good idea is to install better quality protectors than the standard issue. Cooling fans are liable to breakdown or wear out, but are easy to replace. Computers need a constant and stable power supply, PSU. Weak or intermittent supply will damage your machine, but can also be replaced.

Function

  • Hardware is permanent and fixed. It is hardly ever changed. Whereas software is constantly being changed in some form or another. It can be deleted, uninstalled, added to, upgraded and modified in many different ways. Software is created to perform specific tasks the built-in computer programs can’t handle. Hardware is the delivery system of the software programs.

Interdependence

  • Software can’t function unless it is installed in the hardware. The hardware functions once the software is installed. It is only when the two are working together that specific tasks and instructions can be performed.

Firewalls

  • Firewalls are the security protection of the computer. It protects against malware and viruses. It can detect or block unsolicited information or data. It stops illegal hacking. It is your own form of personal network security. Firewalls monitor incoming and outgoing digital traffic, based on pre-programmed rules and limitations. It is literally a wall between your computer and external networks. Most computers come with an installed package that includes security protection, but it can also bought and installed separately. Once installed the software can be programmed to your individual wishes and level of protection that you require. Software cannot be used or accessed without first being downloaded into the hardware. On the other hand, hardware is useless without the software.

Changes

  • Hardware is rarely changed, as It can be difficult and expensive, depending on what component you wish to change, but it is possible to upgrade hardware instead of changing any parts. Added software can help restore some functions that aren’t physically broken. Software on the other hand, is constantly being deleted, upgraded, exchanged, added to, installed and uninstalled. Computers use many different software programs to perform many different tasks. Personal computers, as well as computers for commercial use, will have multiple software programs. Software programs are being invented, refined and upgraded on a daily basis by an industry seems to have no limits.

Examples

  • Examples of hardware would be CD-ROMs, routers, modems, printers, label makers, scanners or video and sound cards. Software examples would be Microsoft Word for word processing. Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari internet browsers. Skype for personal communication. Pandora for music. Slack for group or team collaboration. Others include: Adobe Acrobat, QuickBooks, Calibre, Excel and Apple Maps.

Comparison Chart

Hardware Software
Definition Devices that are required to store and execute (or run) the software. Collection of instructions that enables a user to interact with the computer. Software is a program that enables a computer to perform a specific task, as opposed to the physical components of the system (hardware).
Types Input, storage, processing, control, and output devices. System software, Programming software, and Application software.
Function Hardware serve as the delivery system for software solutions. The hardware of a computer is infrequently changed, in comparison with software and data, which are “soft” in the sense that they are readily created, modified, or erased on the comput To perform the specific task you need to complete. Software is generally not needed to for the hardware to perform its basic level tasks such as turning on and reponding to input.
Examples CD-ROM, monitor, printer, video card, scanners , label makers, routers and modems. QuickBooks, Adobe Acrobat, Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Apple Maps
Inter dependency Hardware starts functioning once software is loaded. To deliver its set of instructions, Software is installed on hardware.
Failure Hardware failure is random. Hardware does have increasing failure at the last stage. Software failure is systematic. Software does not have an increasing failure rate.
Durability Hardware wears out over time. Software does not wear out over time. However, bugs are discovered in software as time passes.
Nature Hardware is physical in nature. Software is logical in nature.

Once you have grasped the fact that software is unseen and non-tangible, entirely logic based and that hardware in is in fact, physical and tangible, you will understand the difference between the two. What sometimes makes it difficult to separate the two is the symbiotic relationship between them. Both are useless without the other. Computer jargon tends to blur the lines, but they are distinct things. No doubt, sometime in the future, the two will become merged into one.