<computer hardware> The physical, touchable, material parts of a computer or other system. The term is used to distinguish these fixed parts of a system from the more changable software or data components which it executes, stores, or carries.

Computer hardware typically consists chiefly of electronic devices (CPU, memory, display) with some electromechanical parts (keyboard, printer, disk drives, tape drives, loudspeakers) for input, output, and storage, though completely non-electronic (mechanical, electromechanical, hydraulic, biological) computers have also been conceived of and built.

See also: firmware, wetware.

(01 Mar 1997)

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The electronic component of a computer.

(05 Mar 2000)