Software is The Glass Bead Game
Posted Jan 20, 2012 4:10 UTC (Fri) by giraffedata
In reply to: Software is The Glass Bead Game
Parent article: LCA: Addressing the failure of open source
I find that most of what people call hardware and software is for the purposes of that discussion indistinguishable.
Hardware and software are quite easily distinguishable. ...
Yes, and what "for the purpose of that discussion" above means is that that distinction is irrelevant to the purpose of these many discussions that refer to hardware and software.
Where the distinction between hardware and software becomes relevant is in the fact that to move or copy hardware you have to move matter, but to move or copy software, you have only to move energy (and comparatively small amounts of it). That the latter is far, far less costly is responsible for most of the practical difference. So for example, I'd rather deliver a software update to my customer than a hardware update. The hardware update could be a new ROM chip containing the same bits that the software alternative would; it's still hardware. It could be a CD-ROM too.
I hear that at some level matter and energy are the same thing, so maybe if we look at it abstractly enough, even that distinction goes away.
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