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Hardware 101

Those parts of the system that you can hit with a hammer are called hardware; those program instructions that you can only curse at are called software.
~Anonymous, from ~Our Favorite Technology Quotations

Now that you understand the difference between hardware and software, are you ready to move on to (slightly) more difficult fare? Take our quiz to test your hardware knowledge.

1. Is firmware hardware or software?

2. What test has a hardware component passed if it doesn't catch fire the first time it's used?

3. What's the other member of the board family besides the motherboard:
a. fatherboard
b. sonboard
c. daughterboard

4. What was the first virus in the wild that was capable of damaging hardware?

5. Is a clock pendulum an oscillator or a gyroscope?

6. Why would you run a burn-in test on a hardware component?

7. What do you call the practice of taking parts from one machine to use in another?

8. What type of device destroys hardware in much the same way as a wood chipper disposes of tree limbs?

9. What are you doing if you reset some computer component so that it runs faster than the manufacturer-specified speed?

10. Can you use software to cool hardware?

How did you do? Let us know!

See our Down in the Engine Room quiz for more fun with hardware.

This was last updated in July 2009

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