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You are listening to this podcast on a computer, or perhaps you have downloaded it from a computer to an MP3 player. So I am sure that you know what the words "hardware" and "software" mean.
"Hardware" means the computer itself and other machines which are connected to the computer such as printers or external disk drives. "Software" means the electronic programmes which make the computer do what you want it to do (or, sometimes, what the computer wants to do!)
But the word "hardware" has an older meaning from before the days of computers. To explain what it means, I walked to the end of my road, to my local hardware shop. Walid, who owns the shop, kindly agreed that I might take some photographs. I have put these on the website. And now to test your English vocabulary. Hardware means nails, screws, hooks and rope; it means tools such as saws, hammers, and screwdrivers; it means paint, polish and cleaners to make your house shine; it means plugs, wires, bulbs and fuses for electrical equipment; it means brushes, cloths and mops to keep your house clean; it means pans, sieves, colanders and baking trays for your kitchen: it means forks, trowels, hoes, seeds and compost for your garden. Walid's hardware shop contains all these and much more. It may look a bit chaotic to you, but I can assure you that he knows exactly where everything is.
Источник подкаста: listen-to-english.