Mr. Poelker, can you please tell me what SW and HW mean?

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SW is an abbreviation that stands for "software" and HW is the abbreviation for "hardware." Most of us in the computer industry are at fault here for basically creating our own language of acronyms," which make it difficult for the rest of us to follow the text or conversation. It's just like the medical profession although we tend to stay away from Latin a bit.

There are books available on what all those things mean like FCAL, FCSW, iFCP, SCSI, HW, SW, etc. Check your local bookstore or's Learning Zone at


Editor's note: I'd like to suggest checking out techtarget's Web site. is loaded with thousands of information technology definitions.

This was first published in July 2001

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