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Many many years ago, back in the 1970’s when computers were so big that they could take up a whole room, the president of a large company came to see a computer specialist called Peter.
“So how can I help you,” said Peter.
“Well I’m a bit confused. I have all this complicated computer equipment sitting in my company.”
“I see,” said Peter, “and what are you using it for?”
“Well, that’s the problem. We’re not actually using it for anything useful at all. It’s just sitting there taking up space. It doesn’t seem to do anything useful.”
“OK, so you’ve got this amazing machine. When did you get it?”
“Oh we got it years ago. You see, I was out with the president of another company and he was telling me about his computer. His computer can do all kinds of amazing things to help him increase productivity. So I got one of these computers, but it just sits there doing nothing all the time. It seems like a waste, doesn’t it?”
Peter thought to himself, “yes, I’ve heard this kind of story before. People get all kinds of amazing equipment and never really learn how to use it.” But he just asked the president a simple question: “What kind of software are you using?”
“Software? What is software?”
“Well, your computer is the hardware – and it’s amazingly powerful. You can do all kinds of things with it. And the software is what actually makes it useful. The software are the programs that you run every day that help you to get things done.”
“Hmm, programs … I see. I guess we never thought of installing useful software.”

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