Selection of Hardware and Software: The mechanical and electronic devices of a computer system that can be seen and touched are known as hardware. It is the physical component of the computer system. The hardware consists of transistors, capacitors, resistors, diodes, printed circuit, integrated circuit, main and auxiliary storage system, various types of magnetic media, communication media for carrying and transformation of data, coded instruction, equipment for computing function, etc.
Steps in the Selection of Hardware: During the course of hardware selection the following steps may be useful:
i) Identification of the function / activities of the library which is to be automated;
ii) Compute the hardware requirement for each of the activities. The hardware requirements depend upon the number of terminal required for data entry, word processing, OPAC searching, internet searching and browsing, etc.;
iii) Tabulation of the total hardware requirements which are essential for libraries and for networking;
iv) Procuring the latest version of the hardware.
Some of the essential qualities of a good hardware are
i) Minimum hardware redundancy;
ii) Provision for a clear upgrade path for the phased implementation strategy;
iii) Scope for accommodating additional terminal;
iv) High computing facility;
v) Capacity to be compatible with the best available software on library automation and networking;
vi) Be functional with mini and micro computer to suit all types of libraries.