The Hardware reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Hardware is equipment such as fasteners, keys, locks, hinges, wire, chains, plumbing supples, tools, utensils, cutlery and machine parts, especially when they are made of metal.

In a looser sense, hardware can be major military equipment, or electronic equipment, or computer equipment.

In America, hardware has been traditionally sold in "hardware stores". These were once as much a part of American small town culture as the drug store soda fountain and local church, but in recent years larger "building materials" centers have outmoded them. In the United Kingdom, hardware stores are traditionally called ironmongers, and larger, out-of-town hardware shops are called DIY centres.

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