Re: 'Blockbuster picks Blu-Ray' - questions

On Jun 20, 7:56 am, trotsky <gmsi...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Jay G. wrote:
On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 23:32:31 GMT, trotsky wrote:

Jay G. wrote:

On Tue, 19 Jun 2007 10:28:46 GMT, trotsky wrote:

The physical media are referred to as "software".

DVDs are sometimes referred to as "software," but that's in reference to
the content on the disc, not the disc itself. It's very much like the way a
CD-ROM may contain software, but the physical CD-ROM itself is not
software, it's a media format. If you downloaded the same content from
online that's on the CD-ROM, that content doesn't somehow change into
something other than software.

"The term "software" is sometimes used in a broader context to describe any
electronic media *content* which embodies expressions of ideas such as
film, tapes, records, etc."

You might want to google "anal retentive" next, jayg. "Software" has
*always* referred to media: records, tapes, videotapes, laserdiscs,
dvds, CDs, etc.

OK, so if I had a blank DVD, CD, tape, whatever, that empty media would be
referred to as "software"?

With the advent of computers, "software" came to refer
to computer programming, but the other media was around long before
computer software was even a concept.

Well, CDs and DVDs certainly weren't. As for the word "software" as we
know it, the word came into existence in 1958 in reference to computers:

If you can find an example of a physical media being referred to as
"software" prior to 1958, then you may have a point. However, your chances
seem unlikely if the OED and experienced etymologists can't find any
earlier references except a 1850 occurrence applying to word to decomposing

You make a very strong case, jayg. Now, perhaps you can tell us in no
uncertain terms why we shouldn't go with the definition:

'Software' was originally computer programs. You'd never have thought
of calling it something amorphous like 'content', because it had a
more precise, restrictive logical structure than even the hardware it
ran on.

But, for a while now, I've seen 'software' being used to describe
prerecorded material for media-players. Though I've always considered
it a logical mis-extension of the term, certainly that meaning has
nevertheless become part of my vocabulary ...and, if I worked in the
entertainment industry, indeed the original meaning might quickly seem

(Did I forget to opine about who was right? My bad...)


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