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Whats the difference, firmware vs software?

Dirtman

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Yea i realize it's undoubtedly a dumb question.

Whats the difference between firmware and software? My new OBD adapter says update the "firmware" to the latest version and says you can do it via PC or phone. Does this mean the firmware updates the device itself and not the thing running it? Aka the files get loaded onto the obd adapter and not the phone or laptop?

The reason I ask is because I couldn't get the update to work on my computer but it did work on my phone, but if I now use the device on my laptop is it still "upated"?
 


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The reason I ask is because I couldn't get the update to work on my computer but it did work on my phone, but if I now use the device on my laptop is it still "upated"?
I believe that is correct. The firmware is the "operating system" of the device. The OBD2 adapter has a microcontroller inside that does its own processing and communicates with other microprocessors like your pc or phone or the ecu in the vehicle.so it has its own operating system and software, otherwise known as firmware.
 

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Firmware Is code that gets loaded to the device itself and tells the devices hardware how to run and what parameters are needed to do a desired "basic" function. Firmware's updates are kept in PROM on the device itself. When updating Firmware you are flashing the PROM chip on the device.

Software is the program that you personally interface with that reads what the hardware is putting out. Software is easy to update and and is usually stored on a separate storage device unlike firmware.

Firmware is similar to a PC's BIOS: Basic Input Output Settings
Software is what gets put on the storage device: Operating system and programs

EDIT: ROM: Read Only Memory
PROM: Programable Read Only Memory
Edited ROM to PROM for accuracy
 
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I'm pretty much going to echo Bgunner. Firmware is what gets the electronic device running enough to read the software. Basic instruction code, how to interface with the data drive, that kind of thing. Software is what you work with and tell the device what to do.
 

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EPROM, not ROM but yeah pretty much as above. Embedded device software for what it's worth.
 

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If a packet hits a pocket on a socket on a port, and the bus is interrupted at a very last resort,
and the access of the memory makes your floppy disk abort, then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.

If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash, and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted cause the index doesn't hash, then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!

If the label on the cable on the table at your house, says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel to another protocol, that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall......

And your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss, so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse;
then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang, 'cuz sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang.

When the copy on your floppy's getting sloppy in the disk, and the macro code instructions cause unwanted risk,
then you'll have to flash the BIOS and you'll want to RAM your ROM, just quickly turn the darn thing off and run to tell your Mom!
 

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