David Alan Grier has a column in IEEE Computer entitled "The Empty Box," advancing the theme that someday software will be as mythical as hardware is now.
Of course, I will concede that hardware once existed. It roamed the land in vast herds that stretched from horizon to horizon. The earth shook when these herds began their annual migration from their breeding grounds in California to the great trade shows in Las Vegas.
Sadly, hardware is now completely extinct. It was a victim of overpopulation, the degradation of its prime desktop habitat, and the terrible glaciers of hyperbole that swept out of Madison Avenue in the early 1990s and scoured the earth clean.