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Computer Peripherals Explained


This article is the seventh in t

This article is the seventh in the series how computers work. For this article, the external peripherals of the personal computer will be explored. These peripherals include input and output devices, equipment that attaches to the ports and optional external devices.

The peripherals that are necessary to the operation of a personal computer include a keyboard and mouse. Both of these devices are considered input devices and like many other components there are several types and models available.

The standard keyboard and mouse are usually provided with the computer and are connected via a cable to the specific keyboard and mouse ports on the computer. The mouse is usually a two-button mouse with a scroll wheel while the keyboard is a typical 104 key QWERTY keyboard.

Newer keyboards and mice are available that provide additional functionality such as a wireless connection to the computer. In addition, many keyboards have additional keys that can programmed for special functions, internet access keys and music control keys. The newer and improved mice have additional programmable buttons, are optical (no more gummy dirty ball) and for wireless mouse they are rechargeable.

The most important aspect of selecting a keyboard and mouse is to make sure they provide all the required functionality and that they are ergonomic and comfortable to use.

Other Optional External Devices:

TypeDescription
PrinterA printer is an output device that allows data, including text and pictures, to be printed from a computer. A printer is usually either an inkjet or a laser and this refers to the type of substance and technology that is used to create the printout. Printers typically connect to a computer either via the parallel port (not so common), or a USB port (most common).
ScannerA scanner is a device that allows a user to scan documents and pictures into the computer in a digital format. Scanners come either with a feeder to read the document or in a flatbed configuration where the document is laid down on the glass and scanned. Special software that comes with select scanners allow the user to use OCR (optical character recognition) to “read” and convert text that has been scanned in to an editable format.
ModemThe modem is a device that allows the computer to connect to the Internet or the outside world. Original modems used standard telephone lines and connected a very slow speed. Today most computers connect to the Internet using DSL modem or Cable modem, which provide much faster connection speeds.

Sample Peripherals:

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Content copyright © 2014 by Allison Nunn. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Allison Nunn. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Allison Nunn for details.

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