FIGURE 8.2
Removing your
system unit’s
case.
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ABSOLUTE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO COMPUTER BASICS
FIGURE 8.3
Carefully insert-
ing a new inter-
nal card.
Connecting Portable Devices to Your PC
These days, a lot of the devices you connect to your PC really aren’t computer
peripherals. Instead, these are gadgets that you use on their own but plug in to your
PC to share files.
What kinds of portable devices are we talking about? Here’s a short list:
Portable music players, such as Apple’s popular iPod player
Digital cameras
Digital camcorders
USB keychain memory devices
Personal digital assistants (PDAs), such as Palm and Pocket PC devices
Most of these devices connect to a USB port on your PC; some camcorders use a
FireWire connection instead. As you remember, both USB and FireWire ports are hot-
swappable, which means that all you have to do is connect the device to the proper
port—no major configuration necessary. In most cases, the first time you connect
your device to your PC, you’ll need to run some sort of installation utility to install
the device’s software on your PC’s hard drive. Each subsequent time you connect the
device, your PC should recognize it automatically and launch the appropriate soft-
ware program.
Once your portable device is connected to your PC, what you do next is up to you.
Most of the time, you’ll be transferring files either from your PC to the portable
device, or vice versa. Use the device’s software program to perform these operations,
or use Windows Explorer to copy files back and forth.
For example, you can use a USB memory device as a
removable and portable memory storage system. One
of these USB drives is smaller than a pack of chew-
ing gum and can hold several gigabytes worth of
data in electronic flash memory. Plug a USB mem-
ory device into your PC’s USB port, and your PC
recognizes it just as if it were another disk drive.
You can then copy files from your PC to the USB
drive to take your work (or your digital music or
photo files) with you.
For more detailed information, see the instructions
that came with your portable device.
CHAPTER 8 ADDING NEW HARDWARE AND DEVICES TO YOUR SYSTEM
115
Learn more about con-
necting a digital camera in
Chapter 30, “Using Your PC with
a Digital Camera.” Learn more
about connecting a portable music
player in Chapter 35, “Using Your
PC with an iPod or MP3 Player.”
The Absolute Minimum
Here’s what you need to know if you’re adding new equipment to your computer
system:
The easiest way to connect a new peripheral is via an external USB or
FireWire connection.
When you’re installing an internal card, make sure that you turn off your PC
before you open the system unit’s case.
In most cases, Windows automatically recognizes your new hardware and
automatically installs all the necessary drivers.
Connecting a portable device, such as a portable music player or digital cam-
era, is typically done via an external USB port.
116
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