In This Chapter
Connecting USB devices
Connecting FireWire devices
Putting the antique serial and parallel ports to rest
Connecting your monitors
Locating the jacks and ports on your sound card
Connecting your mouse and keyboard
In the beginning (okay, last century), there were the serial port and the parallel port — who would have needed anything else? If you could afford a printer back then, it was connected to the parallel port, and your modem (or perhaps your mouse) was hooked to your serial port. End of story.
The typical PC of today might not have either of those original two ports, though. The serial port is all but extinct, and although some current motherboards still provide a parallel port, it's on the way out as well. Modern PCs rely on a number of relatively new connectors that greatly expand the range of peripherals you can add to your system. In this chapter, I help you make sense of the various ports and sundry openings that you find on the back and front of your PC.
The first port on the tour is the most important standard PC connector on the planet these days. A Universal Serial Bus (USB) port (see the following figure) allows you to connect all sorts of peripherals, and it's just as popular for connecting keyboards and mice. Intel is responsible for this most versatile of ports.
A USB connection is the cat's ...