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PCs For Dummies® Windows®, 7 Edition by Dan Gookin

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Chapter 7. Connect This to That

In This Chapter

  • Understanding ports

  • Using the USB port

  • Adding and removing USB gizmos

  • Adding even more USB ports

  • Making use of the IEEE port

  • Hanging on to older PC ports

Your PC is a computer system, which means that it can consist of more than just the basic parts. How much more? Well, the answer depends on available technology and how much you're willing to spend. The point is that your computer system can be expanded both internally and externally. The number of gadgets available is nearly limitless, as is the number of tasks they perform.

Expanding your PC externally happens by taking advantage of the available and various connectors found on the console. Basically, you plug a gizmo directly into the console and — presto! — it's added to your computer. Well, maybe it's not that easy, but almost. This chapter explains how it works.

  • The devices you attach to the console are peripherals. The printer is a peripheral, a scanner is a peripheral, even the keyboard and monitor are peripherals.

  • Internal expansion takes place in a PC by using expansion cards, covered in Chapter 6.

It's a Port

Connectors have always been used on a PC, to add various gizmos to the computer system. The connectors go by a number of names. The names that can be printed in this family-friendly book include connector, hole, jack, and port. Only one of these names is accurate.

A hole is just a hole, of course. The computer case may have holes in it, but they're not all for connecting new components. ...

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