Common Hardware Devices and Computer Peripherals
The average computer user has a wide range of hardware devices and components installed on his or her system. Each has a corresponding device driver. Some of the most common include:
BIOS – Short for Basic Input Output System, BIOS is a type of software that resides on a motherboard chip. It contains codes that control devices such as the mouse, keyboard and various functions.
CD/DVD – Most newer computers come included with CD/DVD drives. These drives allow you to install software applications, play video games, and listen to music on Compact Discs among other functions.
Displays – Displays simply refer to computer monitors, such as flat panel screens and touch screens.
Game Controller – A game controller is a device that connects to a computer or game console and allows you to play video games. The most common example is a USB joystick.
Graphics/Video Adapter – Graphics video adapter cards handle the appearance and performance of your display. They are responsible for processing information, making calculations about the pixels of each color, and outputting data to the computer screen.
Hard Disk Controller – A hard disk controller is an interface or circuit that enables the operating system to control the hard disk on a computer. The most common examples are modems, which are integrated with hark disk controllers.
Input Devices – Input devices are used to enter data into a computer. Common examples include a keyboard, mouse or touchpad.
ISDN – An ISDN refers to a certain digital phone data network service. It requires the use of a modem that corresponds with the type of network connection that is being used.
Modem – A modem allows a computer to be connected with computers via phone line, cable connection or wireless connection. The most common use for a modem is to establish an internet connection.
Network Adapter – A network adapter is a device that allows you to interconnect computers and networks. Some of the most common include PCI Ethernet cards and wireless network adapters.
Printer – A printer is a device that connects to a computer and allows you to print documents and graphics. Many printers today also function as copiers, scanners and fax machines.
Removable Drive – Removable drives refer to storage devices that are primarily used to backup and restore data onto a computer. Common examples including USB flash drives and portable hard drives.
Scanner – A scanner is a device that connects to a computer and allows you to scan documents and images. It typically requires a special type of software in order to function properly.
Soundcard – A soundcard is a built-in component that enables computer speakers to produce sounds. Soundcards also come in external variations and require that a microphone be connected.
Tape Backup Drive – Tape backup drives are used to store data on magnetic tapes, usually for backup purposes. They generally come with backup software that allows you to schedule automatic backups.
USB – Short for Universal Serial Bus, a USB is a standard used to interconnect computers with various devices. This process is done with USB ports and cables.
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