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Unit 3 – External Hardware Peripherals


Items In This Unit

  • Computer Monitor / TV
  • Printer
  • Plotter
  • Scanner
  • USB Memory Sticks
  • USB WIFi Network Adapters
  • SD Cards & Readers
  • External Drives
  • Pointing Devices
  • Keyboard
  • Gaming Devices
  • Webcam
  • Speakers / Headphones
  • MIDI Keyboard
  • Network Router

Computer Monitor / TV

  • Computer monitor projects computer-generated images and videos.
  • Computer monitors come in various sizes anywhere from 5” to over 50”
  • Modern monitors support various screen resolutions including include: 1280×720 (720p), 1920×1080(1K), 2560×1440(2K), 3840×2160(4K)
  • Modern TVs can also be attached to computers and act like computer monitors

Printer

  • A printer is a peripheral device that creates a paper copy of computer text, images and graphics.
  • 3 types of printers still dominate the computing world
    • Dot Matrix printer applies ink via tiny rods striking an ink ribbon.
    • Ink-Jet printer recreates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper and plastic substrates.
    • A laser printer is a type of printer that produces high-quality text and graphics by repeatedly passing a laser beam

Printer Comparison

The following table provides a comparison between various printer types.                                                             

 

Printer Type

 

Metric

Dot Matrix Printer
 

InkJet Printer

Laser Printer

3D Printer

Cost

High

Low

Medium

Highest

Size

Big

Various

Various

Various

Res.

60 to 90 DPI

300 – 720 DPI

300 – 2400 DPI

Smallest – High

Speed

Slow

100 – 400 cps

Faster

2-20ppm

Fastest

4-100ppm

30 min to
several days

Utilizing

Ink Ribbon

Ink Cartridge

Toner

Plastic 

Popularity

Popular in the 90s

Very Popular

Popular

Gaining Traction


Plotter

  • A plotter produces vector graphics drawings.
  • Plotters draw lines on paper using a pen.
  • Plotters use very large paper to plot engineering, architecture and other types of sophisticated drawings
  • Plotters are typically used by engineers, and architects utilizing AutoCAD or other computer-aided design software.

Scanner

  • An image scanner or just scanner is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting or an object
  • The scanner converts what it sees to a digital image or to text files using the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software
  • Scanners are typically integrated into modern printers

USB Memory Sticks

  • A USB memory stick (or USB flash drive) is a data storage device that includes flash memory with an integrated USB interface.
  • Compared with floppy disks or CDs, they are smaller, faster, have significantly more capacity, and are more durable due to a lack of moving parts.
  • Most weigh less than 30 g (1 oz).
  • USB memory sticks come in various sizes up to 2 TB
  • Typically allow up to 100,000 writes/erase cycles.
  • Often used for storage, data back-up and transfer of computer files.

USB WIFi Network Adapters

The USB WIFI Network adapters:

  • Provide WIFI network connectivity
  • Useful when a wired connection is not possible
  • Can get a better WIFI signal than internal WIFI adapters
  • Portable
  • Can be used by multiple computers

SD Cards & Readers

  • Secure Digital (SD) is a proprietary non-volatile memory card format developed by the SD Card Association for use in portable devices as well as computers with the help of SD card readers
  • SD cards can store a similar amount of memory as their USB flash card counterparts (up to 2TB)
  • There are three main types in the SD memory card family. SD, SD High Capacity (SDHC™), and SD Extended Capacity (SDXC™)
  • Card readers come either as an internal or external peripheral

External Drives

  • External drives comprise devices that store information outside a computer.
  • External devices may be permanently attached to the computer, maybe removable or may use removable media.
  • External drives or devices include:
    • CD, DVD & Blue-ray external drives
    • IDE External Hard Drives
    • SSD External Drives
    • SSHD External Drives (hybrid SSD & IDE drives)

Pointing Devices

  • One of the most popular pointing devices is a computer mouse
  • Another common pointing device is a laptop touchpad
  • Trackballs are another popular pointing device
  • With the rise of mobile devices touch
    the screen has become the most popular
    pointing device

Keyboard

  • A computer keyboard is a typewriter-style device that uses an arrangement of buttons or keys to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches.
  • Desktops typically have more keys than their laptop counterparts
  • Most keyboards use a “QWERTY“ key arrangement

Gaming Devices

  • A game controller is an input device used with video games or entertainment systems to provide input to a video game, typically to
    control an object or character in the game.
  • Game controllers used with personal computers work the same way as game input devices for video game systems.
  • Game controllers are typically connected to a personal computer using the USB port

Webcam

  • A webcam is a video camera that feeds or streams an image or video in real-time to another computer either on a local network or the Internet.
  • Webcams are typically small cameras that sit on a desk, attach to a user’s monitor, or are built into laptops.
  • New webcams come in 720p, 1k, 2k and higher quality

Speakers / Headphones

  • Computer speakers are typically a must-have peripheral to output computer sounds and music as most desktop computers do not come with speakers.
  • Laptops already come with built-in computer speakers but are typical of low sound quality.
  • Standard stereo headphones can be used with personal computers instead of computer speakers.

MIDI Keyboard

  • MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface
  • MIDI is a standard adopted by the electronic music industry for controlling devices, such as synthesizers and sound cards, that create music.
  • A MIDI representation of a sound includes values for the note’s pitch, length, and volume.
  • MIDI keyboards allow musicians to create songs using a combination of computer programs along with an external MIDI keyboard attached to the USB port.

Network Router / Hub

  • A router is a networking device that connects computers to at least 2 networks and various computers.
  • A network hub is similar to a network router but it only operates on a single typically home or office network
  • The most common type of routers are home and small office routers
  • Most modern routers allow you to connect by a network cable or by WIFI.
  • Some internet routers provided by your internet provider also function as cable modems.

Unit Quiz:

Answer the following questions: 

  1. What is the name of a peripheral that creates engineering drawings?
  2. What kind of keyboard device can be attached to a computer to create music?
  3. Can a hard drive be attached externally? 
  4. Can you name one type of computer port that can help you store pictures on a particular external device?

 

Previous Unit 2 – Computer Internals
Next Unit 4 – Software
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