IT Fundamentals/2014/Peripherals

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Peripherals are devices used to put information into or get information out of a computer. Peripheral types include input, output, and storage.[1] This lesson covers peripherals and connectors.

Objectives and Skills[edit | edit source]

Objectives and skills for the peripherals portion of IT Fundamentals certification include:[2]

  • Identify basic wired and wireless peripherals and their purpose
    • Input devices
      • Keyboard
      • Pointing devices
        • Mouse
        • Touchpad
        • Joystick
        • Stylus pen
        • Trackball
      • Scanner
      • Microphone
      • Webcam
    • Output devices
      • Display devices
        • Flatscreen
        • CRT
        • Projector
      • Printer
        • Laser
        • Inkjet
        • Thermal
      • Speakers
    • Input & Output devices
      • External storage devices
        • Flash drive
        • External hard drive
        • CD/DVD/Blu-Ray
        • Network Attached Storage
        • Memory card
        • Mobile media players
        • Smart phone
      • Fax
      • Touchscreen display
  • Compare and contrast common computer connector types
    • Video
      • VGA
      • DVI
      • HDMI
      • Display port/Thunderbolt
      • USB
      • S-video
      • Component - RGB
    • FireWire
    • eSATA
    • Thunderbolt
    • USB
    • PS/2
    • Parallel
    • Serial
    • RJ-45
    • RJ-11
    • Audio
    • Power
      • AC/DC

Readings[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia: Peripheral
  2. Wikipedia: Electrical connector

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

  1. YouTube: Understanding the Parts of Your Computer
  2. YouTube: What is a Peripheral
  3. YouTube: Input and output devices
  4. YouTube: Computer Terms: Peripherals
  5. YouTube: Characters, Symbols and the Unicode Miracle
  6. YouTube: Common Computer Connectors
  7. YouTube: Device Connectors and Cables

Activities[edit | edit source]

  1. Practice identifying personal computer hardware and peripherals.
  2. Create an inventory list of all peripherals available on your system. Include separate categories for input, output, and storage.
  3. Create an inventory list of all connectors available on your system. Note which peripherals use each connector type.
  4. Review Wikipedia: Unicode input. Insert special characters into a text document:
    • Windows: Run the Notepad application and use the Character Map utility to select special characters and paste them into Notepad.
    • OS X: Run the TextEdit application and insert special characters into the text file.
    • Linux: Run the gedit application and use the GNOME Character Map utility to select special characters and paste them into gedit.
  5. Review Wikipedia: ASCII and Wikipedia: Alt code. On a PC, open Notepad and then use Alt codes to enter the ASCII value for the characters in your first name. Observe how the ASCII values are converted into standard display characters just as if you had typed those characters on the keyboard.

Lesson Summary[edit | edit source]

  • Peripherals are auxiliary devices used for computer input (keyboards, pointing devices, etc.), output (monitors, printers, etc.), or data storage (hard drives, flash drives, etc.).[3]
  • Input devices include keyboards, pointing devices, scanners, microphones, and webcams.[4]
  • Output devices include monitors, printers, and speakers.[5]
  • Combined input / output devices include fax and touchscreen displays.[6]
  • Data storage devices include hard drives, flash drives, optical drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), media players, and smart phones.[7]
  • A wide variety of electrical connectors are used to connect peripherals to computers.[8]

Key Terms[edit | edit source]

AC connector
A power plug and socket connector that allows electrically operated equipment to be connected to the primary alternating current (AC) power supply in a building.[9]
audio connector
A cylindrical plug and socket connector, typically with two, three or four contacts, used for analog audio signals.[10]
Blu-Ray (BD-ROM)
A digital optical disc data storage format designed to supersede the DVD format, with a storage capacity of 25 GB per layer, and dual layer discs (50 GB) being the industry standard for high definition (1080p) feature-length video discs.[11]
CD (Compact Disc)
A digital optical disc data storage format originally developed to store and play only sound recordings (CD-DA), but was later adapted for storage of data (CD-ROM), with a storage capacity of 737 MB.[12]
CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory)
A pre-pressed optical compact disc which contains data and is not writable or erasable.[13]
CD-RW (Compact Disc-ReWritable)
A compact disc that can be written, read arbitrarily many times, erased and written again.[14]
Component - RGB
An analog video signal that uses RCA connectors and has been split into separate signals for red, green, and blue.[15]
CRT (Cathode Ray Tube)
A vacuum tube containing one or more electron guns, and a fluorescent screen used to view images.[16]
DC connector
An electrical connector for supplying direct current (DC) power to components inside the computer case.[17]
A digital optical disc storage format with a storage capacity of 4.7 GB for a single-layered, single-sided disc and 8.5 GB for a dual-layered, single-sided disc.[18]
DVD-DL (Digital Video Disc Dual Layer)
A derivative of the DVD-R format standard which holds 8.5 GB by utilizing two recordable dye layers, each capable of storing a little less than the 4.7 gigabyte (GB) of a single layer disc.[19]
DVD-R (Digital Video Disc-Recordable)
A DVD that typically has a storage capacity of 4.7 GB and can be written once and read arbitrarily many times.[20]
DVD-RAM (Digital Video Disc-Random Access Memory)
A rewritable DVD technology perceived as being better than other DVD technologies for traditional computer usage tasks such as general data storage, and especially data backup and archival.[21]
DVD-ROM (Digital Video Disc-Read Only Memory)
A pre-recorded DVD mass-produced using molding machines that physically stamp data onto the DVD, and which can only be read and not written or erased.[22]
DVD-RW (Digital Video Disc-Rewritable)
A rewritable optical disc with equal storage capacity to a DVD-R, typically 4.7 GB, that stores data in one long spiral track.[23][24]
DVI (Digital Visual Interface)
A digital video display interface used to connect a video source to a display device.[25]
eSATA (external SATA)
Provides a variant of SATA meant for external connectivity with a more robust connector, longer shielded cables, and stricter electrical standards.[26]
external hard drive
A data storage device used for storing and retrieving digital information, connected via USB, eSATA, FireWire, or Thunderbolt.[27]
fax (short for facsimile)
The telephonic transmission of scanned printed material.[28]
FireWire (IEEE 1394)
An interface standard for a serial bus for high-speed communications and isochronous real-time data transfer developed by Apple and replaced with Thunderbolt.[29]
flash drive
A data storage device that includes flash memory, typically with an integrated Universal Serial Bus (USB) interface.[30]
flatscreen display / flat panel display
A light, thin display usually based on LCD technologies, and back-lit to make them easier to read in bright environments.[31]
HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)
A proprietary audio/video interface for transferring uncompressed video data and compressed or uncompressed digital audio data from a compliant source device to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device.[32]
inkjet printer
A type of computer printer that recreates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto paper, plastic, or other substrates.[33]
An input device consisting of a stick that pivots on a base and reports its angle or direction to the device it is controlling.[34]
A typewriter-style device, which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys, to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches.[35]
laser printer
An electrostatic digital printing process that passes a laser beam back & forth over an electron-charged, cylindrical drum, to define a differentially-charged image.[36]
memory card
An electronic flash memory data storage device used for storing digital information, commonly used in many electronic devices, including digital cameras, mobile phones, laptop computers, MP3 players and video game consoles.[37]
An acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound in air into an electrical signal.[38]
MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface)
A technical standard that describes a protocol, digital interface and connectors and allows a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers and other related devices to connect and communicate with one another.[39]
mobile media player
A portable digital consumer electronics device capable of storing and playing digital media such as audio, images, and video files.[40]
A pointing device that detects two-dimensional motion relative to a surface.[41]
multifunction printer
An office machine which incorporates the functionality of multiple devices in one, including printer, scanner, photocopier, fax, and e-mail.[42]
NAS (Network Attached Storage)
A file-level computer data storage server connected to a computer network providing data access to a heterogeneous group of clients.[43]
parallel port
A communication interface based on a 25-pin connector, also known as a printer port or Centronics port.[44]
A peripheral which makes a persistent human readable representation of graphics or text on paper or similar physical media.[45]
An optical device that projects an image (or moving images) onto a surface.[46]
PS/2 port
A 6-pin Mini-DIN connector used for connecting some keyboards and mice to a PC compatible computer system.[47]
RJ-11 (Registered Jack-11)
A 6 position 2, 4 or 6 contact modular connector typically used for phone cable connections[48]
RJ-45 (Registered Jack-45)
An 8 position 8 contact modular connector typically used for network cable connections.[49]
S-Video connector
A 4 pin video cable connector.[50]
A device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image.[51]
SD card (Secure Digital Card)
A nonvolatile memory card used extensively in portable devices, such as mobile phones, digital cameras, GPS navigation devices, handheld consoles, and tablet computers.[52]
serial port
A communication interface through which information transfers in or out one bit at a time and based on a 9-pin connector.[53]
smart phone
A mobile phone with more advanced computing capability and connectivity than basic feature phones.[54]
A device which converts an electrical audio signal into a corresponding sound.[55]
stylus pen
A computer accessory used to assist in navigating or providing more precision when using a touchscreen.[56]
thermal printer
A digital printing device which produces a printed image by selectively heating coated thermochromic paper.[57]
A hardware interface that allows for the connection of external peripherals to a computer, combining PCI Express (PCIe) and DisplayPort (DP) into one serial signal alongside a DC connection for electric power, and transmitted over one cable, most often used for video and other high-speed connections on Apple computers.[58]
A pointing device featuring a tactile sensor, a specialized surface that can translate the motion and position of a user's fingers to a relative position on the operating system that is outputted to the screen.[59]
touchscreen display
An electronic visual display that the user can control through simple or multi-touch gestures by touching the screen with a special stylus/pen and-or one or more fingers.[60]
A stationary pointing device consisting of a ball held by a socket containing sensors to detect a rotation of the ball about two axes.[61]
UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply)
An uninterruptible power supply, also uninterruptible power source, UPS or battery/flywheel backup, is an electrical apparatus that provides emergency power to a load when the input power source, typically main power, fails.[62]
An industry standard that defines the cables, connectors and communications protocols used in a bus for connection, communication, and power supply between computers and electronic devices communicating at 12 Mbps, 480 Mbps, or 5 Gbps.[63]
VGA connector
A three-row 15-pin DE-15 connector found on many video cards, computer monitors, and high definition television sets.[64]
A video camera that feeds or streams its image in real time to or through a computer to a computer network.[65]

Review Questions[edit | edit source]

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Click on a question to see the answer.
  1. Peripherals are _____ used for _____, _____, or _____.
    Peripherals are auxiliary devices used for computer input (keyboards, pointing devices, etc.), output (monitors, printers, etc.), or data storage (hard drives, flash drives, etc.).
  2. Input devices include _____, _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Input devices include keyboards, pointing devices, scanners, microphones, and webcams.
  3. Output devices include _____, _____, and _____.
    Output devices include monitors, printers, and speakers.
  4. Combined input / output devices include _____ and _____.
    Combined input / output devices include fax and touchscreen displays.
  5. Data storage devices include _____, _____, _____, _____, _____, and _____.
    Data storage devices include hard drives, flash drives, optical drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), media players, and smart phones.
  6. A wide variety of electrical connectors are used to connect _____ to _____.
    A wide variety of electrical connectors are used to connect peripherals to computers.

Assessments[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

Additional Resources[edit | edit source]

  • Doyle, Leo F. (1999). Computer Peripherals, 2nd Edition. ISBN 9780137794638
  • Dummies: Connect Peripherals to Your PC

References[edit | edit source]

Type classification: this is a lesson resource.
Completion status: this resource is considered to be complete.
  1. Wikipedia: Peripheral
  2. CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification Exam Objectives (FC0-U51)
  3. Wikipedia: Peripheral
  4. CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification Exam Objectives (FC0-U51)
  5. CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification Exam Objectives (FC0-U51)
  6. CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification Exam Objectives (FC0-U51)
  7. CompTIA IT Fundamentals Certification Exam Objectives (FC0-U51)
  8. Wikipedia: Electrical connector
  9. Wikipedia: AC power plugs and sockets
  10. Wikipedia: Phone connector (audio)
  11. Wikipedia: Blu-ray Disc
  12. Wikipedia: Compact disc
  13. Wikipedia: CD-ROM
  14. Wikipedia: CD-RW
  15. Wikipedia: Component video
  16. Wikipedia: Cathode ray tube
  17. Wikipedia: DC connector
  18. Wikipedia: DVD
  19. Wikipedia: DVD-DL
  20. Wikipedia: DVD-R
  21. Wikipedia: DVD-RAM
  22. Wikipedia: DVD-ROM
  23. Wikipedia: DVD-RW
  24. Wikipedia: DVD-RAM
  25. Wikipedia: Digital Video Interface
  26. Wikipedia: eSATA
  27. Wikipedia: External hard drive
  28. Wikipedia: Fax
  29. Wikipedia: Firewire
  30. Wikipedia: USB flash drive
  31. Wikipedia: Flat panel display
  32. Wikipedia: HDMI
  33. Wikipedia: Inkjet printer
  34. Wikipedia: Joystick
  35. Wikipedia: Computer keyboard
  36. Wikipedia: Laser printer
  37. Wikipedia: Memory card
  38. Wikipedia: Microphone
  39. Wikipedia: MIDI
  40. Wikipedia: Portable media player
  41. Wikipedia: Mouse (computing)
  42. Wikipedia: Multifunction printer
  43. Wikipedia: Network-attached storage
  44. Wikipedia: Parallel port
  45. Wikipedia: Printer (computing)
  46. Wikipedia: Projector
  47. Wikipedia: PS/2 port
  48. Wikipedia: Registered jack
  49. Wikipedia: Registered jack
  50. Wikipedia: S-Video
  51. Wikipedia: Image scanner
  52. Wikipedia: Secure Digital
  53. Wikipedia: Serial port
  54. Wikipedia: Smartphone
  55. Wikipedia: Loudspeaker
  56. Wikipedia: Stylus
  57. Wikipedia: Thermal printer
  58. Wikipedia: Thunderbolt (interface)
  59. Wikipedia: Touchpad
  60. Wikipedia: Touchscreen
  61. Wikipedia: Trackball
  62. Wikipedia: Uninterruptible power supply
  63. Wikipedia: USB
  64. Wikipedia: VGA connector
  65. Wikipedia: Webcam