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Overview on Peripherals

We use peripherals everyday when we’re not thinking. Anything that is not directly inside a computer, in which we use it as input or output is a peripheral. Peripherals can be a mouse, keyboard, joystick, scanner, touch screens, webcams, microphones, monitors, or a printer. Peripherals are very important in this day society, as it allow us to continue our essential computing life (Like a mouse, keyboard and monitor).

An input device is any hardware that is used to enter any data into a computer. Perfect examples are mouse and keyboards. A mouse nowadays use optical or laser to track the position. Usually two buttons like left click and right click are used, a scroll wheel usually are added to scroll up or down. Alternative hardware like a touchpad uses pressure sensitive areas on a laptop or netbook to track the mouse’s position, or a remote control for presentations allows the user to ‘Left Click’ without being near a computer. Other hardware like a trackball includes a ball on the top of the mice, allowing the user to physically move the ball for the pointer's position, rather than a ball on the bottom of the mice in older mouses. Keyboards are used to input raw data, which then gets processed into letters, numbers or symbols. All english keyboards most likely use the QWERTY layout. Special input devices like using your hands, or peripherals using light for input also exists. Game controllers are devices for games like a Joystick, which allows the user to input data using a set of buttons, into the programmed action in the game. Controllers like a joystick includes a lever to move objects in the screen, controllers like a steering wheel provides realism in driving a car in the game. Touch screens where you can touch the monitor allows you to tap on pressure sensitive areas, guiding the pointer to where you press found to be more popular in tablets, smartphones and laptops. There are alternatives to touch screens like a stylus, where the user taps a pen (without the ink though) onto a screen, and electronic signals tells the screen to guide it’s pointer. Audiovisual input like webcams exist where digital cameras store on a disk captures photos and video instead of film, while a microphone can detect sound in your environment. These peripherals makes businesses much easier like meetings and conferences.

Monitors are peripherals that displays data onto your screen, a perfect example of an output device. There are variants of monitors, like LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) which is common nowadays, and CRT (cathode ray-tube) which is now obsolete. LCD displays have layers and tiny crystals, which form images with electronic signals. A CRT looks like a vacuum tube on the inside, and receives signals from the computer. Electrons strikes phosphors onto the screen, which forms images. The difference with LCD and CRT is that LCD is much slimmer, lighter and relatively have better quality. The common factors that make up quality are resolution, color depth, screen size and maybe pixel density. The word pixel are the words picture and element combined. The number of pixels are used when measuring resolution, resolution like 640×480 (which is called VGA standard), are measured with the first number being how many pixels are horizontal, and the second number being pixels vertical. The higher the resolution makes up a better quality overall, like 1280×768 which is Super VGA, or 1920×1080 which is High Definition.

Printers are output devices too, however are very important tools of peripherals. The most common kinds of printers are Inkjet and laser printers, which outdated the obsolete impact printers. Inkjet printers sprays ink onto paper, so each cartridge are liquids, they are very affordable and usually used in personal interests. Laser printers asus toners, and the paper is rolled in a drum to have the toner from the drum is applied to the paper, using heat rather than liquid ink. Toners and Laser Printers are more expensive, so save it for office environments and businesses. These methods of printing are non impact printing, so nothing is striked onto the paper. Evaluating printers like the quality, speed of how many pages it can print per minute, whether you need to print in color or black & white, you need to print on both side and the initial cost of the printer itself and operating it has be accounted for. The quality of printers are measured in DPI (Dots per inch), and speed is measured in PPM (Pages per minute), as speed and quality increases, so does price.
Peripherals are devices outside of a computer, in which you can input data or have it output it for you. Keyboards, mouses, controllers, microphones and webcams are input peripherals we all use everyday for essential use. Output like the monitor, printer are essential too in life. In combination, you have a fully functioning system, in which hopefully it can be used efficiently like the user wishes too.

Hardware


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