Guide on Computer Ports

Guide for some Computer Ports
PS/2 Ports (Mouse (green) + Keyboard
The PS/2 Ports are simple, 6-pin, low-speed serial
connections commonly dedicated to a keyboard and
mouse. Although these ports may look identical at first
glance, they are not interchangable, so you'll need to be
extremely careful to attach the keyboard and mouse to
their respective PS/2 port. If you elect to use a USB
keyboard and mouse, you can typically disable the PS/2
ports in the system's CMOS setup and free the PS/2
system resources for other devices.
VGA Monitor Port
(Computer to Monitor)
Video Graphics Array: used to connect the monitor to the
computer. Some other value-add information to go here!
VGA stands for Video Graphics Array. VGA, although now
more advanced, has become the standard for desktop
video, leaving both the MCGA and 8514 in the dust.
VGA offers clean images at higher resolutions. The
standard VGA can produce as many as 256 colors at a time
from a palette of 262,144 colors. The original VGA, though,
had to be at a 320x400 resolution to display this amount of
color. At the standard 640x480 resolution, it was only
capable of 16 colors at a time. Also, VGA extends into the
monochrome world. It uses color summing to translate
color graphics into graphics using 64 different shades of
grey. This, in effect, simulates color on a monochrome
monitor. VGA requires a VGA monitor, or one capable of
accepting the analog output of a VGA card.
Parallel Port
(Older printers and scanners)
DB25 Parallel Port
The parallel port originally started out as a undirectional
(output only) port running at about 150K/sec. and
appeared as an interface card for the Apple. It migrated to
the IBM PC unchanged except for a switch from the original
36-pin Amphenol connector, which it has retained through
the years.
Refers to processes that occur simultaneously. Printers and
other devices are said to be either parallel or serial. Parallel
means the device is capable of receiving more than one bit
at a time (that is, it receives several bits in parallel). Most
modern printers are parallel.
Ethernet Port (Networking Cable-Computer
to Cable or DSL Modem)
RJ45 Ethernet Port
A local-area network (LAN) architecture developed by
Xerox Corporation in cooperation with DEC and Intel in
1976. Ethernet uses a bus or star topology and supports
data transfer rates of 10 Mbps. The Ethernet specification
served as the basis for the IEEE 802.3 standard, which
specifies the physical and lower software layers. Ethernet
uses the CSMA/CD access method to handle simultaneous
demands. It is one of the most widely implemented LAN
A newer version of Ethernet, called 100Base-T (or Fast
Ethernet), supports data transfer rates of 100 Mbps. And
the newest version, Gigabit Ethernet supports data rates of
1 gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second.
S-Video Port
(Computer to TV)
S-Video Port
Short for Super-Video, a technology for transmitting video
signals over a cable by dividing the video information into
two separate signals: one for color (chrominance), and the
other for brightness (luminance). When sent to a
television, this produces sharper images than composite
video , where the video information is transmitted as a
single signal over one wire. This is because televisions are
designed to display separate Luminance (Y) and
Chrominance (C) signals. (The terms Y/C video and SVideo are the same.)
Computer monitors, on the other hand, are designed for
RGB signals. Most digital video devices, such as digital
cameras and game machines, produce video in RGB
format. The images look best, therefore, when output on a
computer monitor. When output on a television, however,
they look better in S-Video format than in composite
To use S-Video, the device sending the signals must
support S-Video output and the device receiving the
signals must have an S-Video input jack. Then you need a
special S-Video cable to connect the two devices.
DVI Monitor Port
DVI Monitor Port
Short for Digital Visual Interface, a digital interface
standard created by the Digital Display Working Group
(DDWG) to convert analog signals into digital signals to
accommodate both analog and digital monitors. Data is
transmitted using the transition minimized differential
signaling (TMDS) protocol, providing a digital signal from
the PC's graphics subsystem to the display. The standard
specifies a single plug and connector that encompass both
the new digital and legacy VGA interfaces, as well as a
digital-only plug connector. DVI handles bandwidths in
excess of 160 MHz and thus supports UXGA and HDTV with
a single set of links. Higher resolutions can be supported
with a dual set of links.
(2) Short for Digital Video Interactive, a now-defunct
technology developed by General Electric that enables a
computer to store and display moving video images like
those on television. The most difficult aspect of displaying
TV-like images on a computer is overcoming the fact that
each frame requires an immense amount of storage. A
single frame can require up to 2MB (megabytes) of
storage. Televisions display 30 frames per second, which
can quickly exhaust a computer's mass storage resources.
It is also difficult to transfer so much data to a display
screen at a rate of 30 frames per second.
DVI overcomes these problems by using specialized
processors to compress and decompress the data. DVI is a
hardware -only codec (compression/decompression)
technology. A competing hardware codec, which has
become much more popular, is MPEG. Intel has developed
a software version of the DVI algorithms, which it markets
under the name Indeo.
USB Port (Various devices plug into USB
ports, including printers, scanners, mice,
keyboards, flash drives, camera outputs,
USB Port
Universal Serial Bus: a protocol for transferring data to and
from digital devices. Many digital cameras and memory
card readers connect to the USB port on a computer. USB
card readers are typically faster than cameras or readers
that connect to the serial port, but slower than those that
connect via FireWire. an external bus standard that
supports data transfer rates of 12 Mbps. A single USB port
can be used to connect up to 127 peripheral devices, such
as mice, modems, and keyboards. USB also supports Plugand-Play installation and hot plugging.
Firewire IEEE 1394 Port
(Cameras, Memory
Cards, etc., similar to USB except faster)
Firewire IEEE 1394 Port
A type of cabling technology for transferring data to and
from digital devices at high speed. Some professional
digital cameras and memory card readers connect to the
computer over FireWire. FireWire card readers are typically
faster than those that connect via USB. Also known as IEEE
1394, FireWire was invented by Apple Computer but is now
commonly used with Windows-based PCs as well.
Modem RJ-11 Port (Telephone cable from
computer to Telephone Jack.)
Modem RJ-11 Jack
Short for Registered Jack-11, a four- or six-wire connector
used primarily to connect telephone equipment in the
United States. RJ-11 connectors are also used to connect
some types of local-area networks (LANs), although RJ-45
connectors are more common.
Mini Audio Jack ( Computer to Speakers)
Mini Audio Jack
Audio connectors are used to affix cables to other audio equipment,
providing electronic signal transference and grounding protection.
Connectors may be plugs, jacks, or combinations, and may have an
integral switch. Plug type audio connectors are a plug, or male,
connector includes pins that can be inserted into a socket. Jack type
audio connectors are a jack, or female, connector consists of sockets
that are aligned to mesh with a pin-type connector. Combination
plug and jack connectors are also available. They may also have
switches. Includes adapters and Y-adapters. Applications for audio
connectors can be general purpose, telephone, or microphone. Most
audio connectors are for commercial purposes, but some may
conform to military specifications.