User:Jwmh/Class Drafts/Module:needed peripherals

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Module on Hardware: Connecting up the (external) parts [of | to operate] a computer

Everything is optional.
However, you might have a hard time using the computer without these!

  • Each separate device needs its own power.
    • If a device has its own power cable, it probably also has its own power button.
    • Most devices have both their own power *and* a data cable -- one is to give them electricity (so they work); the other is so they can actually talk to the computer (or like with speakers, the computer needs to send sound to them).
    • some devices have other places on them to plug things in -- especially monitors. Look carefully to see what all your options are!
    • just because a device *has* a place to plug something in, doesn't mean it *needs* that...
      • ... the only *needed* things (almost always) are (1) power cable + (1) data cable (to talk to PC)

Almost everything is built-in.

  • The only separate part is the AC power adapter.
    • This sometimes/often is split into two pieces, so as not to wear the cord out when it's rolled up.
  • You can also hook up other devices to a laptop -- like an extra monitor, or projector, or extra speakers -- but it's usually not necessary if you're just using it by yourself. (Most laptops have decent speakers built-in.)


  • There's the computer / tower itself (+ its power cable)
  • The monitor (the computer will run just fine by itself -- but without the monitor, you can't see anything!) (two cables: 1 data + 1 power)
  • Keyboard (you need this to operate the computer!) (no extra wall-power -- it just plugs straight into the computer)
  • Mouse (in theory, you *can* use only a keyboard to operate a computer... but it's very cumbersome, especially if you're online / surfing the internet.) (no extra cables; data/power on same one, straight into computer)
  • Speakers (some computers have speakers built-inside, but external speakers are almost always better) (audio+power)


  • Ethernet (network) cable; lets you get on the internet (just a cable -- one end into computer; other end into your internet connection)
    • laptops can use wifi, but a cable is the best option.... (don't get too advanced here, leave it at that for now) (advanced info: the wifi antenna is built into laptops)
      • can link later from here to Networking module...

There are many other things you can connect to a computer -- like printers, for instance -- but these are the device and cables you need, just to be able to *use* a computer.