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Types of Peripherals
Peripheral means that something is not at the center of attention, it is outside, at the edge of vision. In computer-lingo it is an aggregate of all the hardware that is joined to your PC via various cables that either input or output data. Thus we can separate them into three categories, Input, output and I/O peripherals.
Input devices are little gadgets you use to send data to your PC. These are usually mice, keyboards, smaller tablets, etc. Any device that sends information to the computer can be considered an input peripheral.
Output peripherals receive data from the PC. Some of these devices are used to actually display this data, some just use it for other tasks. A monitor is a very obvious example, but printers, even speakers are output devices.
I/O devices both receive and send information. Nowadays peripherals tend to be both because printers are more powerful, and tablets are available that combine a touch screen, acting as both an output and input interface.
Everyone who uses a PC has at least three peripherals, some geeks may have up to 10-12 even. let's look at the most common devices that everyone has at home:
Mice are the most common device used today. They control a pointer on the screen that in turn you use to control the PC. These days mice are capable of so much more, innovations are being implemented as we speak. The most basic mouse has only two buttons, but gazing upwards on the quality (and price) ladder you can see some 8-10 button mice as well. These buttons are wholly customizable so you can work more efficiently. Old style mice have a little ball in the bottom that controls the pointer according to your movement, but laser is the way to go today. It's more accurate and lasts longer, plus, not cleaning needed. It's also possible to "cut the chord" and go for a radio controlled mouse that helps clear some space and let's you work anywhere.
Keyboards are common for every computer, be it a Mac or PC. Layouts and shapes vary and they can also have any amount of customizable buttons you need, even a scroll wheel! If you think you're well versed with keyboards take a look at the awesome DX-1 made by Ergodex or the Z-Board.
Monitors display the user interfaces of programs you use. LCD monitors are definitely a must now, apart from being sleek and shiny they are far better for your eyes and have a much clearer picture. There are many specs that you should look for when searching for a monitor like refresh rate, contrast ratio and so on. You could also opt for an LCD TV for your PC and you may get the best of both worlds.
Everyone knows the classic printer classes, ink, laser and dot matrix. Strangely enough dot matrix printer are not only available but still used. Don't buy one for you desktop, or at least buy some earplugs to go with it, but in some cases it is the best choice due to it's price. The recent trends in printers show that they are increasingly becoming independent. You can now just plug in a memory card and print directly from it, you don't need the PC to act as a middleman.