Computer Peripherals

Written by Nicole Madison
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Not sure what all those cool sounding computer peripherals do? Don't be embarrassed; it can be very difficult to keep track of the different types of computer peripherals available today. To help clear things up a bit, read on for descriptions of a few popular peripherals.

Cool Computer Peripherals

If you are reading this online, you most likely already know about monitors, keyboards, mice, and printers. Instead of those basic items, we'll discuss CD drives, DVD drives, and Zip drives. Knowing just a little about each of these peripherals can make computers a little less confusing.

CD drives are drives that read data and audio files from a compact disc. CD drives are available as read-only drives as well as CD-R drives that can be used to both record data and audio files and read or play back files. One disadvantage of CD-R drives is the drives can be used to record data to CDs only once per CD. The resulting CD cannot be altered in any way. A better alternative is a rewritable (CD-RW) drive, which allows users to erase and reuse CDs multiple times using CD-RW discs. Many newer computers systems come with CDRW drives.

DVD drives are used to playback digital video discs containing digital video, audio, and other data. DVD drives are backwards compatible with CD-ROMs. This means they can play CDs, CD-Is, video CDs, and DVD-ROMs. Some DVD drives can even read CR-R discs. Many DVD drives can even record or "burn" DVDs as well. Since DVDs can hold large amounts of data, DVD drives are a good device to have for performing hard drive back ups.

Zip drives are high-capacity floppy disc drives. Zip discs are slightly larger than floppy discs and can generally hold 100, 250, and 750 MB of data. Zip drives are both inexpensive and durable, qualities that make them useful for backing up hard drives and transporting larger files.

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