Computer Peripherals

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How to Connect Your Laptop to a Router

Very often, a device called a router sits between the DSL or cable modem and your laptop or the rest of the network. The router (rhymes with chowder) is designed to provide an interface between the Internet [more…]

How to Set up a WiFi Router to Use with Your Laptop

In general, the process of installing a WiFi device to use with your laptop begins by connecting the router to the same computer that is attached to your broadband modem [more…]

How to Add a Cooling Pad to Your Laptop

The ideal accessory for any laptop is the laptop cooling pad. This is a device, similar to the one shown here, on which your laptop sits. [more…]

How to Calibrate Inkjet Printer Cartridges

Calibration refers to the proper alignment of the inkjet cartridge nozzles to the paper and each other; without a properly calibrated printer, your print quality degrades. You’ll want to calibrate your [more…]

How to Identify the Different Ends of a USB Cable

USB cables have two ends, and each end can be different. On one end of the cable is the A connector. The other end, most likely, has the B connector.

The A connector is rectangular. It's what plugs into [more…]

The Basic PC Keyboard Layout

PC keyboards are anything but standard. Customized keyboards, with special buttons and features, seem to be the rule, not the exception. Still, the basic PC keyboard layout has 104 keys common to all PC [more…]

Some Useful PC Keyboard Keys

Your computer keyboard is a virtual playground of buttons — some famous keys, some familiar keys, and some mysterious keys. Here's a list of some of the most important keyboard keys [more…]

How to Add a Port Replicator or Docking Station to Your Laptop

The way to expand your laptop's options is to add special nonportable options, such as a port replicator or docking station.

Port replicator: A port replicator snaps on to a special expansion slot or connector [more…]

Uses for Your Laptop’s USB Port

Your laptop’s USB port can expand its capabilities to include much more than external storage and printers. You can also connect a mouse and keyboard, game controller, speakers, Bluetooth devices, and [more…]

Connect Peripherals to Your PC

Peripherals are externally hooked up to your computer. Your actual PC, itself, is nothing but the console (or tower). Everything else is considered a peripheral. To do much of anything with a PC, you’ll [more…]

Change Your PC’s Mouse Settings

In Windows, mouse settings are controlled by using the Mouse Properties dialog box. To display that dialog box to change mouse settings, open the Control Panel Home and choose the Mouse link beneath the [more…]

What to Pack in Your Laptop Case

A good laptop case is useful for holding more than just the laptop. When you travel, you should pack your laptop case with all those extra goodies that you may need. When you're at a loss about what to [more…]

Uninterruptible Power Supplies

An uninterruptible power supply, or UPS, is the best thing to have for hooking up your computer system to the wall socket. Basically, an uninterruptible power supply is a power strip combined with a battery [more…]

USB Peripherals for Your PC

The USB port is the most important standard PC connector on the planet these days. A USB port (see this figure) allows you to connect all sorts of peripherals, and USB ports are even becoming popular for [more…]

How to Use USB-Powered Devices on Your Laptop

Quite a few USB doohickeys are self-powered. That is, they draw the electricity that they need from the laptop's USB port.

The downside to this is that it sucks up even more of the laptop's precious juice [more…]

Legacy Ports on a PC

When the PC was first designed, external thingamajigs were attached to the console by using legacy ports — specific and aptly named ports. If you wanted to attach a keyboard, mouse, or printer, for example [more…]

How to Add a USB Hub to Your PC

There never seem to be enough USB ports when you need them. Fortunately, when you need more USB ports, you can quickly add them by plugging a USB hub into your computer system. A USB hub allows you to [more…]

Unconventional Netbook Carrying Cases

A surprising number of cases and containers on the market can fit netbooks like a charm, even though they weren’t designed specifically for the little laptops. You can usually score one of these unconventional [more…]

How to Upgrade a Computer Game Controller

Many computer games perform just fine with the keyboard and mouse. But for advanced gaming, many people prefer dedicated game controllers. All modern game controllers insist upon a USB port. [more…]

Update Peripheral Drivers Using Windows Device Manager

One thing you can do to avoid PC problems is to ensure that your hardware always has up-to-date software. For many of the computer’s devices, that means doing a software update. Here’s how: [more…]

Diagnose Problems with Peripherals in Windows 7

Windows 7 features many troubleshooting and diagnostic tools, all carefully hidden in the Control Panel. You can use those tools to quickly determine what’s wrong with your PC and, hopefully, fix it. Most [more…]

Make the Mouse Track Faster or Slower

You can adjust the speed of your computer’s mouse to be faster or slower by using the Mouse Properties dialog box in Windows. Here’s how: [more…]

Make the Mouse Pointer More Visible in Windows PCs

Having trouble seeing the mouse pointer on your PC’s screen? The Pointer Options tab in the Mouse Properties dialog box in Windows contains a host of options to help you make the mouse pointer more visible [more…]

Make Your Mouse Left-handed

If you’re one of the 10 percent of humanity who prefers using your left hand, there’s hope: Manufacturers make left-handed computer mice. You can also direct Windows to reverse the role of the main mouse [more…]

Set Your Keyboard’s Repeat Delay and Repeat Rate

You can control a few things about how your computer’s keyboard works. Two of them that are most crucial — especially if you are a touch-typist — are the repeat delay and the repeat rate: [more…]

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