Build Your Own PC Do-It-Yourself For Dummies
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You PC most likely has an I/O panel to either help keep all the connectors in one spot. On the I/O panel, you add various expansion options to the PC, and the I/O panel also provides places to plug in some standard devices (use this figure as your guide for what’s what):

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  • Keyboard: The keyboard plugs into this little hole.

  • Mouse: Generally the same size and shape as the keyboard connector, this hole has a mouse icon nearby to tip you off.

  • USB: Plug snazzy devices into these Certs-size Universal Serial Bus (USB) slots.

  • COM/Serial: PCs have at least one of these connectors.

  • Video/VGA: Your PC’s monitor can plug into this hole. A second, digital monitor connector may be available for plugging in LCD monitors.

  • SPDIF In, SPDIF Out: These connectors are used for digital audio.

  • Headphones/speakers: Plug in your PC’s external speakers or headphones, or hook up the PC to a sound system.

  • Line In: Plug in a traditional audio-producing device (stereo, phonograph, VCR, and so on) into the PC for capturing sound.

  • Surround left/right: Also for surround sound, this is the jack into which you plug the rear left and right speakers.

  • Center/subwoofer: For a surround sound audio system, you plug the center speaker or subwoofer, or both, into this jack.

  • Microphone: The computer’s microphone plugs into this jack.

  • Modem: Connect your PC’s dialup modem to the phone jack in the wall.

    Note that this is not where you connect a broadband (DSL or cable) modem.

  • Network: Plug in a local area network (LAN) connector or attach a broadband modem to the PC.

  • Printer: Older printers can plug into this connector (new printers usually connect via USB).

  • Mini 1394: Designed specifically for digital video and for connecting digital cameras.

  • IEEE 1394 (FireWire): This is another type of versatile connector, similar to USB.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Mark L. Chambers has been a technical author, computer consultant, BBS sysop, programmer, and hardware technician for more than 30 years. An unabashed Mac enthusiast, he has written more than 30 computer books, most about the Mac. They include MacBook All-in-One For Dummies, 2nd Edition, and Macs For Seniors For Dummies, 3rd Edition.

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