Monday, September 27, 2010


There are several kinds of printers. Toner printers create high quality images by shooting a laser at a large cylinder giving it a negative charge in that spot at which point the toner or fine black powder attaches to it and then rubs onto a piece of paper. If the laser or cylinder becomes damaged they are expensive to replace. Liquid inkjet printers are the most common and the name is self explanatory. It shoots a liquid onto the paper and dries. Solid ink printers melts a wax or plastic onto the paper. Dye-sublimation printers produce high quality images by rapidly heating a solid, usually a wax, into a gas. Thermal printers simply heat specific regions of heat sensitive paper. They produce monochrome pictures. UV printers are still in development by Xerox. They use UV sensitive paper and require no ink. Impact or dot matrix printers are out of production. They produce images by forcible impacting ink onto the paper. The port typically used for wired printers is the parallel port. Instead of using the primary colors of pigment (red, yellow, blue) or primary colors of light (red, green, blue) they use cyan, magnets, yellow, and black because it is more efficient. This can be abbreviated to CMYK.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Ethernet cable is used  used to connect to networks. They connect to computers, printers, hubs, switches, and bridges to transfer information. It can be identified by having 8 nodes at the end and is typically blue or white, but can be any color. The wires inside are twisted in pairs of colors (a solid color and one that twirls with the same color and white) that are colored red orange green and blue. The wires do not have to be in any particular order other than both ends must have the same pattern which has led to some major upgrading problems since every company has its own standard. Most Ethernet communications cannot exceed 10MB, but there are some that reach 10GB and 100GB is now being developed. Ethernet makes up much of the home connections today along with wireless. Fiber-optics is used in the "backbone" of the internet because it has more speed as it uses light instead of electronic pulses to send information, but it is exceptionally more expensive. If you want more information you can look up the IEEE 802 standards.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

PCI Slot

PCI or Peripheral Component Interconnect, peripheral means outside, allow your motherboard to expand without having to buy a new one. PCI slots can hold graphic cards, sound cards, internet hook ups and many other desirable devices. There are 4 PCI slots in that picture, the white ones, the brown PCI looking slot is actually a AGP or accelerate graphics port. There are at least 6 different PCI slots. When purchasing a device that uses a PCI port remember the PCI key (keys are notches next to the leads) layout so you can tell if it will fit. Also knowing the lead or pin count can help you in your purchase. There are specially designed 64 bit slots that 32 bit machines cannot use. PCI express is the upgraded version. They are typically smaller and more efficient. You can use devices such as risers that will add more PCI slots and different kinds to your motherboard, but you are probably better off just buying a new motherboard or computer. Normal PCI slots only run at a pitiful 33 MHz.