RS-232, USB, and parallel ports represent vital links between your computer and a wide variety of external devices. Printers, modems, scanners, cameras, and other devices all interface through these ports. Because of the importance of these ports, they're included as standard equipment on all modern motherboards. In some cases, however, the ports included on the motherboard can be inadequate. You might need to connect two parallel-port printers or three

Chapter 16

RS-232 serial devices, for instance. In such cases, you can add additional ports to expand your 16 system's capabilities. There are limits to the number of ports that a computer can sustain, however, particularly when you use conventional ports. Using ISA (Industry Standard Architecture) S A serial cards enables you to add many more serial ports. In many cases, USB offers a superior A L solution when you need to connect several external devices because a single USB port can sup- p L port up to 127 USB devices. R N

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The Ultimate Computer Repair Guide

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