Define the term peripheral. What are the roles of computer peripherals?

Subject Peripheral and Interfacing
NU Year Set: 1.(a) Marks: 3 Year: 2017

A computer peripheral is any external device that provides input and output for the computer. For example, a keyboard and mouse are input peripherals, while a monitor and printer are output peripherals. Computer peripherals, or peripheral devices, are sometimes called "I/O devices" because they provide input and output for the computer. Some peripherals, such as external hard drives, provide both input and output for the computer.

Printers provide the means for the computer to output information in portable form. Whether a document, a photograph or even an image on canvas (for more sophisticated devices) a printer allows us to reproduce information and share it with others.
Scanners are input devices that give the means to insert information into a computer. They can be used for visual information such as photographs or drawing, or teamed with type-reading software to import documents and translate the hard copy to text that can be edited in word processing programs. Some scanners are sensitive enough to produce a images that are many millions of megabytes in size from an image as small as a slide.
Audio Peripherals
Audio peripherals are both input and output devices. Microphones make it possible to put our voice into the computer and onto the web, or record an instrument. They need a special jack (usually called a "stereo-mini") though better mics can be used with the proper adapters or external hardware. Most high-end recording studios now operate exclusively with computerized inputs and soundboards. Speakers are another peripheral that output music and other audio.

Video cameras work with the microphones to create a complete audio/visual input that can be edited on the computer and viewed, or uploaded to a video website. To view video, the visual output is the monitor, not considered a peripheral as it is vital to computer function. Some computers have a microphone and camera built in, in which case they are not commonly considered peripherals.
External Drives
External drives or memory can be much larger in size (in terms of gigabytes of storage) than the hard drives on a computer, or small in memory and portable enough to slide into a shirt pocket. They provide storage for digital information that is too voluminous for the hard drive within the computer, and the means to physically transport this information easily.

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