peripherals

How much will peripherals for an interactive whiteboard cost me?

Friday, January 29th, 2010 | IWBs | Comments Off

This question is the same as asking, “How much will a vacation cost me?”  It all depends where you want to go, how long you intend to be away, and what you want to do.  The same is true of the cost of peripherals: it depends on how you want to use your interactive whiteboard.

The problem with peripherals is that they are incredibly attractive.  When you see a new accessory for an interactive classroom – either one someone else is using, or in a computer shop, or at an exhibition – it is so appealing.  You may feel that you simply must have it.  When blown away by superb technology it is often difficult to distinguish between needs and wants.

The following suggestions may be useful to help you stay within your budget:

Identify your true needs – be brutally honest with yourself in deciding whether the item is a mere want or a true need.

Estimate how much the peripheral will be used – some gadgets may be utilized once or twice, but when the novelty has worn off they are never used again.

Ask other teachers what value they derive from a particular accessory and how often they actually use it.

Can you afford it?  If you can’t, consider delaying the purchase until you can.

Shop around for the best price.

Since some interactive whiteboard peripherals are not much more than fashion accessories, they will add to the cost of owning a board, without necessarily increasing its functionality.

Three things to be aware of are:

  • short-lived fads and gadgets
  • peer pressure
  • impulse buying.

Peripherals could be beneficial additions to your interactive whiteboard.  Unfortunately, too many of them land in a gadget graveyard.  Think carefully before you buy one.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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What are interactive whiteboard peripherals?

Thursday, January 28th, 2010 | IWBs | 2 Comments

The outside border of any region is called the periphery – peripherals are those items existing on the fringes, or just outside the border of the area.  Since these items exist on the boundary they are generally not viewed as being of crucial importance – perhaps nice to have, but not essential.

In computer terms peripherals are electronic components, which are connected to the computer to enhance its usage – but the computer can operate without them.

An interactive whiteboard peripheral is a piece of computer hardware that is added to the basic board in order to expand its functionality.  These devices are sometimes called accessories.  Since an interactive whiteboard is dependent on a data projector and a computer and can’t operate without them, these two items are generally not regarded as peripherals, but as part of the board configuration.

Peripherals are not essential and one can do without them initially – your interactive whiteboard can be fully functional without any accessories.

As you expand the ways you use your interactive whiteboard, it is inevitable that you will discover the need for one or more of the following peripherals:

Of course, you can add to this list any peripheral used with laptops or personal computers, such as a printer.  Remember, your interactive whiteboard is, in a certain sense, an extension of your computer – the benefits of your computer peripherals can be extended to your board.

Each peripheral has a specific use and allows you to perform additional functions.  Even though you can do without most of them, they will add value to your interactive whiteboard.

Click here for more information about interactive whiteboards.

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Why is a mouse called a mouse?

Monday, March 30th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops | 4 Comments

A mouse is a device that controls the movement of the cursor (or pointer) on a computer’s screen.  The mouse that is used with a desk top PC looks like a mouse.  It is shaped like a mouse and one can picture a tail when seeing the connecting wire.  The mouse buttons can be imagined to be the ears.  The fact that one must let it scurry along a flat surface even makes its movement resemble that of a mouse.

The mouse on a laptop looks different.  You either have a small pad (a mouse pad) on which you move your finger, or a small knob that you move around.  But because it serves the same purpose – moving the cursor around on the screen – it is still called a mouse, even though it does not look like a mouse any longer.

Some people feel more comfortable using a standard mouse and if you are one of them, you can obtain an external mouse and use it with your laptop.  Different types are available and the choice depends on your personal preference.

Cordless mouse devices are available – they are not physically connected but rely on infrared or radio waves to communicate with the computer.  This type of mouse eliminates a cord that gets in the way, but can be quite heavy on batteries.

What do you call a number of these devices: mouses or mice?  The purists say it must be mice, but others suggest that if you say: “There are thirty mice in the room,” some may think that you are talking about rodents.  It seems as if the debate will continue for some time – if you want to avoid an argument it may be the course of wisdom to avoid both mouses and mice and stick to the term ‘mouse devices’.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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Do I need device drivers for my laptop?

Monday, March 9th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops | 2 Comments

A device driver is a short software program that you need to install on your laptop so that the machine can communicate with a particular peripheral.  For example, if you buy a new printer and plug it into the laptop, and the laptop does not recognize the printer at first, you will not be able to print.  But when the device driver is present, the laptop and the printer can talk to each other through the device driver – it is that piece of software that “drives” the process.

Device drivers are required for peripherals such as:

  • printers
  • scanners
  • digital cameras.

When you purchase a peripheral device, it usually comes with a CD that contains the programme that will facilitate (drive) the communication between laptop and peripheral.  This programme must be installed (loaded) onto your laptop.

In some cases you will be directed to a website from where you could download the required driver.

Once the driver has been installed, you will be able to use the peripheral without any further hassles.  It only has to be installed once, and after that it will do its work invisibly.  Just don’t throw the CD from which you loaded the driver away.  When you change to a new laptop, or if the software on your laptop has to be reloaded as a result of a disk crash or another disaster, you may have to reinstall the driver.

There are two further pieces of good news:

Many device drivers are already incorporated in your laptop’s operating system and in those cases you do not have to load the drivers.

You don’t have to worry about the cost of device drivers – they are usually provided at no cost when you purchase peripherals.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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How much will laptop peripherals cost me?

Saturday, March 7th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops | 1 Comment

This question is the same as asking: “How much will a vacation cost me?”  It all depends where you want to go; how long you intend to be away; and what you want to do.  The same is true of the cost of peripherals: it depends on where you want to use your laptop, how long you will be working at different locations and what functions you want to perform.

The problem with peripherals is that they are incredibly attractive.  When you see a new laptop accessory – either one someone else is using, or in a computer shop, or at an exhibition – it is so appealing.  You may feel that you simply must have it.  When blown away by superb technology it is often difficult to distinguish between needs and wants.

The following suggestions may be useful to help you stay within your budget:

First identify your true needs – be brutally honest with yourself in deciding whether the item is a mere want or a true need.

Estimate how much the peripheral will be used – some gadgets may be utilized once or twice, but when the novelty has worn off, it is never used again.

Ask others what value they derive from this accessory and how often they actually use it.

Can you afford it?  If you can’t, consider delaying the purchase until you can.

Shop around for the best price.

Since many laptop peripherals are not much more than fashion accessories, they will add to the cost of acquiring a laptop, without necessarily increasing its functionality.

Three things to be aware of are:

  • short-lived fads and gadgets
  • peer pressure
  • impulsive buying.

Peripherals could be beneficial additions to your laptop.  Unfortunately too many of them land in a gadget graveyard.  Think carefully before you buy one.

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

Tags: ,

What are laptop peripherals?

Friday, March 6th, 2009 | Computer Usage, laptops | 1 Comment

A laptop peripheral is a piece of computer hardware that is added to the basic laptop in order to expand its functionality.  These devices are sometimes called accessories.

Peripherals are not essential and one can do without them initially – your laptop can be fully functional without any accessories.

As you expand in the ways you use the laptop, it is inevitable that you will discover the need for one or more of the following peripherals:

  • printer
  • data projector
  • scanner
  • charger (one comes with your machine, but you may want an additional charger to carry around or leave at work)
  • extra battery (if you want to work for extended periods away from a power outlet, an additional battery is useful)
  • external disk drive
  • microphone
  • digital camera
  • video equipment
  • docking station
  • external monitor (larger screen)
  • full-size keyboard
  • mouse
  • security lock

Different cards, which may not be issued with your laptop and have to be purchased separately, could also be viewed as peripherals:

  • internet data card
  • video capture card
  • wifi card
  • modem.

Each one of these peripherals has a specific use and will allow you to perform extra functions.  Even though you can do without most of these, they will add value to your laptop.

Can you think of any peripeherals that I missed?

Click here to find answers to more laptop related questions.

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