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Computer Peripherals Jargon Buster

Plug and Play

All external drives are Plug and Play, which means that when adding the new hardware to your PC, it is automatically detected and updated on your system.

System Requirements

The minimum specification your PC must meet in order to support and run the new software or hardware. The higher spec your PC and the more memory it contains, the smoother new software will run.

Hot Swappable

Connect or disconnect a drive without the need to turn off your PC.

CD-ROM Drives

Compact Disk Read Off Memory Drives. Can only read CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs etc. Cannot be used to write/burn information onto a CD.

CD-RW Drives

Compact Disk Read Write Drives. CD-RW drives can be used for reading and writing CDs

CD-ROM Speeds

Every CD drive displays a number that denotes the speed. CD-ROM drives – for example 48x means that it reads CDs at 48 times normal speed. CD-RW drives – for example 24x10x40 means this can burn at 24 times normal speed, re-write at 10 times normal speed and read at 40 times normal speed.

Zip Drives

Special disk drives for use with Zip disks only. Used for removable and portable data storage. Disks and drives are available in 100MB and 250MB versions. Drives are downwards compatible – a 250MB drive will read and write to 100MB disks, but not vice-versa.

Backward Compatible

The ability for new versions of software to read and write to files saved in older versions. For example, Microsoft Office XP will open Word and Excel files from all previous versions and save to a number of older versions.

What is USB - Universal Serial Bus?

USB makes connecting devices to your PC and Mac faster, easier and virtually limitless.


USB 1.1 will transfer data at up to 12,000 Kb per second to connected devices.
USB 2.0 will transfer data at up to 480,000 Kb per second - over 100 times faster than a standard serial port.


Plug and Play connectivity (see above). Plug devices straight into your PC without having to reboot.


Connect up to 127 separate devices by using hubs and bus stations from one PC.

What you need!

PCI Card

This is to provide your PC with a USB port. Choose the speed and number of ports your require.

USB 4-Way Data Switch

Acting as a data switch you can connect 1 USB device to 4 separate PCs.


Allowing you to connect up to 4 devices from one single USB port. No need to keep changing the device connected. Choose between economy 1.1 or 2.0 hub.


Desktop solution for connecting up to 7 devices from one single port on your PC or Mac. Modular style unit can be updated with separate adaptors to suit your needs (all adaptors listed on this website for your convenience). Simply remove one adaptor and snap in another.

USB Media Reader/Writers

Quick and easy device powered by your PC through the USB port allowing you to transfer images, music and files from your PDA in a fast and effortless manner. Simply insert your media card into the device, no need to keep connecting separate units.


USB BusStation™ come complete with one A-B cable that will connect the unit to your PC, additional cables may be required. Easily connected, plug in with no effort. If you have upgraded your PC but not your device simply purchase a USB-Parallel cable.