The only serious drawback of a laser printer is that it offers less paper-handling flexibility than dodot-matrix printers. Both multipart forms and wide-carriage printing, for example, are better handled by dot-matrix or daisy-wheel printers.
, in computer science, a computer software program designed to enable other programs to work with a particular printer without concerning themselves with the specifics of the printer's hardware and internal “language.” Different printers require different codes andcommands to operate properly and to provide access to their special features and abilities.Application programs can communicate properly with a variety of printers by using printer drivers,which handle all of the subtleties of each printer so that the application program doesn't have to.Today, graphical user interfaces offer their own printer drivers, eliminating the need for anapplication that runs under the interface to have its own printer driver.
, the point at which a connection is made between two elements so that they can work with one another. In computing, different types of interfacing occur on different levels, rangingfrom highly visible user interfaces that enable people to communicate with programs to ofteninvisible, yet necessary, hardware interfaces that connect devices and components inside thecomputer.At less visible
levels within the computer are other types of interfaces, such as those thatenable an application to work with the operating system and those that enable an operating systemto work with the computer's hardware.
, interfaces are cards, plugs, and other devices that connect pieces of hardware withthe computer so that information can be moved from place to place. There are, for example,standardized data-transfer interfaces, such as RS-232-C and SCSI, that enable connections betweencomputers and printers, hard disks, and other devices.On the
, networking and communications standards such as the ISO OpenSystems Interconnection (OSI) model combine hardware and software guidelines to enable entiresystems and their associated devices to connect with one another. Although the ISO/OSI model andother guidelines are not literal, physical interfaces, they define ways for different systems toconnect and communicate.
, in computer science, a term used for devices, such as disk drives, printers, modems,and joysticks, that are connected to a computer and are controlled by its microprocessor. Although peripheral often implies “additional but not essential,” many peripheral devices are criticalelements of a fully functioning and useful computer system. Few people, for example, would arguethat disk drives are nonessential, although computers can function without them. Keyboards,monitors, and mice are also strictly considered peripheral devices, but because they represent primary sources of input and output in most computer systems, they can be considered more asextensions of the system unit than as peripherals.
, in computer science, a device that reads or writes data, or both, on a disk medium. Thedisk medium may be either magnetic, as with
floppy disks or hard disks
; optical, as with
(compact disc-read only memory) disks; or a combination of the two, as with