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What's a peripheral?

Once you get an iMac or start thinking about one, you'll probably start hearing about "peripherals" as well. A peripheral is any piece of hardware (a physical object) that is not built inside the computer. It is outside, on the periphery, but it connects to the computer.

A printer is a peripheral; a scanner (hardware for getting photographs and drawings inside the computer) is a peripheral; a Zip drive that holds removable hard disks is a peripheral. The modem for my iMac is built-in; the modem for my big Mac is a peripheral—it's a little box that sits outside my computer and connects to it.


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