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Microsoft Windows Vista: Visual QuickStart Guide by Chris Fehily

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Chapter 8. Setting up Hardware

In the broadest sense, hardware is your computer and whatever connects to it; everything else is software. Windows generally uses the term to refer to a peripheral—nowadays usually called a device—which is any part of a computer other than the processor (CPU), motherboard, and memory (RAM and ROM). Your monitor, mouse, keyboard, hard disks, scanner, and printer are devices, as are digital cameras, MP3 players, backup drives, video recorders, external speakers, USB flash drives, and personal digital assistant (PDA) synchronization cradles.

Windows treats any gadget connected to your PC as a device. The software that controls it is called its device driver or simply driver. A driver mediates communications between a ...

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