Serial and parallel ports connect the various parts and devices in your computer together so that they can all function quickly and properly. These ports attach programs to other programs, devices to programs, and devices to other devices. Serial ports are used to connect the computer's processor to a device, such as your mouse. The serial port transmits data in one-bit increments. A bit is the smallest unit of information a computer can use, in the form of either the number one or the number zero. There are two approved standard interfaces for connecting serial devices in personal computers. The RS-422 interface can accommodate higher data rates and resists more electrical interference than the older RS-232 . The second type of interface, called a parallel port, operates by sending more than one bit through at a time. Using a parallel port, the data can be processed between the computer and external devices such as a printer. Most PCs have a parallel port, commonly known as a Centronics port, that uses a 25- pin connector. Macintoshes are constructed with SCSI parallel ports, which offer the same performance as PC parallel ports. Most computers are equipped with at least one serial port and one parallel port. For more information, consult a computer professional.
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