To select input and output devices, first find out what the customer wants. Next, select the hardware and software by researching the Internet for possible solutions. After you determine which input or output device the customer needs, you must determine how to connect it to the computer. Figure 1 shows common input and output connectors.

Technicians should have a good understanding of several types of interfaces:

The USB interface is widespread and used with many different devices. Figure 2 shows the common USB 1.1 and 2.0 plugs and connectors. Figure 3 shows common USB 3.0 plugs and connectors.

The SATA interface has become common in recent years. SATA is replacing IDE and EIDE as the standard interface for hard drives and SSDs. SATA cables are easier to connect because they only have two ends, drives do not need to be jumpered, and eSATA drives can be hot-plugged if the motherboard supports hot-plugging. Figure 4 compares PATA and SATA speeds.