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port
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(n) (1) An interface on a computer to which you can connect a device. Personal computers have various types of ports. Internally, there are several ports for connecting disk drives, display screens, and keyboards. Externally, personal computers have ports for connecting modems, printers, mice, and other peripheral devices.

Almost all personal computers come with a serial RS-232C port or RS-422 port for connecting a modem or mouse and a parallel port for connecting a printer. On PCs, the parallel port is a Centronics interface that uses a 25-pin connector. SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) ports support higher transmission speeds than do conventional ports and enable you to attach up to seven devices to the same port. All Apple Macintosh computers since the Macintosh Plus have a SCSI port.

(2) In TCP/IP and UDP networks, an endpoint to a logical connection. The port number identifies what type of port it is. For example, port 80 is used for HTTP traffic.

(v) To move a program from one type of computer to another. To port an application, you need to rewrite sections that are machine dependent, and then recompile the program on the new computer. Programs that can be ported easily are said to be portable.


More Information

  Parallel and serial port resources
Collection of links to parallel, serial, game, and keyboard port FAQs and information resources. Updated on Jun 16, 1998

  Troubleshooting Peripheral I/O Ports
Discusses troubleshooting of peripheral I/O ports on the PC including serial and parallel I/O port connections. This page is from "The PC Guide."

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