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Plug and play

Plug and Play (translated as "connect and play") is a computer technology that enables easier recognition and configuration of hardware. It allows the operating system to correctly determine what hardware is in the computer, based on which it can automatically (with greater or lesser success) install or run the appropriate drivers for this hardware and automatically set the interrupt number, I/O address, shared memory ranges, or other facts (e.g. device type details).

Mechanical computing devices, such as IBM's punched plate sorter, were programmed using a plug board attached to route signals between configuration sockets.

In the early days of computer technology (e.g. in IBM PC compatible computers with an ISA bus), the hardware first had to be manually set so that the setting did not interfere with another device already connected (usually by means of an electrical jumper, English jumper), then the device was inserted into the bus inside computer, and then it was still necessary to write this setting into the software configuration (typically the device driver). If the hardware and software settings were not the same, the software could not communicate with the device and therefore did not work.

In later times, device detection was first performed by trial-and-error method, which was not very reliable and was replaced by Plug and Play technology. This technology eliminated manual setup, conflict resolution, and information transfer to control software. Substantial improvements were then brought by the PCI bus, PCMCIA, USB and other technologies, which included automatic configuration already in their initial design.

Vytvořil Shoptet | Design Shoptetak.cz.