Apps

Pop Quiz: Computer Ports and Connectors

Do you know the difference between the shape of an Ethernet, eSATA, and USB port? Take this short quiz and test your knowledge of external computer ports.

Answers to our TR Dojo pop quiz on external computer ports and connectors:

  1. IEC power connector
  2. DisplayPort
  3. Component Audio and Analog Video
  4. Ethernet port
  5. VGA port
  6. HDMI port
  7. 1/8-inch mini-jacks (audio ports)
  8. DVI port
  9. Firewire port
  10. Optical audio port
  11. eSATA ports
  12. USB ports
  13. PS/2 ports
  14. Parallel port
  15. Serial port
  16. S-Video port

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

213 comments
dok418
dok418

I guess this does not only show my geekyness but also my age, some of the ports in the list (e.g. PS/2, parallel, etc.) are not standard anymore in most boards

amir_67_07
amir_67_07

hello; thank you for the nice quiz; some answers -nearly most of them- were really obvious but it seems that some people really don't know these simple things about hardware part of a pc.

jeff.jablonsky
jeff.jablonsky

I got 16/16 way too easy , just eliminate the ones that it is obviously not

tamem.dabbagh
tamem.dabbagh

Thank you very much for sending this kind of on-line quiziz ,please let me know if there are other sites that I can use for IT-students .

techrepublic
techrepublic

Had to think about the DisplayPort connector for a moment but the logo gave it away and it wasn't any of the others.

fgladd3
fgladd3

Shouldn't the question and answer match? Q: RCA Stereo Audio and Composite Video A: Component Audio and Analog Video

bekil1717
bekil1717

#2 is a new port I have seen this on, new ATI Radeon Cards. My score 16/16

suncatTR
suncatTR

Expected it to be harder. I've repaired more ports.

janet
janet

16 if 16, Whoo-hoo! We've had Dell units with those Display ports. Thankfully, they weren't used long...

russelargueza
russelargueza

me too. 15 out of 16.. got confused on display port...

sphinix45
sphinix45

I Luv the Quiz ....... I scored 100% and find this very innovative...

pjb66
pjb66

TBH, the display port was easy, simply eliminated the others. Pleased I aced this :D

nic
nic

I got 100%, but it would have been nice to have the quiz marked for you; not difficult in the computer/web age...

alexdatsko
alexdatsko

Was expecting a few like SCSI, cisco serial (I understand its proprietary but still somewhat commonly seen in the field so helpful esp. to new techs), SFP/GBIC port, you didn't touch on any of the Coax/F-type/BNC connectors, Fiber SC/ST, the 'round' ac adapter type power connectors, micro usb, sata power, ide power, pci express 6pin, etc etc etc... This was much easier than even the CompTIA A+ questions on connectors =]

maabrook
maabrook

I am good at this... Just proving to myself :)

engr145
engr145

The questions are listed alpha-betically and answers are listed in numerical serial order!!

fparker3
fparker3

Not bragging. I work at a Computer Store selling computer parts. I better know what each port looks like!

tech_ed
tech_ed

on 2, the obvious giveaway is the big letter "D" above it...no way would an e-sata have that....and e-sata has serifs and this one didn't.....of course, perfect score for me as well!

jon.cruttwell
jon.cruttwell

I knew those countless years of build PCs for everyone I knew would come in handy sometime! I admit, some answers were process of elimination as the ports I had seen didn't look exactly the same.

HornHonker
HornHonker

Actually it's DCE, not DTC. DTE stands for Data Terminal Equipment (so it tansmits on the TX pin and receives on the RX pin) and DCE stands for Data Communications Equipment (so it actually receives on the TX pin and transmits on the RX pin - so a straight thru cable can be used - using the two interfaces effectively does the cable crossover for you).

iamelixir
iamelixir

plus the logo is a dead give away

robustrobot
robustrobot

I think for a 13 year old, I did pretty well.

jncarrera
jncarrera

Seen all of these at one time or another. Working on computers almost 30 yrs. helps accumulate this kind of knowledge. Alot of it is unnecessary in the day-to-day workings of a regular tech but valuable when the need arises. As a good friend of mine once said,"It's better to have and not need than need and not have.

al_james
al_james

Why Roman alphbetic questions with Arabic numeric answers????

vitamin.delta
vitamin.delta

You should place in commonly mistaken ports :-). Which ports are mistaken for which. If you place a close up picture of an RJ-11 jack and an RJ-45 jack together, how many people you think will miss that one? Or a SCSI port vs a Parallel port on printer :-p.

ads2
ads2

Dell (among others) has been pushing this for a couple of years now. You can find this port on the Latitude E-series, Precision M-series portable, and the related port replicators. Since 2009, Apple used "mini DisplayPort" on MacBooks, but that has just been replaced with the Thunderbolt port (which is backwards compatible with mini-DisplayPort cables).

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

The 25 Pin Sub D Female Sockets for a Parallel Port even in the old days where color coded. The Pinky/Purple ones or Blue where Parallel Ports and the Black ones where SCSI Ports as used to connect external SCSI Scanners and so forth to the system. Not sure what the actual color name is as I'm male and only see 16 colors but it looks a sort of pink/purple to me. ;) I've looked at several older M'Boards and Plug in Parallel Port Cards and they all had colored Plastic in the Sub D Sockets where as the Plug in SCSI Cards where always Black. So is this actual port shown a SCSI or Parallel Port in this particular application? Col

jeffer3
jeffer3

Seems simple, I think too many people overthought the questions?

alan.douglas
alan.douglas

Bill Your answer to number 3 "Component Audio and Analog Video" should actually be "RCA Stereo Audio and Composite Video". It is stated correctly that way on the actual question page. It is just the list of answers that is incorrect. Do I get an extra point??? Alan

qdsmith
qdsmith

You see the female DB25 and look for SCSI among the answers. Or can identify a DB13W3. Not sure if seeing a DB9 and thinking FC-AL copper loop is geeky, old, or both.....

mark.capill
mark.capill

Is B an image of a Scart connection???? Similar shape but internals don't look quite right?

geoffrey.seymour
geoffrey.seymour

And anyone who reads this site and did not get all should be ashamed of themselves, go to the nearest corner and study the backend of a computer (if they know what one looks likes that is).

Techhelper
Techhelper

I got 13.. I just got out of bed. Was up late. Number 2 was a stumper for me too. Lets see more of this.

sulaimanbaffa
sulaimanbaffa

I got 14 out of 16. I too have never seen a display port like the one in question 2.

Elfman42
Elfman42

Any decent amount of time spent in the industry should be more than enough for anyone to recognize those ports and connectors.

pgit
pgit

I was an A+ instructor, less than 100% would have been embarrassing. I see a lot missed the display port, #2. I rarely see those things so I assume they are not very common. Easy to assume it's something else, a lot of these things are too much alike.

Stargzer
Stargzer

Actually, in the original RS-232 standard, DCE stands for Date Circuit-Terminating Equipment, the piece of equipment that terminates a data communications circuit, e. g., a modem on a 2-wire dial-up or a 2- or 4-wire private line. But you are correct on the pin usage: the DCE takes the data being transmitted by the DTE on the TX pin and encodes it and sends it on its merry way down the circuit, and vice versa for data the DCE receives from the circuit.

pgit
pgit

...it would have been correct. Most SCSI quickly advanced to larger pin numbers. If I had to guess I'd say 99.6% of all DB25's are parallel. But yours is no mere quibble, absent other markings (or plugging your printer in and asking "why the heck ain't this working?) you'd not be able to tell. As for color I may have not been paying attention but all of the parallel ports I recall are black. Now that you've mentioned it I'll keep my eyes open. I just may have not been paying attention.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That I keep to remind me that these units have not moved too far forward and it has the Pink/Purple Parallel Port. Maybe the Older Dual Processor Pentium Boards didn't I've been too lazy to dig one out as I have an Old Tyan Dual MMZ 200 Board here well a working system. I just grabbed a Old 486 System which is the same too. Maybe it's because I use a Lot of Gigabyte M'Boards that I see this but the ASUS P4 Boards are the same as well. Also lots of Plug in SCSI Cards with a 25 Pin Sub D Socket which are all black. I used to do a lot of High End Servers/Workstations back in the old days. ;) Col

pgit
pgit

There's a graveyard in the attic over the lab I occasionally work it, I know there's a dual P-II box up there, and a ton of others from 486 on up through P-III. I'll have a look, might have just missed any colors. Then these were no high end units, with the possible exception of the P-II, which BTW had run a small regional bank's entire ATM system for a time. Reminds me that the NEEDS are probably growing slower then the hardware is... one dual P-II, 128 whopping MB of RAM and a 6 GB drive running 20-30 ATMs scattered over 500 square miles, still amazes me to think about it.