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/ Hard to Find Computer Parts University

StarTech University offers computer enthusiasts and IT professionals a chance to learn more about new technologies and innovations in the IT world. Take some time to review the material, then pass the exam to earn your printable certificate for each course.

Course 1: Hard to Find Computer Parts

Chapter 3: The Importance of Hard-to-Find Parts

Eventually, technology such as the serial mouse (used as an example in the previous sections) will become so rare, that to locate one would be impossible. In cases like this, users are left with equipment that no longer serves a purpose and therefore dispose of the outdated equipment, after purchasing a replacement part. This leads us to the importance of "hard to find parts".

Simple Economics

Using "hard to find parts" such as the DB9F to 6 DIN M adapter mentioned in the previous section is often times more viable in terms of cost, than having to replace a mouse.

Example: When users started replacing the mouse they were using with one that was compatible with a motherboard or system upgrade, the cost was small, so the difference in price between an adapter and a replacement mouse may have been only a couple of dollars — a seemingly negligible expense. But what about a company with hundreds, if not thousands of employees, whose computers had been updated for compatibility with a new operating system? The price difference between the adapter and a replacement mouse would still only be a couple of dollars, but on a much larger scale — translating into hundreds or thousands of dollars in cost-reduction.

Also, consider that while a mouse is a relatively inexpensive replacement to have to make, having to replace other equipment, such as serial devices (Terminals, printers, modems, plotters etc.) will be much more expensive. So, when motherboards/computers no longer provide a serial interface, it's very costly to simply dispose of original equipment, especially if it functions according to necessity. Using a serial I/O card, the expense can be eliminated with identical performance — allowing a user to get the most out of their expensive albeit outdated equipment.

Environmental concerns

Hard to find parts such as adapters and converters not only eliminate unnecessary costs, but also help users reduce the amount of waste created by a system or enterprise upgrade, translating into obvious environmental benefits. So, instead of being "required" to make an upgrade (in turn creating waste), using an adapter or converter can help delay if not eliminate the need to dispose of unused, yet still fully functional equipment.


Hard to find parts also offer users the ability to modify their computer system in such a way as to add to existing capability, that may not be offered by the system motherboard.

Next — Chapter 4: Applications and Types of Hard to Find Parts