Jumper

Jumper

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In the context of computer hardware, a jumper is a small, electrical switch housed on a circuit board, such as a motherboard or hard drive. It consists of a set of pins and a small plastic plug (known as a jumper block or shunt) that is placed over the pins to close the circuit.

Jumpers are used to configure hardware settings or enable and disable certain features. For example, on an IDE hard drive, a jumper might be used to switch between “master” and “slave” modes. In a similar vein, motherboard settings can be adjusted by placing jumpers in the correct positions.

It’s important to note that the use of jumpers has been largely phased out in favor of software configuration due to advancements in technology. However, they are still found on some hardware and remain an important part of understanding older technology.

Also, note that the term “jumper” has different meanings in different contexts. For instance, in British English, “jumper” refers to a type of sweater. In American English, it can refer to a type of dress or a short coat. In athletics, a “jumper” is someone who competes in jumping events. The correct meaning is usually clear from the context in which the term is used.

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