plug and play

(redirected from plug in play)
Also found in: Dictionary.

plug and play

1. Hardware or software that, after being installed ("plugged in"), can immediately be used ("played with"), as opposed to hardware or software which requires configuration.

See also turnkey, plug and pray.

2. A new recruit who needs no training. "The new guy, John, is great. He's totally plug-and-play."

plug and play

(1) Installing a new component in a system that works automatically without requiring any manual configuration by a technician or user. See CableCARD and definitions #2 and #3 below.

(2) (Universal Plug and Play) Protocols for discovering and configuring devices in an IP network. See UPnP.

(3) (Plug and Play) An Intel standard for automatic peripheral configuration in a PC. On startup, Plug and Play (PnP) recognizes the attached devices and adjusts internal settings (see IRQ, DMA and PC I/O addressing).

PnP and Windows 95 to the Rescue
Plug and Play (PnP) eliminated the "plug and pray" frustration of manually configuring a PC when new peripherals were installed. In the mid-1990s, motherboards and peripherals began to support PnP, and Windows 95 was the first PnP-enabled OS. A PnP peripheral could also be used in a non-PnP computer by installing a system module (DWCFGMG.SYS).

Transitioning to PnP
If an older ISA peripheral card was installed in a PnP computer, the ISA Configuration Utility (ICU) looked up its requirements and configured the card's settings. If the card was not in the list, the ICU made recommendations for the user ("plug and tell"). See PnP-X.