plug and play

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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."
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (

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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Gimme Vending's patented plug-and-play Gimme Key and iPad-based Gimme Drive app replace current, antiquated wired handhelds.
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), a provider of a range of wireless and wireline communications services, and Geotab Inc announced on Friday that Geotab plug-and-play fleet management solutions are now available to eligible federal agencies as part of Sprint's Federal Supply Schedule contract with the US General Services Administration (GSA).
We want this technology to be plug-and-play in every way possible."
This "plug-and-play" unit allows for simple, fast modification with additional options or peripherals.
And, said Kayye, some 70-plus percent are network-ready today; By 2006, a full 82 percent will be ready to plug-and-play.
Operators with networks deployed in Australia, Germany, Malaysia, New Zealand, Portugal, South Africa, and the United States have proven that they can profitably offer broadband services that are as fast or faster than DSL and cable services, at prices that either meet or beat the fixed line technologies, while offering the differentiating factors of mobility or portability and a very simple plug-and-play installation.
Because it supports Windows and Apple platforms, the tool permits easy plug-and-play operation of laptops and desktop PCs.
The Silicon Storage Appliance (S2A) installation is easy, using plug-and-play simplicity to create a storage networking solution that delivers substantial TCO benefits for their customers.
At the heart of plug-and-play components is the need for the application programmer to be able to write to a single API without necessarily knowing which specific component will be used at runtime.
Kingsbury Corp, Keene, NH, has introduced what company president James L Koontz terms "one of the world's fastest and most accurate lean manufacturing systems." The Cyber-Cell II, which features an axis travel speed of 3544 ipm (90 m/min) and micron accuracy, is Kingsbury's latest entry in the plug-and-play market: Machines that combine transfer line speed with CNC flexibility for easy adaptability in product lines.
(That's not to say that sometime in the near future PCs and peripherals won't be designed with convenient plug-and-play features.
M2 EQUITYBITES-April 22, 2013-Sprint offers Geotab plug-and-play fleet solutions to federal agencies under US GSA contract(C)2013 M2 COMMUNICATIONS