See also: Pilot
A data-processing pilot often shortened in pilot and sometimes named driver (of the English) is a Computer program, often accompanied by ASCII files (or files " texte") of configuration, intended to allow another program (often a Operating system) to interact with a peripheral . In general, each peripheral has its clean pilot. Without pilot, the printer or the graphics card could not be used.
Certain operating systems as Windows propose their own supposed generic pilots to function satisfactorily with the majority of the peripherals for a current use. If these pilots manage the great functions common to all the materials, they always do not have all the capacities of the pilots of manufacturers, who only know perfectly and in detail the specifications of the controlled material.
Installation of a pilot
At the time of the installation of a new component or a new peripheral, it is necessary to install the pilot, generally provided by the manufacturer. On many operating systems, the procedure Plug-and-Play automatically detects the new component or the new peripheral. It is however sometimes necessary to provide him the support of the pilot (CD-ROM, DVD or site), then to carry out the installation and the parameter setting.
The quality of the pilots is often essential on the results obtained in the operation of the components or the peripherals. One can also find on the Web of the pilots more or less general practitioners for a type of material, or on the contrary able to improve the general performances of the component or peripheral, or to even use hidden functions. However, for a maximum of safety, best is to use the pilots provided by the manufacturers and to use the most recent versions. These versions are generally available on their Web site.
Because of diversity of the modern materials and operating systems, there exists a multitude of pilots having each one its own types of call. They manage the interface between system (even application at the time of DOS) and:
- of the Printing S
- of the video charts
- of the charts network
- of the charts its
- of the local buses of various types, in particular to manage the buses on the modern systems
- of the buses of input/output of several types (for example for the mice, keyboards, the Universal Serial Drunk (USB), etc)
- of the Hard drives (ATA, Serial ATA, SCSI). On the other hand the administrative of files (NTFS, ReiserFS, ext3fs) are not regarded as pilots because they address not to the material itself, but already to an abstraction of this one.
- of the scanners, numerical cameras and video cameras.
The levels of abstraction for the pilots are frequently:
- On the material side:
- direct Interfacing
- Use of an interface moreover high level (e.g.: Video BIOS)
- Use of another pilot moreover low level (e.g.: pilots of filesystems)
- Simulation of operation with a material, whereas it makes completely another thing
- software side:
Contrary to the majority of the software of level user, which can be stopped without affecting the remainder of the system, a bug in a pilot can lead to dysfunctions of the system, and in rarer cases severely to damage the data even the material itself.
Creation of the pilots
To develop a pilot requires to know the specifications of the controlled material. For this reason the companies which develop the material are most capable to write the pilots, since they have more than whoever a complete access to the relative informations with the design of the material. Who more is, one considers traditionally that the interest of the manufacturers is to allow to the users the optimal operation of their material. However, these last years showed us that many pilots were written by not-manufacturers, often for the use under various free operating systems. In these cases, the co-operation with the manufacturer remains important, even if the Retro-engineering, much more complex with the material than with the software, means much time to learn how the material functions whose interface is unknown.
Remote loading of the pilots
The remote loadings of the pilots (drivers, firmwares) are generally proposed free on the Web sites of the manufacturers. There exists also a multitude of Web sites which propose quasi exhaustive libraries of pilots to be downloaded. Unfortunately the majority of these sites are paying! The Web sites which offer libraries of pilots free are not legions.
- Operating system
External bonds and documentsSite proposing the remote loading of pilots free:
- TousLesDrivers.com: Soon 10 years of experience, new drivers with the daily newspaper, forum of mutual aid; guide installation.
Simple: Driver (computer)
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