Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (also known as SATA) cables are most commonly used to connect to internal storage devices (such as hard drives or optical drives). SATA was produced to replace the older ATA cables, ATA cables are used for the same concept and originally evolved from Weston Digitals IDE interface. SATA cables are much faster than the older ATA and IDE connectors. The introduction of SATA drives also allows the user to hotswap between drivers (the user can basically pull out the hard drive during operation.
The first version of SATA was known as SATA 1.5 Gbit/s (also known as SATA 1), This version communicated at 1.5Gbits per second, however due to the 8b/10b encoding, this speed is reduced to 1.2GBits per second.
Not longer after the introduction of SATA 1, SATA 2 was introduced, SATA 2 ran at 3Gbits per second, which was much faster than the older version which ran at half the speed.
A Parallel port is mostly used for perifferals such as Printers. Before the introduction of USB cables Parallel cables where the big daddy's of the connection industry when it came to perifferals. They were used to connect Game Pads, Joysticks, Webcams etc. Parallel is a lot faster than Serial(SATA) due to it been able to send 8 bits all at once (1 bit per channel).
Blutooth is a wireless connection between 2 devices for exchanging data over short distances. They are very popular within the mobile phone industry as they became more user friendly than Infared. Blue tooth uses radio technology which cuts down the data into feasable chuncks on upto 79 freq's. Bluetooth is supported by all major operating systems includign Mac (2002), Windows (Service Pack 2)and Linux (Version 5). The bluetooth specification was developed in 1996 by Jaap Haartsen (Netherlands) and Sven Mattisson (Netherlands) while they were working for Sony Erricssion.
A PS2 connector is used for things like keyboards, however it is slowly been taken over by USB connectors. PS2 cannocters and port were founded by IBM in 1987.
A VGA conenction is used for conencting your PC to a display device such as a monitor. VGA was introduced at the same time PS2 and has become just as popular. The connector has a 15-pin end which easy slides in the the Computer and is screwed in to place either side of the plug.
Firewire allows users to transfer data between devices at a faster speed compared to most connections. Windos 98+ and MAC OS 8.6+ support FireWire connections. Upto 63 devices can be conencted to a firewire bus.Fireire is said to be slowly replacing USB however USB still supports more devices at 127.
USB is one of the most common connectors, Used mainly to connect to devices such as mice, keyboards, mobile phones and MP3 players, the USB connections have also produced a new market based around USB gadgets, these gadgets include gimic devices such as Keyboard Cleaners, Red Aler Buttons, Lights and much more.