is there a difference between hotplugging and Plug and Play?
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hotpluggable means the ability to be attached and removed from a running system without causing problems. USB is hot pluggable. Firewire is hot pluggable. PS/2 is (typically) not. PCI is (typically) not.
plug and play is a windows term used to describe fictitious hardware that you plug into your system and boot up, at which point the system just "plays" or "works".
I had my issues with plug 'n pray.......plug 'n play. plug 'n play just makes more problems than it corrects. No plug 'n play is not a Microsoft thing. Its a PCI and newer VL (Vesa Local Bus) devices feature. Its designed to make the installer's job easier to setup IRQ (Interrupt Requests) for hundreds of computers. As years progress programmers started getting lazy and goofed up the code. This made the installer's job harder than before plug 'n play. Though it was partially Microsoft's fault because they code the worst plug 'n play support for their OS.
IMO, I rather set the IRQ myself than messing around with plug 'n play.
Like other people mention hotplug is another feature that is totally different than plug 'n play. Hotplug means device being inserted in a hot (powered on) computer with out screwing up or spiking bus signals. SCSI (pronounced scuzzy) and SATA are also hotplugging devices. In special computers PCI slots are hotplugging.