You Asked, We Answered: What is a Jumper?
Jumpers are pieces of hardware whose absence, presence and placement determines the configuration of a larger piece of hardware. They allow you to physically control the operation of the hardware as opposed to doing so with software.
The jumpers themselves are metal posts operating as part of an electrical circuit on a piece of hardware such as a motherboard or hard drive. Placing a small piece of wire or plastic / metal plug called a jumper cap on one or more of the posts will close the circuit thereby configuring it in a specific way. Jumpers can be left open or closed (see the diagram courtesy of computerhope.com).
For example, placing a jumper cap in one position may configure a hard drive to be a master hard drive, in another position to a slave hard drive and so on.
Jumpers are becoming less common with automatic configurations and settings controlled by software.
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Photos credits: stockarch.com, amazon.ca, computerhope.com