An apparatus used to interface a peripheral device to a computer has an adapter card that plugs into the computer and a smart cable that plugs into the adapter card at one end and the peripheral device at the other. The adapter card includes a reconfigurable interface circuit that is in communication with the computer when the adapter card is connected to the computer. The smart cable includes a first memory containing configuration information for the reconfigurable interface circuit, and a second memory containing adapter card information structure information for the reconfigurable interface circuit. The two memories are accessible by the reconfigurable interface circuit when the smart cable is connected to the adapter card. The smart cable further includes a peripheral device interface circuit communicating with the reconfigurable interface circuit and with the peripheral device when the smart cable is connected to the adapter card and the peripheral device is connected to the smart cable. Connectors between the computer and the adapter card, the adapter card and the smart cable, and the smart cable and the peripheral device are also provided.