USB - How To Get The Most From This Rapidly Growing Technology
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26-03-2010, 05:29 AM
 
USB - How To Get The Most From This Rapidly Growing Technology
USB connectors are used by input devices (mice, keyboards, scanners, digital cameras), output devices (portable CD writers, printers), storage devices (external hard disk drives, flash or USB memory keys/sticks) and even decorations and novelty items such as mobile phone chargers, flashing light snowmen, coffee cup warmers and mini reading lights.

Let's take a look at some of the things to look for in the USB world.

Plugs and cables

Not all USB plugs are created equal. It's likely that your computer will accept 'type A' plugs, but the other end that plugs into your camera or printer may be a 'type B', a 'mini' or a 'micro' USB plug. Ensure that your cable has the correct plugs for your device on both ends. And if your USB cable seems a little short, you can buy extension cables but you may need a special 'booster' if you want to go over 5 metres or 15 feet.

Power

Devices can draw a low power current through a 5 volt supply to the USB connection; however this may not be sufficient for high powered devices like external hard drives. Multiple USB devices on one computer can experience performance problems and errors if their combined power requirement is too great. 'Powered hubs' are available which provide additional USB connections and an external power source, though some devices may still need their own power supply (e.g. printers).
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