Tag Archives: port

A 16-Port USB Hub Hubbub


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I love USB. I love the ports, the devices and the hubs. The problem with hubs, though, is that most of them top out at only seven little spots to plug things into. I have SO many USB devices. How the heck am I ever going to plug them all in at once? It’s a good thing my friends at ThinkGeek sent along their 16 port USB Hub for me to review!

This baby has a built-in 22.5W power supply so an extra AC adapter is not needed. Connect all of your favorite USB devices at once, such as your USB Humping Dog, your USB microphone, your USB drink cooler, your phone and virtually ALL of your other USB devices in at once!

The hub weighs less than a pound and is smaller than you might expect at approximately 4.5in x 2.5in x 2in. This makes it easy to actually throw it in your suitcase and take it with you when you travel. You know it will come in handy… even on the road.

The built-in power supply ensures you don’t need another AC adapter and there’s even a switch that allows you to switch the hub between two computers. You can’t use it on two computers at once, but you can just push a button to switch back and forth between them. Some hubs are underpowered, but not this beautiful little box! It will handle pretty much anything you throw at – or plug into – it.

This is now my USB hub of choice. I double-dog dare you to list all of your USB devices. I’m going to send my existing USB hub to the person who lists the most – and can prove it. Take a picture of all of them at once, all together. Whoever has the most (provable) USB devices will win!

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A USB Grommet Hub for your Home Office

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Everyone knows that I’m addicted to USB devices. Because of this, I need several USB hubs, but my desk is only so big. I read about this product not long ago. So, when I saw it in a store I had to buy it.

It fits ‘the hole’. When I say that, it fits a grommet hole that is in my desk. It’s a USB hub that sits inside those grommet holes. You know what those are: they’re the holes in your desk where cords may feed through. The Ativa In-Desk 4-Port USB 2.0 Hub is a space-saving, in-desk USB hub lets you connect your USB devices, including cameras, flash drives and printers. The 4 Hi-Speed USB 2.0 ports provide transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps. It’s backward compatible with USB 1.1. It fits easily into a 3″ or 2″ hole on your desktop. The hub connects directly to your computer with the included USB cable. The package includes the 4-port USB hub, a mounting ring, an AC power adapter, a USB cable and the user manual.

If you’re going to be having a hole in your desk, you may as well make use of it! This is one of those products that once you see it, you’re like “oh yeah! I really need that!”. Be careful when buying USB hubs, though. Some of them are not compatible with USB 2.0, and that could pose a problem for you. You want the fastest speeds with uploading and downloading to and from your device that you can get. Make sure any hub you buy is capable of handling high-speed USB devices.

If you know of any other cool home office products that I may be able to populate my desk with, please email me at [email protected] Of course, I really want to know about USB devices, as well.

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Cable Management

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Jthermane wrote: “USB, Power, FireWire… there are many types of cables out in the world that do many different things. They can bring things to life, carry data, output sound. But the more cables you get, the harder it is to keep track of them. They start showing up in different locations around your room or home office. Here are my top five tips for cable management.”

  • Use one drawer or box for all of your cables. This may be hard. However, when you go looking for that special USB cable for your iPod, it cuts down the look time drastically.
  • LABEL, LABEL, LABEL After a while, you may have two or three black power cords that have different ends… but say the same thing on the adapter. Use a silver sharpie (4 for $5.19 at staples), or buy a pack of file folder labels, and write on them in PEN. Nothing’s worse than having the lettering fade off a label in a drawer full of identical cables.
  • When storing, fold them up and put a rubber band around them. This makes it easier to store in a drawer, or any other small area.
  • Put heavily used USB cords into the plugs in the back of the computer. This makes it easier to connect those “quick use” cables in the front ports.
  • If you don’t have USB connections on the front of the computer, or if you have more USB cords than your computer has connections… buy a USB hub. It makes access to ports much easier, and you can keep it right under your screen. When buying a hub, always think about future expansion.
  • BONUS TIP!!! Try and keep cords going to the same area rubber-banded or twisty-tied together. This makes it easier to control the mess of cords behind the computer, and makes it look more sightly if your computer isn’t in a case.

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Buy USB Flash Drives

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Bowler4Ever is a long-time regular in our live community. He has previously sent in some excellent top five lists. Here is a new one from him… which should help you when buying your next USB Flash Drive.

  • Are you worried about durability of these drives? Don’t be! These drives are hard and sturdy, and they can even withstand small drops onto concrete or asphalt (been there, done that). Drops onto your wood floors from your desks are taken like cake by these tiny little tough sticks! Don’t worry, drop ’em and they’ll still work!
  • What are you using the drive for? If you’re simply storing very important documents for your workplace and nothing else, a 512mb stick will do just fine. For a Linux distro like Ubuntu, 1GB will work perfectly, as the Ubuntu distro is slightly under 700mb, the size of your typical CD. For a moderate amount of music or various installers, I recommend 2GB, as you never know how much music you’ll want to keep…ESPECIALLY if you’re trying to back up your iTunes library! For a large amount of music or home videos, 4GB is perfect, if not more than enough than you really need. 4GB is mainly for those who are complete media “junkies” and those who also compile installers on there as well.
  • Go for the indicator display on the drive. Sometimes files are bigger than you think, and flash dries can sometimes fill up pretty quick, so you’ll want to have a good peek at how much space you have left.
  • Go with brands that are well-known and trusted. If you know how to search for computer hardware/accessories, look for those drives that professionals know and trust or look at Consumer Reports. Always buy the best you can afford. (Remember, do your homework!!!!!)
  • Look at the specs for the drive! Remember, you buy it and open it, some places will just say “Oh well, you opened it! Not our fault!” NOTE: Some drives do NOT support USB 2.0, so make sure if you still have USB 1.1, you check to make sure it will work in USB 2.0! For Linux users: Some brands are allowing Linux installers, so look for the penguin on the back of the box!
  • Remember, whatever you do with the drive…keep it legal! These things were not made for illegal/pirating purposes. It’s foolish and dangerous!

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USB Switch

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Ever since I first laid eyes on USB… I’ve been enamored with USB devices. I probably have no less than 20 USB devices within arm’s reach at any given time. But, what happens if you have a USB printer, but you have two computers. How can you keep that one printer connected to two computers… if there is only one USB port on the printer?

Well, you can get a USB 2.0. The goal of the new serial bus is to broaden the range of external peripherals that can be used on a computer.

You can identify whether your PC has Hi-Speed USB or not relatively easy. Open Device Manager and expand the Universal Serial Bus section. There should be an “Enhanced” USB host controller present. USB 2.0 has a raw data rate at 480Mbps, and it is rated 40 times faster than its predecessor interface, USB 1.1, which tops at 12Mbps. Originally, USB 2.0 was intended to go only as fast as 240Mbps, but in October 1999, USB 2.0 Promoter Group pumped up the speed to 480Mbps.

Almost every conceivable peripheral has a USB 2.0 version ranging from a HDTV tuner, a micro hard drive to even video card / USB monitor. So, even if you buy a all-in-one HP multimedia PC with all the gizmos, you’ll still need something USB.

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13 Port USB Hub!

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I absolutely love USB. I’ve made no secret of that fact in the past. I run out of USB ports all the time. I have 8 ports on my computer itself, and an additional 7 off the pc. I still don’t have enough! So, receiving this for Christmas was great!

Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a serial bus standard to interface devices. USB was designed to allow peripherals to be connected using a single standardized interface socket and to improve plug-and-play capabilities by allowing devices to be connected and disconnected without rebooting the computer (hot swapping). Other convenient features include providing power to low-consumption devices without the need for an external power supply and allowing many devices to be used without requiring manufacturer specific, individual device drivers to be installed.

I have tons of thumb drives, have used the USB Snowman, and even the doggie that plugs into a USB port and does “doggie things”. I’m looking for more cool USB devices. What ideas of things I can get do you have? Leave me a follow-up comment, or send an email to me at [email protected]

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