Tag Archives: usb

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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USB Adapter for PCMCIA 3G Modems on Windows

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You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole, unless the square peg has a USB port. USB adapters are great, because they allow you to have backwards compatibility with legacy devices. Just about every computer has USB.
My friends at SewellDirect.com sent me this USB to Cardbus Adapter for 3G high-speed modems.

Never be out of touch with your e-mail, VPN, chat, or other internet service again with this USB to Cardbus adapter for wireless 3G data cards. Newer notebook computers have phased out the PCMCIA (cardbus) slot in favor of the newer ExpressCard slot, leaving PCMCIA data card owners high and dry. Regain your access with this adapter that plugs into any available USB port!

This card works with a large number of cutting-edge wireless 3G cards. Please see below to see if your card is supported. Great for connecting laptops, desktops, or specialist systems (like point-of-sale systems), this U142 adapter will keep you connected when you need to be connected.

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USB to Midi

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I love to play with my new TENORI-ON. However, I’ve been having trouble finding a way to sync the music from the TENORI-ON to my computer, so I can save it out as a Midi file. The TENORI-ON comes with Midi cables, so all I needed was the software to make it happen.

Finally I find it! With the free SimpleSynth, I can now easily sync the channels from the TENORI-ON perfectly to the channels on my Mac. SimpleSynth is a simple soft synth for Mac OS X that takes input from a connected MIDI device, and can play instruments from Soundfonts and DLS files including Apple’s default General MIDI sound set. It’s small but powerful!

In order to accomplish this, I connected the TENORI-ON to my Mac, using the provided MIDI cables. I then poured the music I had made into the Mac, and used SimpleSynth to synchronize the music from the TENORI-ON onto the Mac itself. If you listen, you can hear that they now play in perfect harmony, and with perfect precision. I can save this as a MIDI file on my Mac now, to open and play at a later time! How cool is that?

If you’re like me and love MIDI files, this free software is definitely for you!

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The Best Hard Drive Enclosure

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I have a large collection of hard drives lying around. I’ve been looking for a great enclosure for at least one of these, to use as an external drive. I’d rather it be a FireWire 800, as the transfer rates are just outstanding. However, those are hard to come by. Finally… I found exactly what I need.

the Mini Stack version 3 from Newertech.com is just amazing. You can order just the shell to put your own hard drive in. Or, you can order it with a hard drive installed up to 1 Terrabyte. With its eSATA, two FireWire 800, one FireWire 400, and three USB 2.0 ports PLUS FW800/FW400/USB2.0 connection cables included, miniStack v3 connects to Mac and PC systems with Plug-n-Play simplicity.

There are so many high performance speed components in miniStack v3 that you’d be tempted to drag race it. The latest generation Oxford 924 chipset, the fastest drive mechanisms on the market, and an eSATA port all combine to deliver the fastest single drive data transfer rates possible…up to 150 Megabytes per second! Having a “quad interface” in one portable housing makes miniStack v3 ideal for data intensive uses like audio/video editing, digital photography, MP3 libraries and high-speed back up. Plus, now you can connect multiple desktop digital accessories like scanners, printers, memory card readers, digital cameras, and iPods – all at once – with miniStack v3’s unique, ergonomically enhanced rear and side port configuration.

The price is just right for one of these. It’s an absolutely amazing device!

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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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USB Microscope Review

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So can you tell what it is I’m looking at? Yes, it really is a hair from my nose. I wanted to show you what it looks like using this USB Microscope. I’m not doing a live screen capture because it doesn’t work on Vista, and keeps giving me a BSOD on Windows. I can’t run it on a Mac, because the maker wants you to pay for Mac software! That is just ludicrous.

The QX5 USB Microscope is pretty much designed for kids. The software leaves a lot to be desired, but the hardware is great. The image quality is actually excellent.

This computer microscope allows you to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary for hours of fun and learning. View specimens collected around the house, backyard, your desk, or the fridge. Look at the micro-printing on a dollar bill or examine the traces on your motherboard. This microscope provides you an easy way to zoom in on a wide variety of objects to satisfy your curiosity of the world around you. Ever wondered what lint looks like or the mold growing on your week-old bagels? Now you can find out.

Simple plug and play operation with included software that allows you to magnify objects and view them on your PC up to 200X and take snapshots and time-lapse movies. You can also manipulate images with drawing and painting tools. The QX5 microscope is detachable from the stand to allow you to get closer to large objects.

The USB Microscope QX5 has these great features:

  • Take snapshots, video, and time-lapse movies
  • 3 magnification levels – 10X, 60X, and 200X
  • Super-brite LED lighting for bright top and bottom illumination
  • Video playback at 15 frames/sec
  • Resolution of 640×480
  • Software works with Windows 98, Me, 2000, XP
  • Handheld mode allows for expanded viewing possibilities
  • Comes with: Microscope, USB cable, Stand, Specimen Jars, Sample Slide, Tweezers, Eye Dropper, Slide Clip, and Software CD-ROM

Thanks to the guys over at ThinkGeek for sending me this to review!

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USB Cable Mess

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This video is a plea to all device manufacturers in the world out there who insist on creating proprietary USB cables. I have a huge bin full of USB cables that I have NO idea what they go to.

If you are still creating proprietary cables, and devices that won’t connect using a standard USB cord… then you need to give up and get out of the game. Cut, print, period… end of discussion.

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Improve USB Hard Drive Speeds and File Copying

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A community member emailed to tell me he recently bought a PCI 2.0 card. It’s advertised to get speeds of 280 megabits/second. In reality, he’s only getting about 84 megabits/second when transferring files. He knows this isn’t right.

There are a few options here. It’s a possibility that your CPU just isn’t capable of handling higher speeds, although that is doubtful. Definitely check your buffer size. How small or big of a block will determine how fast it will read or write.

A tip from Wirelesspacket is to check and see if your external hard drive has FireWire or eSATA. Either of these options will give you much greater speeds.

You can also right click your “My Computer” icon on your WIndows desktop. Click on the “Manage” option. Under System Tools on the left, click on “Device Manager”. In the right pane, click the + sign next to “Universal Serial Bus Controllers” to expand the menu underneath. Then, you can double click on the HUB. Once there, you can find out how much power is required, and make sure that is how much it is getting.

Finally, SC_Thor suggests using the free program Copy Handler to move files. Copy Handler program is a small tool designed for copy/move files and folders between different storage medias (hard disks, floppy disks, local networks, CD-ROMs and many other). Copy Handler can move files up to 7 times faster than normal Windows copying.

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Microsoft Desktop Keyboard Review


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – I’ve been anxiously waiting for Microsoft to release their newest wireless keyboard and mouse. It’s been quite awhile since they’ve released a keyboard with USB ports in it, and believe me… you can never have too many of those.

The new Wireless Entertainment Desktop keyboard and mouse came today. I’ve been using this same mouse for about a year now, and I love it! I’ve been using the keyboard for a little under an hour now. It’s definitely slim and lightweight, and the backlit keys are awesome. But, there are some issues I’ve come across. I’m a touch typist, and this keyboard definitely wasn’t designed for touch typers.

  • The Windows key has been moved. It now resides underneath the space bar. For someone like me who uses the Windows key for a variety of shortcuts, this spells disaster. I have to teach myself how to find these from fast touch again.
  • There is a track (touch) pad on the right side of the keyboard. However, the button for “left click” is on the left side of the keyboard.
  • With this new design, some of the keys… such as Function keys and ESC key… are no longer actually keys. They are these little nubs. Now, if you sit with your keyboard at a desk or workstation like I do, this is frustrating. You have to kind of feel your way around in order to find the right one. I’ve accidentally hit the ~ key many times without thinking in the past hour, thinking I was hitting the ESC key.

In my opinion, this keyboard was designed to be used by someone sitting away from their monitor, maybe even across a room. It wasn’t really designed to be used right at your desktop.

On a funny side note, take a close look at the logo on the mouse. The letter Ris missing from the word Microsoft. So, this mouse was made by a company named Mic osoft. Interesting…

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USB Power Through An Airplane's Audio Jack


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http://live.pirillo.com/ – Ponzi and I leave for a trip to Germany on Saturday. I’ve been concerned about how I can get power for my devices while on the flight. Now, I have my answer.

Not long ago, I recorded a video showing off all my travel gear. These are devices, adapters and the like that go with me when I have to be on the road… and a few new ones bought for this trip. I’ve been confused as to how I would manage to charge anything though, while in transit.

Enter Inflight! Inflight USB Power Unit is a plug compatible with any standard USB charging cable. The Inflight USB Power unit plugs into the passenger seat audio jack and outputs regulated power to the attached USB charging cable/connector. Now, I can plug this sucker in to my audio jack and power up my PSP, my iPod, my phone… or any of my other devices I seriously can not live without!

This is why I think all devices should charge via a USB cable, if not natively then by an adapter. Wouldn’t it be great if new houses being built had little USB outlets in the wall, right next to electrical outlets? I’m telling ya, folks. This is the wave of the future.

SO COOL. Thanks so much for this advice. The $20 or $30 I just spent on this Inflight adapter is well worth the money, and will quickly become my favorite travel gadget of all!

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