Have you ever wondered that with your computer you’ll no longer need a conventional (attached to the AC electrical outlet) reading lights or small face-cooling fans ?
Have you had a knowledge that many cellphones are able to be recharged and exchange data with computers at the same time?
Or have you seen a scanner that doesn’t need to be plugged into an AC power outlet and parallel ports?
I have seen them, and you should see them too.
They are wonderful fruits of technology that can be put into reality thanks to another fruit of technology : USB ports.
Yes, people. Those simple, boxy looking ports that are holed into your PC (either on the backside, handside, or frontside of it) are simply wonderful items that once you comprehend their wonderfulness you’ll be amazed that IT engineers haven’t got ridden off other type of ports.
Almost all peripherals can be plugged into the little ports : keyboards, mice, speakers, scanners, printers, multifunctions devices, even devices you thought won’t be.
Me, for instances, have a mouse that is plugged into a USB port. Although the producer supplies a USB to PS/2 adapter, I found it easier to plug the mouse to a USB port than to a PS/2 port. It’s all because a USB port has a simple form : a rectangular shape metallic hole divided in the middle, compared to many pins and holes that is PS/2 adapter.
I also has a datacable for my Siemens K65 cellphone; a Siemens DCA-510. It connects to a USB port and gives me the capability of exchanging data between my Siemens M65 and my PC. It also gives me the ability to recharge my cellphones because the datacable is able to request a 500 mA of current from the USB port, and the USB port is capable of supplying the necessary amount of current. Both data exchanging and data transferring can be done simultaneously.
I also has a Creative MuVo Slim 256, a portable, flash-based MP3 player which has a 256 MB capacity. I am able to fill it by the way analogous to using the Siemens datacable : plug one end of a supplied cable into the USB port, and another end into my MuVo Slim, and my MuVo slim is charged. I am also capable of exchanging hundreds of MP3 files between the MuVo Slim and my PC with a transfer rate that is lightning fast, making the data traffic a breeze.
Other eyebrowsing USB port device that I have is a LED lighting stick, which looks like a flexible metallic centipede (without the legs) with an end which is a USB port and another end which is a bright-white-light emitting LED. The thing is still shining even when the computer is shutdown, although you need to keep it connected to a live AC outlet.
Add that LED lighting rod with a USB fan rod, which is similar to the lighting rod but with a fan as it’s end. I don’t have this one, but I think I’ll buy it because here in Indonesia it tends to get very hot when it’s not raining, and I don’t have an air conditioner at home.
There’s so much device invented to utilize USB ports. Besides those mentioned above, there is USB bluetooth adapters, USB infrared adapters, USB cards readers, USB ports hubs (powered, for those charging devices that you carry around, and non powered, to simply add numbers to the available USB ports on your PC), and of course every floppy disks haters favourite: USB Flash disks.
USB flash disks are the perfect antidote for curing rage and anxiety caused by the use of the fragile, low-capacity, prone to defect, highly annoying floppy disks. It’s capacity is hundreds times bigger than FD, it’s physical size is as small as quarter of FD, and it doesn’t need a reading/writing drive to function. Just plug it into a USB port, have the necessary drive installed, and you can access it’s storage like you would a floppy, only faster, more spacious, and less noise.
If it can be upgraded to have the speed of a IEEE1394 (firewire) port, USB port is the perfect, unitary solution for future peripherals. It may even replace display and audio ports.
We shall see what IT engineers have in the future. For now, enjoy the wonderful port as much as you can.