Universal Serial Bus – USB

We all tend to use the computing term “USB” and mostly kind of know what it means. If we take each of the words in turn, it really does explain the function of it.

Universal – all encompassing; Serial – one after the other; Bus – a means of transport. So, all sorts of devices can connect to the port and transport data down the wires.

In a previous article I wrote about the different versions of USB, but this time we can take a look at what the USB enables us to use on the computer. Think about all the useful devices we can connect to the humble USB port; mouse, keyboard, printer, scanner, cell phone, camera, wifi antenna, T stick, memory stick, external hard drive, external floppy drive, external DVD player, external dial-up modem (not sure why though!), external network card, external USB hub (allows additional USB connections) and the list goes on.

The technology for this to happen has evolved from the combination of the old parallel, serial and PS2 ports we used to use many years ago. USB itself has gone through many changes and is now on its third version.

Let’s take just one plugged-in device, your cell phone, and consider all the functions that can be undertaken. The USB port can charge your phone, copy documents, photos, music or video to and from the phone and computer. The same goes for your digital camera.

Then there are the silly things we can connect as well. I have one I use over the festive season, a small Christmas tree complete with changing coloured fibre optic lights. You can get a small fan, hopefully to keep you cool while you work. I have seen a small massager, I guess to take the tension out of your neck from straining to see the screen or simply from doing battle with the computer. Or, how about a small travel toothbrush? Got a need to keep the coffee warm? No worries , there is a coffee warmer out there waiting for you find and purchase. Winter is not too far away now, so how about a pair of fingerless USB warmed gloves? Hard to see the keyboard on your laptop at night? Yep, you can even buy a light to hook up for that.

This entire multitude of devices being able to connect through the one port really is pretty amazing and a good example of the progress of computing technology. Try a search on Google for “silly USB devices” and be prepared to have a bit of a giggle from some of the wacky things folk come up with.

Evening Computer Classes

Check out the upcoming sessions for the remainder of the year listed in this issue.

If you need help with this, or would just like to chat about your options, give me a call at 345-6098. To find out more about this, follow this link:  http://www.abingdon.co.nz/insideeastside.html

Wayne Parkinson
Abingdon Computing Essentials – www.abingdon.co.nz
Phone – 345-6098
Contact Wayne for all your virus and computer fixes or training needs.