USB Connectors and Peripherals

Your gadget's lifeline to the computer

USB Connector

USB stands for Universal Serial Bus and is a connector commonly found on most PC's today. If your computer was built in the last five years chances are it has more than one USB port. The name derives from the technical specification which is a high-speed serial bus connection usually employed to connect your favorite gadgets to the PC or Macintosh. Since the specification has been in its 2.0 (IE USB 2.0) iteration, it has been picked up by just about every computer manufacturer to date--it's one of the few things PC and Mac will have in common.

Advertiser Links for USB

The USB has practical applications for many electronics that have need for high-speed communications with peripheral devices. This includes video game systems for controllers or as a means of networking and sharing data with the PC. The wide acceptance of the USB standard means that memory card [memory] readers and even USB Flash Drive have become common and a viable substitute for floppies. Portable storage that can communicate over USB has become such standard practice today that many PCs are built to be able to boot off a USB memory device. Even some TVs are able to communicate over USB. It's a very common method to use USB for video capture in PC devices.

The standard has such a high rate of data through put that it's able to transmit live action audio and video. The USB port has become indispensable for gadgets like PlayStation Portables (PSP), iPods, Pocket PCs, Cell Phones and Smartphones that require a high speed transmission of data to the PC. It is the indispensable link to all these devices when conducting x - 'casting, which is the act of synchronizing files stored on your computer with a portable device for the purpose of playing it back on the go. PSP - 'casting from Mpeg4 and TiVo files is becoming common, but it was the iPod and later Video iPod that first made Podcasting famous.

USB and its mini counterpart

USB compatible portable devices will often use the mini USB connector, which connects directly to a small device like a digital camera or a cell phone. The USB connection isn't only used for exchanging data, it can also be used to get a battery charge off a portable device. Mini to USB connector is even becoming common on advanced Universal Remote controls.

USB Mini

One of the true beauties of the USB standard is that it can provide power to any device using the connection. A nominal 5 volt power supply is included in the Universal Serial Bus specification, so gizmos that connect to your USB port don't necessarily require an added power supply. The array of USB toys is inexhaustible and has become a kind of in - joke for computer geeks. Since anyone who works in an office or cube has easy access to a computer, USB power is the power supply of choice for many unexpected devices that make life in the average cube far more tolerable. USB fans, lights, clocks even desktop aquariums are just some of the toys that can get power from any computer's USB port.