Network Productivity Group

... a computer consultancy


The tip...

Every once in a while I see something new that really captures my fancy.  You can probably tell what a nerd I am when you find yourself asking, "What on Earth is interesting about that?"

Like more and more of us are bound to do these days, I went shopping for a USB hub.  The affected computer came with one USB port in the back and one in the front and now both are in use.

What captured me about the device I saw was that it mounts in a "dive bay", puts the ports (four of them!) at the front of the machine and uses internal machine power.

What is a "drive bay"?  Your floppy and your CD and DVD players are most likely mounted in a drive bay.  If you have a "standard" desktop and a floppy and a CD or DVD, you probably have one drive bay vacant.

If you've got something plugged into every USB port in your machine and you get one new fabulous device you can't live without and it is a USB device, this is what you've been or will shortly be looking for.

If your machine is showing its age and you are jealous of all your friends who have front facing USB ports, this is the baby for you.

The advantages of the unit besides four more ports and front facing are:

Internally mounted it has a "zero footprint", that is it takes up no more space in you already busy and crammed office.

Using internal power it is both powered (not all hubs are and this can be a problem) and doesn't have one of those monstrous plugs that somehow has to fit on your already busy and crammed power strip (when are they introducing the fifteen foot power strip anyway?).

The disadvantages of the unit are that it is:

Internally mounted, you have to open the computer, figure how you get access to the drive bays, mount it in there, find a power attachment, etc.

Front mounted, meaning you have to plug things into the front.  Actually one should have both, some in the rear for things that you seldom remove, like printers and some in the front for things you might often remove like your Palm cradle, digital camera, that sort of thing.

I saw this device at PC Club for $39.95.  If this is what you've been looking for, go for it.  If you need any help installing it, give us a call.


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