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Dinesh Gajjar
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 Member's Discussion

Origin & Introduction of USB
Since original IBM made computers, many new devices have come up which were not thought of at that time. Scanners, portable hard drives, Zip drives, and force-feedback joysticks are just a few examples of devices appearing on the desktop.

Attempts have been made to provide four to eight serial ports on a single PC, there was no real standard that gained widespread acceptance. SCSI seemed to be the solution of choice for many vendors of scanners and external drives, however, interface cards and devices were expensive and the standard lacked complete unity. Therefore, many began work on specifications for new interconnecting solutions, such as IEEE 1394 and USB.

The Solution: USB
Though slower than IEEE 1394, USB still boasts a data rate of 12 Mbps (mega-bits per second) and allows you to connect up to 127 devices to your PC! It is designed to support modems, keyboards, mice, 4x Ė 6x CD ROM drives, joysticks, tape/floppy/hard drives, scanners and printers. In addition, a new wave of peripherals such as telephones, digital speakers, digital snapshot and motion cameras, data gloves and digitizers are to take advantage of this exciting and versatile new interface
How USB Port looks on my Computer?
Look of USB connectors on your computer front or back.
Look for something like this on your Computer. These are 2 USB ports. And below is the Plug you will find on one of the USB device you may have:
USB device plug
Symbol of USB
USB Symbol
While discussion on USB ports or devices, above symbol is used.
Advantages of USB
 "Hot Plugging" which is the ability for plugging and unplugging a device without powering down, comes with USB. 

USB devices are self-identifying, and USB is Plug-and-Play compliant, which means that installation and configuration of USB peripherals will be relatively easy. USB cables also carry power, so you don't need extra cables or transformers. USB ports on your computer will work with any USB peripheral that you want to plug into it. USB is also "Hot-Wwappable", means you can plug devices in or out without turning off the computer

A standardized plug interface means convenient and headache-free addition of new peripherals. The same plug is used for different types of devices so you donít have to worry about an adapter for the mouse or video camera. Since USB is an industry-wide and Royalty-Free open standard, everyone can develop USB devices. This ends the need for proprietary interfaces and guarantees cross-vendor compatibility.

More on USB:

 on-line Shop

understanding USB