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Get On The Bus

The new USB standard offers a smooth ride.

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This story appears in the October 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Until recently, hooking up printers and scanners to your PC was a major hassle. There were conflicts to work out, driver files to download, and even if you did everything right, you still had to reboot the system to get the peripheral to work.

Newer Windows-based and Macintosh computers equipped with Universal Serial Bus (USB) take the fuss and muss out of the installation process by automatically configuring your system for the peripheral once it's physically hooked up to the USB port. USB also allows you to "hot swap" peripherals--that is, to plug a device into a USB port and use it without rebooting. Because USB connections also supply power, you can daisy-chain peripherals (up to 127 devices at a time) with a hub hooked up to a single USB port.

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