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Get On The Bus

Keeping on top of tech

This story appears in the December 1998 issue of

There's a new computer acronym you're going to start hearing a lot about: USB. It stands for universal serial bus, which is a powerful, new way of connecting peripheral devices to PCs.

Here's the scoop: Until now, connecting printers and other gizmos to PCs meant inserting one or more specialized adaptor cards into the motherboard of the computer. These cards essentially move information back and forth between the PC's central processor and a peripheral device. But in most PCs, there's room for only a handful of such cards, which limits the number of devices you can use at any one time. What's more, switching devices requires a fair amount of fiddling with software settings--even restarting the computer.

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