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Taming The Peripherals Find solutions to the peripheral jungle

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In a computer-driven home office, peripherals can proliferatelike spam--a printer here, a scanner there, a CD-RW, a Zip driveand a SuperDisk thrown in. But there are only a limited number ofports on the back of your computer to plug them all into.Hewlett-Packard's solution to the peripheral jungle is the $106JetDirect Auto Switch 4:1.

Compatible with Windows 3.x/95/98/NT, the Auto Switch allows upto four parallel port peripherals to be used by one computer. Incase you have four computers, it alternately allows one peripheralto be used by all four machines. Simply plug your PC into one ofAuto Switch's five ports, then connect up to four peripheralsinto the device (or use it to hook up four computers and oneperipheral). Utility software is included to make device managementsimple. It's a low-cost alternative to installing a network.The Auto Switch comes with a one-year warranty and is alsoavailable in an $81 2:1 version. More specs are available at

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