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Summary:

While I’m certain most of us would love to put that Mac/Book Pro on our wishlists this holiday season, they’re probably not the most realistic choices. Accessories for your Mac however, are much more realistic and can hugely enhance your computing experience. Obviously there are a […]

usb

While I’m certain most of us would love to put that Mac/Book Pro on our wishlists this holiday season, they’re probably not the most realistic choices. Accessories for your Mac however, are much more realistic and can hugely enhance your computing experience. Obviously there are a crap-ton of accessories to choose from, but in an effort to narrow the focus [just slightly] I’m thinking of USB accessories today.

To start it off, here’s everything that’s hanging from a USB port on my MacBook:

  • Logitech MX1000 or Trackman Marble (depending on home or work office)
  • External Hard Drives/Thumb drives
  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Headsets (look for a review coming soon!)
  • Postage Scale (for shipments)
  • iMic
  • Digital Cameras/Memory card reader
  • Jog Dial for video work
  • USB to Serial (for work stuff)
  • iPod
  • Hubs which allow all these things to be used….

With only 2 USB ports on my MacBook, the Hubs I list last are the most important things here. The most I’ve daisy-chained are 2 and it seems to work fine (the hubs I’m using are powered), but does anyone know the limit to this practice? Can I daisy-chain 5? 10? What’s the limit and what’s the effect that I’ll see as a user?

On the more useless but fun side of things are things like the missile launcher, drink warmer/cooler, lights, fans, and of course the Snowbot. The list is seemingly endless (but fun).

So I ask you – what’s your favorite (useful or useless) USB accessory, whether you have it or want it?

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  1. Theoretically speaking, it should be possible to daisy-chain multiple hubs to provide access to 127 USB devices. The only caveat is that each hub would need to be powered externally in order to provide a full 500mA to each port.

  2. Excellent – thanks for an answer on that. While I assumed the daisy-chainability (that’s gotta be a real word) was pretty extensive, I never [bothered to look it up] knew for sure. Appreciate the input!

  3. You probably know this, but make sure you buy hubs that support both speeds at once, because some hubs will drop *everything* down to USB 1.0 speeds if one USB 1.0 device is plugged into it, then your 2.0 devices won’t be running at full speed.

  4. Or substitute the word “high-speed” for “2.0”. My brain is still drowsy from turkey and I can’t remember which is what. :)

  5. Unfortunately, the missile launcher is not Mac-compatible.

  6. Useless: USB Cup Warmer.

    Most Productive would be an external hard drive for backups….

  7. Daniel, you have just destroyed my Christmas dreams!!!

    I’d hope that some enterprising individual fixes that problem. Until then I’ll have to plan on using it (because SOMEONE I know better get it for me! haha) on Windows under Parallels…

  8. Just a caveat… USB 2.0 != High speed. 2.0 is a specification that contains Low, Full, and High, speeds, but a device or host controller can be 2.0 without having to support all of them!

  9. You can safely assume that you can hook up 2 hubs without much problem. Add ing a third hub can cause issues, especially if you have harddrives on that third hub.
    (YMMV)

  10. j.Lee – I’ve had that thought (groundless though it’s been) and have always kept my hard drives on the first ‘hop’ of my usb daisy chains. I like my data like I like my women, fast. (haha, sorry, honey, just joking around…)

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