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How To Buy
If you've got more peripherals than ports, you'll be happy to know the USB standard is finally rounding the corner-and monitors are not going to be left standing in the cold.
The USB standard, developed by Compaq, Digital Equipment, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC and Northern Telecom, allows you to connect up to 127 devices to a PC without internal cards or specialized slots. This technology provides a number of advantages:
-- Plug and Play can detect and configure your peripherals as soon as they're attached to your PC.
-- You can attach or detach any device without powering down or rebooting your system.
-- All peripherals use a single type of connector, so you no longer have to worry about running out of a certain type of port.
-- You can connect to PBX and digital phone lines without specialized add-in cards.
Although the standard hasn't been finalized, many monitor manufacturers are looking at how they can incorporate USB. CTX, which has already introduced a monitor that adheres to the USB standard, is planning to incorporate a USB hub. This would provide a convenient location for you to plug in up to four USB-compliant devices and daisy-chain others as needed. NEC also has products under development.
NEC Technologies is incorporating USB into its products.