CCrane WIFI2 Radio

More Focus on USB

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, February 17, 1999

That little port on your PC called USB. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. A lot of computer users don't even know it's there. Those small rectangular shaped ports on the back or maybe even the front of PCs sold in recent years. One computer maker Acer, has followed Apple's lead with the iMac, in making USB the only expansion port available on some Aspire models. Acer's Rob Olstad says the idea is to make the PC experience easier for first time buyers...

"And the great thing about USB is that it's plug and play. So we include a USB keyboard and a USB mouse. So when a customer actually sets up their computer, we have some software that will guide the consumer through the various simple steps it takes to do that."

Acer's been giving customers a lot for their money with prices starting at about 799 dollars. But sometimes you need other kinds of serial or parallel ports. To connect, for instance, to an electronic organizer. A company called Digi International is making devices that let you connect standard serial and parallel peripherals to USB. Digi's Rob Clark...

"Well the Digi AcellePort products are actually very easy to use. I'ts very much a plug and play and that's one of the overall advantages of USB period."

The solution works with most, but not all devices. And it isn't cheap. Pricing starts at about 140 dollars.