Do others have the same problems I seem to have in my little office at home?
Two questions I find myself asking... well, myself as I sit at my desk:
"Where in the hell am I going to plug THIS in?!?" and "Why don't they put more USB ports on computers if every new peripheral is connected via USB?!?"
(A corollary to the first question above is, "Why do so many manufacturers put the stupid transformer blocks at the plug end of the cord?!?")
First, the power issue. In my office I have two PCs running most of the time; my main box, and my previous main box, which my wife now uses for gaming. My PC has two monitors connected. Add to these my wireless router, cable modem, external USB drives, a Canon MP830 All-in-One Printer/Fax/Scanner/Copier, a few powered cradles for handheld devices, desktop phone, desk lamp, PC speaker systems.... I could go on for a while.And that's just MY side of the room! Then there's the HP Media Center box my wife uses along with all its peripherals. Then there's the opposite corner with a shredder, air purifier (to help clear cigarette smoke out? Go figure...), a couple battery chargers, a Dust Buster, a couple more lamps, etc., etc. There are a total of 4 receptacles in the room, but not all on separate circuits. I am pretty sure that there are two separate 15A circuits feeding the room - though some power is going to the room next this one, I think.
I keep wondering at what point my circuit panel in the cellar is going to just vaporize or something. I mean, how much more of this can it take? BTW, the heat in the room gets stifling so I now have some fans in there to keep things a little cooler. Fortunately both PCs have cooling systems inside the cases, plus graphics cards with attached coolers, so at least the PC equipment itself is staying cool enough. But the rest of the room is HOT. So now I make sure all monitors and lights are turned off when not in use. That has helped a little. But I just know that soon I will be paying electricians to come in and give me MORE POWER. Which will not be inexpensive as I live in a 100+ years old house. There must be a better way........
And now for my USB port rant. What is it with the recent proliferation of equipment that must be connected via USB ports - wait, no; check that. USB 2.0 ports! Heaven forbid I connect something with USB 2.0 capabilities to an old, stinking, rotten USB 1.1 port! Then of course my operating system starts yelling at me with those annoying little popups: You have such and such connected to a USB 1.1 port, you flaming idiot!!! Fix it NOW!
Virtually everything I own must be connected to a USB port on my PC! I almost believe I could jump start my truck by connecting it to a USB port - as long as it is USB 2.0, naturally! Keyboard, mouse, Wacom tablet, mobile phone, All-in-One, external drives, speaker system, microphone, etc., etc. I have USB hubs, though I had to replace them of course to get USB 2.0 hubs! What else?! And these hubs, naturally, must be powered! (See question #1). But then some equipment insists that I had better not plug it into some funky old hub! No, they have to be connected directly to a USB port on my PC. And some stuff goes even beyond that, insisting that they be connected to a REAR USB PORT, and not a front port. And I am totally serious about that - no kidding!
Fortunately I had the foresight to tell Falcon Northwest when I ordered this Mach V that I would need as many USB ports as it was possible to add to a PC; as long as the total number of ports was not less than 15 or so. When they got done laughing their lunch through their noses, they politely told me that they could give me 8 USB ports. I insisted on 10 minimum and they agreed. Well, actually they just lied. Outright. When I received the PC it had all of 8 USB ports. However as I started using them I found that some didn't work. I submitted a support ticket and they told me......
"Oh, yeah. We knew that." What?!?! You knew that?!? there are 4 rear USB ports, all working. But in the front there are also 4 USB ports - only 2 working. According to Falcon, the Asus 8N32 SLI Deluxe motherboard can only support 6 total ports. Then, as only a completely stupid, non-techie type could do, I asked a terminally stupid question: "If only 6 can work, then why did you build 8 ports on it?" Their reply went something like, "Duhhhhhhh!! Because you wanted a multi-card reader, and that is using the power that WOULD have gone to those other two front ports. So there, you idiot!" Or something like that.
Still seems kind of odd to me that a machine with dual processors, three onboard HDD's: 1 - 80 GB, and 2 - 500 GB, - a high-end cooled graphics card, a 3D sound card (and, no - I have no idea how they make sound into "3D"!), a TV Tuner, two ethernet adapters, three optical drives, can only support 6 lousy USB ports!! My HP Media Center box - 5 years old and less than one-fourth of the price of this PC -and it has 8 USB ports. Why is that? Of course I can't ask Falcon that now - they'll really laugh then.
But seriously folks, if more and more peripherals are going to be created with only USB connectors, PC makers are going to have to respond someday with larger buses to support more doggone ports.
And as for the power problem - well, what would Al Gore think?