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Archive for January, 2010

How To: Turn Off USB Auto Play in Windows 7

How To: Turn off USB Autoplay in Windows 7

Windows 7 is much like XP in accessing the feature to turn off the USB auto play function.  We don’t have a Window’s 7 machine, but I did find a great tutorial from DemoGeek.  Here is the info you need to turn off USB Auto Play in Windows 7. Go to:  START > SEARCH > type “group policy” From there Windows 7 will narrow down your options, select the “Edit group policy” option.  Should be the first one listed.

autoplay windows 7

From here, it’s virtually the same as Windows XP. Go to: > COMPUTER CONFIGURATION > ADMINISTRATIVE TEMPLATES > WINDOWS COMPONENTS > AUTOPLAY POLICIES With having “AutoPlay Policies” highlighted, you will see on the right side of the dialogue box, “Turn off Autoplay” option.  Click That!

turn off autoplay usb

On the dialogue box which pops up, select the “Disable” radial button to Continue Reading

80 Port USB Power Overload

At first glance we became very excited about this 80 port USB board, we thought it was a huge USB hub.  Then we read the details and realized it’s just an 80 port USB power source.  And we say “just” with all the enthusiasm that word can carry.  Wicked awesome from our point of view.

USB power board

We’ve done the math and have still come up short on the exact NEED for the 80 port USB power board, but never-the-less, it makes you smile.  Kinda like the iPad [even without USB support].

Our calculations seem to bring us back to quality control, that is the only legitimate reason why this board would be of “true” value.

Thanko is offering the USB power board for $165.

80 port USB

I have two questions, please answer on Facebook:  1) do you need this?  2)  what is a legit use for this other than QC testing for some USB gadget?

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Apple’s USB Adapter for iPad

Yup, today was the day that Apple announced their iPad product.  The very first thing we noticed was a lack of USB ports for storage and connection; however, Job’s didn’t forget it.

Apple iPad USB adapter

The iPad camera connection kit comes with a male adapter card to connect either USB or SD cards.  Given the slim dimensions of the iPad we can understand the lack of design integration for USB, but SD or even microSD, now that makes sense.  Our only conclusion is a lack of real-estate on the PCBA used to make the iPad. Interesting side note:  Apple has the exclusive patent on the 30 pin female connector it uses and plans to NEVER license it out.  I know the USB kit has a male connector, it just reminded me of reading that info a couple weeks back. Source:  StumbleTweet. Continue Reading

New CF Duplicator From Nexcopy

Press Release:  Nexcopy Announces New CF Duplicator Products.

CF DuplicatorToday Nexcopy Inc. announced a new line of CF Duplicator solutions ranging from 15 target size to 45 target size.  At first glance you think something like this is for some crazy looking to make 1000 of his photo CF cards, but that’s not actually the case. CF cards are used in all sorts of embedded applications.  For example, did you know vending machines run off CF cards, so do many slot machines and cell phone towers. The CF Duplicator from Nexcopy is well suited for these applications and companies looking to data load thousands of Compact Flash cards for their embedded products. Nexcopy’s CF Duplicator is a new line of systems in available 15 target, 30 target and 45 target configurations. CF DuplicatorMost notably, the CF duplicators come with power software to support even the most challenging data load jobs.  The software supports binary bit for bit Short Image copy and Full Image copy modes to duplicate bootable Compact Flash cards or duplicate Linux packages on CF media. The Nexcopy software includes a toggle On/Off bit for bit verification feature for enhanced quality control measures for those needing to know all the copies are exactly the same as the master. The 15 target CF Duplicator by Nexcopy starts around $1200.  For more details, visit Nexcopy. Continue Reading

Alert: Colorado Toddler Shocked by USB Cable

A child from Colorado is in critical condition after putting a USB cable into her mouth while the cable was still connected to a powered laptop. The child, Trinity, received sever 3rd degree burns to her tongue, mouth and lips. She is in critical condition because the tongue is swollen enough that it’s hard for her to breath or eat. See video after the jump. The parent reports she was playing behind a chair where the mother was using the laptop, when the child didn’t respond to the mother, the mother checked the child and realized she was limp and not responding. It’s a very sad case…or is it? I mean, yes it’s very sad the child was hurt, but I don’t believe it was from a USB cable. Those cables don’t put out enough power to burn or shock anyone. In addition, if the mother was right there at the chair, wouldn’t the child have made some sort of noise? Something isn’t right about this story. Consider this:
USB Voltage: – Supplied voltage by a host or a powered hub ports is between 4.75 V and 5.25 V. – Maximum voltage drop for bus-powered hubs is 0.35 V from it’s host or hub to the hubs output port. – All hubs and functions must be able to send configuration data at 4.4 V, but only low-power functions need to be working at this voltage. – Normal operational voltage for functions is minimum 4.75 V. Power usage: -Bus-powered hubs: Draw Max 100 mA at power up and 500 mA normally. -Self-powered hubs: Draw Max 100 mA, must supply 500 mA to each port. -Low power, bus-powered functions: Draw Max 100 mA. -High power, bus-powered functions: Self-powered hubs: Draw Max 100 mA, must supply 500 mA to each port. -Self-powered functions: Draw Max 100 mA.
I believe something more happened and the parent is trying to cover something up. A better explanation is the laptop was plugged into the wall and the child pulled the power cord out of the laptop and put it into her mouth, meanwhile the mother was far away doing something else [say cooking dinner]. What do you think? Comment on our FaceBook page. Source: DailyCamera.com. Continue Reading

New Lexar Echo SE and Echo ZE USB Drives

CES 2010:  Lexar announces two new drives designed as compact drives with big storage capacity.

The Lexar Echo SE is the smallest Lexar drive yet at just 20.1mm x 15.1mm.  It looks much like a USB dongle, but with the flash memory stored inside the USB connector.  Lexar understands with the larger capacities, these little USB drives are invaluable for data backup.  The Echo SE is available from 8-32GB size and includes Lexar’s automatic backups software. The Lexar Echo SE will be available in February, but you can pre-order them now at Amazon [link here].

lexar echo se

If the Echo SE is a bit to small, or you have trouble with holes in your pant pockets, you might opt for the larger Echo ZE drive.  Here you have the sleek looking switch blade design where the USB connector retracts into the body.  In addition to the backup software you also get AES 128-bit encryption software in the event you lose your Echo ZE drive. As with the SE series, the Echo ZE will not be available until February, but you can pre order them at Amazon [link here]. Thoughts or comments?  Make them on our FaceBook page. Continue Reading

Kingston With Secure Flash Drive Issues

It’s been all over the blogs the last couple of days regarding Kingston and their security issues.  They have been tight lipped about exactly what makes the device vulnerable and with specific information it’s hard to gauge just how hard it would be for someone to crack it.

Kingston secure flash drive

I don’t think the typical user who keeps their personal information secure with this drive [in the event it’s lost] has much to worry about, but the government has purchased plenty of units and that’s clearly a concern.  The list of drives include Data Traveler BlackBox, the Data Traveler Secure – Privacy Edition, and the Data Traveler Elite – Privacy Edition.  Again, a typical computer user probably doesn’t have the tools or skills to unlock the device, but a professional would. My guess is the IC controller chip which runs the AES 256 encryption is at fault here and someone has figured out how to hack the machine code and disable the encryption, but that’s just my educated guess being in the industry. PC World did a good write up about the statement and interesting perspective on the whole situation. Continue Reading

Our First Report On USB 3.0 Hub

We’ve seen the first step in USB 3.0 which is the USB host controller.  This gives motherboards the opportunity for USB 3.0 devices to connect.  Now we are starting to see other system support peripherals such as the USB 3.0 hub.

USB 3.0 hub

VIA announced their USB 3.0 four port hub this week just days before CES 2010.  We fully expect others to make a similar announcement during the CES show, but VIA, thus far, has beat everyone to the punch.

The USB 3.0 hub supports 4 downstream ports and one upstream port.  The board is powered via AC and VIA claims to have improved the power management in the USB 3.0 hubs to allow attached devices to enter into a lower power state when not being used. The chip itself is based on advanced 80nm CMOS technology which makes it a more power efficient USB hub controller.

VIA did indicate the USB 3.0 hub is not only backward compatible, but also supports the full 5Gb/s transfer rate USB 3.0 calls for.  No word on price, but I’m forecasting a 50% increase in price over traditional USB hubs.

VIA press release.

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