27 November, 2010
Its lunchtime on Saturday and you have just finished unpacking a brand new PC, ready to set it up at your desk but your favourite keyboard doesn’t have the right connectors. Imagine then from a computer technicians viewpoint how further frustrating our job is when dealing with so many types of connections all the time as well! What is happening is that the IT industry is constantly finding more efficient or quicker connection types and many of them get a new connector style assigned to them. There is only so much room on a PC so they can’t always put older style connectors for complete compatibility. In the situation above the keyboard had a ‘PS2’ connector (they are a small round plug that are always colour coded in purple). At one stage only a few years ago all keyboards and mice used PS2 connectors (the mice connectors were colour coded in green) but many modern computers don’t have any of these connectors anymore. The replacement connection is the very standard USB connector (universal serial bus) which we will see around for a long time to come. The same applies to printer connections which always used to be the large thumb screw connector which again has been largely replaced by the USB connector. If upgrading your PC always check on these details as some people still have a favourite old laser printer which does not have USB connections. The same thing applies to may cash drawers, cash registers, receipt printers, cattle scales & some telemetry equipment which only had serial (comm) connectors. In this case a converter from USB to serial will sometimes work (but not always). Also be careful about overloading the USB connector on your PC / laptop with one of the ‘non-powered’ USB hubs that are meant to turn one USB connection into many. A better alternative are the ‘powered’ USB hubs that plug into the mains power and help manage the extra load of many devices. Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.