Q: You know there’s a bunch of slots on the side of my laptop or on my PC and even on my tablet. What do they all do?
A: You’re right and my time slot is only about 5 min long so I can perhaps identify them but I am going to spend most of the time on the USB slots.
Q: Alright, let’s begin by identifying the various kinds of slots.
A: A very good place to start.
- We have some very thin slots which are memory card slots…usually a couple kinds.
- We have the Theft Protection slot for inserting an anti-theft widget.
- We have USB-C slots which look like the Theft Protection slot.
- We have USB-A slots which are about .5” long by .25” thick. There are multiple kinds of these.
- We have Display Port slots about 5/8 long by .25” thick. These have a notch out of one corner of the rectangle.
- We have HDMI slots again about 5/8” long by .25” thick. These have notches out of 2 corners of the rectangle.
Those are the main types of slots on a PC.
Q: Lots of slots. Tell me more about the USB slots.
A: IMHO, this is one of the most versatile interfaces on the PC. They began designing the interface in 1994 and continues today. There are 3 basic versions that most people are familiar with because they have the most common connector. The USB-A connector on PCs is about .5” by .25”. You will see some that have a black interior and run at about 480 mbps. Then there are some with a blue connector and/or SS by the side of the slot. These can run from 5 GB up to 20 GBps. You may also see some with a lightning bolt beside the slot. These are designed to provide power to devices.
Q: That’s quite a range of speeds. What kinds of things are USB designed to interface with?
A: They have about 20 different kinds of interface types that USB is designed for. These include keyboard and mouses, Flash drives, disk drives, printers, audio and video devices, cell phones, WiFi adapters, docking station interfaces that include all the above and more over the one connection and more. I have seen fans and even a vacuum cleaner with USB connectors. In addition, we are seeing wall plug plates with USB connectors on them for charging mobile devices.
Q: It sounds like there are lots of possible applications for the USB interface.
A: You’re right. There are adapters for almost anything. If you need to connect something to your PC or mobile device give us a call and we may be able to find an adapter to make it work for you.