'"Cannot access printer'? Why can't you... access printer? i've plugged you in!"
Eddie Izzard, comedian
Long-term computer users will be all too familiar with the frustration of having to switch off and reboot their machines. Thanks to USB (universal serial bus) connectivity, however, this scenario has become, largely, a distant memory. These days, almost every device you plug into a computer, such as a printer or scanner, comes complete with a USB connector, instead of a card. that, the machine has to- learn to recognize in a lengthy installation process.
The impetus behind-the USB was toward a future where you could connect any device to any computer, using any port—because all the ports and plugs would match. The universal, three-pronged "trident" symbol is used on all plugs and sockets to indicate USB functionality. The reality, of course, is that there are still a few rogue devices that do not conform, more...