What USB-Based Tools Do You Need To Get Things Done?

There was once a time before USB, but it's hard to imagine since thumb drives and computer-humping dogs came into our lives. Now we coexist harmoniously with a diverse range of devices that all share a common plug. Which ones do you need to get you through the day?Illustration by Strongbad.

Agony-free travel search Hipmunk recommends, on its blog, that you can't really go anywhere without this portable surge protector with USB ports. Alternatively, the FlipIt! charges your devices when you don't even have a spare outlet.

Those are some great, handy chargers, but what USB devices make your life easier and help you get things done? Let us know in the comments.

USB Travel Gadgets [Hipmunk Blog]


Comments

    I have a 7 port USB hub attached to my MacBook Pro:
    2 x USB2DVI adaptors (laptop driving 3 x screens (1 with minidisplay))
    1 x iPhone dock
    1 x IBM ModelM13 keyboard
    1 x External Video Camera
    1 x Wireless receiver for a headset
    1 x spare for plugging in drives

    The 2 USB plugs on the MacBook Pro itself have
    1 x 7 ports USB hub (obviously)
    1 x 1TB external HDD

      Maybe you would have been better suited with a desktop...

      I can't imagine moving that lot around.

        Hi JR,

        I work from home in my office the majority of the time so it is set up (as my son says) like mission control. But I also travel regularly and simply detach the laptop and I have my world with me.

    I have a few USB devices at present but I can see their number dropping in the recent future. Currently I have a usb hub and keyboard pugged into the two ports on my MBP with a mouse, printer and iPod cable plugged into the hub.

    I rarely use a thumb drive now that I've started using dropbox, and my next printer will be wifi enabled. With wireless syncing coming to iOS 5 that removes the iPod cable as well (I charge using a wall charger). My external hard drive is Firewire so no need for USB their either.

    Really makes the amount of money I spent on a 7-port hub seem unnecessary, but it is handy to know you have spare ports to plug in other peoples USB drives, phones, etc.

    On another note, I'd be interested in hearing more about your USB2DVI adaptors John.

      Hi Rivett,

      These are the adaptors in question:

      UV Plus+ | Model: UV16 :

      http://www.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=100-U2-UV16-A1&family=USB&sw=10

      These suit me perfectly for my work doing coding and office stuff. I wouldn't recommend high FPS gaming or video, but it suits my needs and enables me to have 4 x 1650 x 1080 screens (driven by Laptop screen, Minidisplay port and the 2 x adaptors.)

      So my 3 screens sit on an Egrotron LX Triple Display Lift Stand.

      http://www.ergotron.com/Products/tabid/65/PRDID/128/language/en-AU/Default.aspx

      Really should do a featured desk submission...

      // John

    7 Port USB hub jacked into the PS3 servicing:
    PlayTV
    EarforceDSS Dolby Digital Decoder and Headphone Amp
    2xDualshock 3 controllers
    Driving Force GT Steering Wheel

    4 Port USB hub jacked into the router servicing:
    2xWD Elements ExternalHDD's
    2xthumbdrives

    A USB-Serial adaptor for hooking in to serial consoles on assorted devices.

    A single thumb drive that holds my VPN keys and KeePass password file. That sits on a keyring with my house key, and is with me everywhere I go. (backed up in a secure location, naturally)

    A USB-Serial adaptor for hooking in to serial consoles on assorted devices.

    A single thumb drive that holds my VPN keys and KeePass password file. That sits on a keyring with my house key, and is with me everywhere I go. (backed up in a secure location, naturally)

    7-port USB hub into IBM laptop:
    - wireless mouse dongle
    - iDevice (phone, pad, pod)
    - 2x ext. HDD (1TB)
    - HTC phone cable (micro USB)
    - external WebCam
    - 1x free socket (for thumb drives, etc)

    4-port USB hub into Xbox 360:
    - humping dog :)
    - wireless microsoft arc keyboard
    - turtle beach Earforce DSS
    - 1x free socket (for anything else)

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