Friday, January 25, 2008

Internal USB Ports: What do you think they're for?

Earlier this week, I was being briefed by HP about some recently released workstations. As we were moving through the slide-deck, a small item caught my attention: one workstation claimed to have 2 USB ports on the front panel, 6 on the back, and 2 marked "internal." Why, I asked, would anyone want an internal USB port on a PC? Care to guess?

The answer is: for dongle keys. Yeah, they're still around and they use USB form factors. The internal aspect is interesting. It's designed so you can insert the dongle, lock the PC and nobody walks off with the dongle key.

I honestly would never have guessed.


Anonymous said...

My theory is this:
HP's chipset supplier includes a USB controller with 10 USB ports, and they didn't have room for more than 2 on the front, and 6 on the back, so they put in two internal connections.

My home PC has a PCI USB card with 4 external and 1 internal USB connection. I use the internal USB connection for a 3.5" USB memory card reader - works very nicely.

As far as dongles and software keys go, they suck. If I have any choice about the matter, I will not use software from companies that use them.


Andrej said...

good for booting from usb