Computer: Storage: Drive
Combo drives for USB   (0)  [vote for, against]
Re-use that USB outlet

I like my keyring USB flash drive and use it a lot, but with so many USB widgets on the market USB ports become scarce on some computers, in particular the convenient ones at the front panel. Since the flash drive itself doesn't need any further buttons or connectors its outside surface could be used to add more ports to the computer.

Useful combinations could be:
Flow through USB port, have a USB socket at the other end to plug in more widgets.
9-pin RS-232 port, it makes the device a little bigger, but beats crawling behind the computer for a temporary hookup.
Stereo speaker outlet.
There won't be room for more than one extra port, so I would probably have to buy one of each. Watch the economy booming.
-- kbecker, Aug 25 2003

The USB bus design doesn't really allow for easy "pass-through" functionality. A device which performed some functions of its own while providing a pass-through port would need to incorporate a bus-powered hub. While USB hub chips certainly do exist, the limitations on bus-powered hubs would likely become annoying. Nice concept, though.
-- supercat, Aug 25 2003

//I don't know anything about what computers are made of// Slugs and snails and puppy dog's tails, in my bitter experience.
-- lostdog, Aug 26 2003

random, halfbakery