MIKE WENDLAND: Central hub straightens tangled computer mess
October 7, 2003
BY MIKE WENDLAND
If your home office/computer system is anything like mine, there's a tangled snarl of wires, plugs, connectors and cables hidden somewhere underneath your desk that aesthetically undoes any pretense of order and organization.
My wife complains it is so messy that she can't even vacuum down there without fear of electrocution. And I notice when company comes, she tends to shut the door to my office so visitors don't see the jungle underneath my normally neat desktop.
I'm delighted to say I've figured a way to straighten everything out.
Thanks to the Auburn Hills-based company JDI technologies (www.goldxproducts.com), I'm turning the rat's nest of electronic arteries that power and connect all my high-tech gear into an orderly, centralized connectivity hub.
JDI's GoldX products put an end to workstation clutter by stacking a wide variety of hubs, power supplies, adapters and switches.
Each device looks about the same: a half-circle of black plastic with blinking lights, receptacles and plugs in back.
The heart of the system is the PowerCore, a 56-watt DC power supply with a surge suppressor. It's at the bottom of the stack, and it's a good place to plug in printers, fax machines, monitors and the like.
At the top of the unit is a female receptacle. That's where all the other GoldX devices plug in. And this is what makes this system so unique.
On top of PowerCore I added two USB hubs, each with four ports. On top of those two is a FireWire hub that can be used to power and connect scanners, an extra hard drive and a digital video camera to my computer.
To this stack of four, I've piled on an Ethernet switch that lets me share Internet connections with three other computers.
And there are many more, such as a USB port replicator for older computers that don't have USB connectivity but do have serial ports.
There's a broadband adaptor that connects your computer to a cable or DSL modem via a USB port.
A media card reader can plug into the stack and lets your computer grab images stored on the little memory cards used by digital cameras.
My absolute favorite device in this stackable system, though, is the GoldX DC Hub.
Look under your desk. See all those big, clunky power transformer cubes and bricks? They take up lots of room, make it difficult to share power outlets or strips and make for lots of mess.
The hub draws power from the main PowerCore power supply at the bottom of the stack. It comes with three 5-volt ports, and one 9-volt and one 12-volt port. GoldX provides the power cables and six interchangeable tips that assure a connection with whatever device you have. No power transformers are needed. All of the GoldX devices come with cables and connectors.
Pricing varies, depending on how you build your stack, and all the devices work with Macs and PCs.
The basic PowerCore power supply costs around $29. The various hubs and switches run between $29 and $59. The devices are sold at many of the big computer and electronic stores, including the Computer Warehouse Builder chain in metro Detroit.
Contact MIKE WENDLAND at 313-222-8861 or email@example.com.
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