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August 11, 2010 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Will you help me figure out what my printer-side port is so that I can convert my printer to Bluetooth-ready?

I have a Canon MP490. I want to get rid of cables. I want Bluetooth to be that solution.

I know this requires an aftermarket adapter. There are about a billion of them, but my printer is not a USB-to-USB connection. It's USB-to-thisthing connection. I know I'm going to have to jury-rig this thing together with another adapter on the printer side, but I don't know what kind of port that is.

Also, my printer does not have an Ethernet port and I do not use a router, so I cannot network it or use WiFi.
posted by fujiko to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
 
That is just another kind of USB plug. They're not used too much anymore, but it's just USB.
posted by fritley at 11:49 AM on August 11, 2010


Response by poster: Does it have a specific name or designation like all the mini-USBs do? I'm trying to Google this thing.
posted by fujiko at 11:55 AM on August 11, 2010


It's called USB B. It's the exact same cable but with a different shaped end. You should be able to find adapters pretty cheaply.
posted by advicepig at 11:56 AM on August 11, 2010


If you google "usb plugs" on the first hit (wikipedia) there is a table of all the different shapes (six of them!) with drawings and photos too.
posted by fritley at 11:58 AM on August 11, 2010


Response by poster: Thank you everyone!

If I was snippy, I'm sorry. I'm on dial-up, so I have little patience for multiple searches.
posted by fujiko at 12:05 PM on August 11, 2010


When they were making up the USB standard they decided on two different kinds of plugs, USB-A and USB-B. The reason is that the USB architecture differentiates between a USB host and a USB device, and you can only plug one into the other. In other words, your computer is a USB host and the printer is a USB device, so you can connect them. But you can't meaningfully connect together one device to another device, so for example if you had two USB printers you would have to connect them both to the computer or to a hub, but not one printer connected to the other. If everything had the same plug then you could physically make that connection but it would be non-sensical to do so, thus they made up two different kind of plugs, and the standard cable has one of each kind on each end to ensure that devices connect to hosts.

(I suppose things went astray when small devices like digital cameras became popular and the USB-B socket was deemed too large to be practical for that form factor, so then they came up with the mini-USB connector which plays the same role as the USB-B connector but is much smaller.)
posted by Rhomboid at 12:32 PM on August 11, 2010


(I suppose things went astray when small devices like digital cameras became popular and the USB-B socket was deemed too large to be practical for that form factor, so then they came up with the mini-USB connector which plays the same role as the USB-B connector but is much smaller.)

In fact, there's both A and B-type mini connectors! (And A and B micro connectors.)
posted by mendel at 5:15 PM on August 11, 2010


Yup, you want a wifi print server (uhh.. second hit on google for an example) or a wireless access point which supports a usb printer.
posted by defcom1 at 6:48 PM on August 11, 2010


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