Category Archives: News

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Plugable Launches the UD-PRO8 Charging & USB 2.0 Docking Station for the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Nextbook 8 (Win 8.1), & the Lenovo Miix 2 8″

One year ago we demonstrated our UD-3900 USB 3.0 universal docking station with the newly released Dell Venue 8 Pro 8″ Windows tablet on YouTube. Our video has been a huge success – to date we’ve had over 225000 views, nearly 1000 likes, almost 500 comments, and got retweeted by Michael Dell. The overwhelmingly positive response from our audience prompted us to take action to try to tackle the unsolved problem of simultaneously charging and using a USB docking station over a the one available micro-b USB port.

Those of you who have been following this project are likely aware of the Kickstarter we launched in June and successfully funded in July. With the help of crowd funding we were able to bring the UD-PRO8 to life.

Capture

The Pro8 is the world’s first all-in-one docking solution designed to charge the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Nextbook 8 (Win 8.1), and Lenovo Miix 2 8″ tablets while simultaneously connecting external USB devices. The Pro8 unlocks an amazing amount of potential on compatible tablets like these. Microsoft heavily discounts or gives away full versions of Windows 8.1 only with 8″ or smaller tablets, with the theory that such a small screen and few ports is limiting enough that these systems won’t compete with full Windows PCs. Our Pro8 docking station is a game-changing device that allows these small 8″ tablets to function as desktop replacements with the multi-monitor, network, audio, and USB connectivity options of a full desktop PC.

We have completed the first wave of shipping Pro8 docks to our Kickstarter backers and are excited to finally announce availability on Amazon US for $89 / $99 for CA. The timing couldn’t have worked out better with the holiday season fast approaching. Those with friends and family looking for an inexpensive tablet may want to consider combining our Pro8 with the newly released Nextbook 8 due to it’s aggressive pricing of $149 exclusively from Walmart with Windows 8.1 and a one year free subscription to Office 365 Personal. Through December 31st they are also including a 16GB Micro SD card for free (ours shipped with a Kingston class 4).

Better yet, beginning on Thursday November 27th at 8PM (local time) they are offering the tablet for just $99 as an early Black Friday deal. Combined with our Pro8 docking station, for about $200 you can have a good entry level tablet & desktop replacement.

We would like to point out however that the Nextbook 8 is on a lower performance tier than the Venue 8 Pro and Lenovo Miix 2 8″ with only 1GB on RAM and a 16GB SSD, but unlike the Venue or Miix, there is a built in mini HDMI port which is a nice addition.

For those already using and excited about the Pro8, we’d encourage you to spread the word on twitter with any pics and another info you want to share, using the hash tag #pro8

And if you have any questions or problems at all, let us know.  Our entire Plugable Technologies team is located in Seattle, WA and we’re here to help! If needed, contact our support team here.

Where to Buy

Plugable Pro8 Charging & USB 2.0 Docking Station for the Dell Venue 8 Pro, Nextbook 8 (Win 8.1), & L... Product Details
$89.00

How to switch to USB Audio on Raspberry Pi

Serious beats for the Pi!

Serious beats for the Pi!

After publishing our updated Raspberry Pi hardware list, some elaboration is needed on how to use the USB-AUDIO adapter as your default playback device.

This little how-to, should enable you to use the USB-AUDIO as default playback device.

  • To get started, plug your USB-AUDIO into the Pi and run the following command:
    aplay -l

    Within the output you should find: card 0: Device [USB Audio Device], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio], which means the Pi has recognized the USB-AUDIO adapter and we can move on to configuration. If this is not the case, some further troubleshooting is needed (try power cycling your USB hub or plug the audio adapter directly into the Pi and alternatively use the lsusb).

  • Use your favorite editor to modify /etc/modprobe.d/alsa.base.conf (be sure to make a backup of this file before editing in case something goes wrong!)
  • Change:
    options snd-usb-audio index=-2

    to:

    options snd-usb-audio index=0

    and also add the following on the next line:

    options snd_bcm2835 index=1

    This is essentially forcing the default sound module (snd_bcm2835) to be disabled while the usb sound module (snd-usb-audio) is enabled; rearranging the hierarchy of the sound modules.

  • Reboot and test for audio output

OS X 10.10 “Yosemite” Ethernet Adapter Problems? We can help!

10.10 Yosemite, non working Ethenet adpater

There has been a lot of buzz around upgrading to 10.10 and afterward having network related problems. This post will focus on our USB3-HUB3ME, USB3-E1000 and USB2-E100 Ethernet adapters, but we encourage you to apply the concept of this content to troubleshoot other brands or similar network related issues.

First, it is a good idea to check if you have any possibility of connecting to your network via WiFi. If you cannot connect to any network via WiFi or Ethernet adapter, you might want to carefully consider this Apple forum thread which addresses this problem. If this is not your problem and is isolated to your Ethernet adapter only, the latter set of instructions is for you.

For OSX/BSD/Unix/Linux it is best practice to remove non core kernel modules/drivers/extensions before performing a major upgrade and to reinstall the latest revision after this has been accomplished. We will take a similar approach to fix this issue.

Again, these instructions are for a seemingly non working Ethernet adapter (USB3-HUB3ME, USB3-E1000, USB2-E100) after upgrading from 10.9 “Mavericks” to 10.10 “Yosemite”.

  1. Disconnect Ethernet adapter
  2. Take a look at “System Information” > “Software” > “Extensions” and look for an instance labeled “AX88179_798A” (for the USB3-E1000 and USB3-HUB3ME) or “AX88772″ (for the USB2-E100) and select it for you to be able to look at the “Location” path (as an example, the AX88179_79A instance has the following path: /Library/Extensions/AX88179_178A.kext)
  3. Open your Terminal and run the following command:
    sudo kextunload /pathof/thextension/NAME_OF_THE_KEXT_FILE.kext

    (note this is the path shown in system information in step 2). Now you have unloaded this extension.

  4. Reboot
  5. Download the newest driver from here and install
  6. Connect the Ethernet adapter and test
Plugable Pi mhmmmm!

Raspberry Pi and Plugable Devices Updated for Winter 2014

Plugable Pi mhmmmm!

Since our last post on which devices work best on the Raspberry Pi, we have had some new additions to the Plugable product line up. This post will include new products as well as the proven ones to have all information on one page.

All tests were carried out on a Raspberry Pi Model B using the latest version of Raspbian Wheezy (September 2014 release).

USB Hubs

  • USB2-HUB7BC – No issues
  • USB2-HUB10C2 – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection, because it supplements the 2.5A wall power with 500mA from the upstream port. This is too much for the Pi right at that moment when it is plugged in. If you plug the 10 port hub in when the Pi is powered down, you can boot into the Pi and all will be well. But since there are better options, we do not recommend our 10 port hub with the Pi.
  • USB2-HUB-AG7 – No issues
  • USB2-HUB4BC – No issues
  • USB2-HUB10S – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection, because it supplements the 2.5A wall power with 500mA from the upstream port. This is too much for the Pi right at that moment when it is plugged in. If you plug the 10 port hub in when the Pi is powered down, you can boot into the Pi and all will be well. But since there are better options, we do not recommend our 10 port hub with the Pi.
  • USB2-2PORT – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection. This is simply because this is an unpowered hub. Only hubs with their own power adapter should be used with the Pi.
  • USB2-SWITCH2 – No issues
  • USB3-HUB10C2 – Produced inconsistent results. Performs best if powered by one of the flip-up ports. Pi reboots upon connecting this Hub to the USB ports. We really do not recommend using this USB hub.
  • USB3-HUB3ME – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection. Plugging the USB hub into the Pi while powered down is advised. USB HID devices (Mice, Keyboards) are known not to work with this hub on the Raspberry Pi.
  • USB3-HUB4M – Causes the Raspberry Pi to reboot upon connection. Plugging the USB hub into the Pi while powered down is advised. USB HID devices (Mice, Keyboards) are known not to work with this hub on the Raspberry Pi.
  • USB3-HUB7-81x – USB HID devices (Mice, Keyboards) are known not to work with this hub on the Raspberry Pi.
  • USB3-HUB81x4 – USB HID devices (Mice, Keyboards) are known not to work with this hub on the Raspberry Pi.
  • USB3-SWITCH2 – No issues

Other Devices

The common pattern with all devices is you must have one of the powered usb hubs above and connect the device through that. If you don’t, the Pi won’t be able to handle the power draw, and it will drop voltage and reset.

Audio:

Ethernet:

  • USB2-E1000 – Driver already in kernel. Works automatically when connected through a powered USB Hub.
  • USB2-E100 – Driver already in kernel. Works automatically when connected through a powered USB Hub.
  • USB3-E1000 – Driver already in kernel. Works automatically when connected through a powered USB Hub.

Bluetooth:

Storage:

  • USB3-SATA-U3 – Driver already in kernel. Because it has its own 12V 2A AC adapter, it works automatically even when directly connected to the Pi.*Important note:* September’s Raspberry Pi release runs on Kernel version 3.12.28. There is a known bug with Kernel versions 3.15 and 3.16 in combination with this hard drive docking station. Full functionality resumed in 3.17
  • USB3-SATA-UASP1 – No issues
  • USB2-CARDRAM3 – Driver already in kernel. Works automatically when connected through a powered USB Hub.

Microscope:

  • USB2-MICRO-200X – We have test our microscope connected through a powered USB hub to work with GTK+ UVC Viewer by using the following terminal commands:“sudo apt-get install guvcview” + “guvcview”
OS X Yosemite 10.10

To 10.10 Yosemite, or not to 10.10 Yosemite, that is the Question:

OS X Yosemite 10.10

There certainly has been a lot of speculation on how Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite will change the world and create a even better customer experience, but what does this mean for USB devices and more specifically, USB devices with drivers?

With the bitter/sweet aftertaste of the Mavericks upgrade, Mac customers yet again are worrying about hardware compatibility. Since the leap from 10.8 Mountain Lion to 10.9 Mavericks seemed to be large one, will there be the same anguish of losing full functionality of the current accessory-hardware?

Although we are still in the infant stages of the 10.10 release, and these problems encompass not just Plugable products, we still would like to share a few data points on what was experienced so far.

Ethernet Adapters

There is 10.10 driver support for the USB3-E1000 and the USB2-E100. If customers loose functionality after upgrading, a re-installation of the driver will help to get back up and running again. This entails removing the current driver (removal script is included in the driver folder), and removing its instance from the “Network” lineup in “System Preferences”. If you have a “Bluetooth PAN” entry or have connected via Bluetooth to the internet before, removing this entry will help simplify your troubleshooting process.

We have also seen other underlying issues that contribute to the symptoms of a non-working Ethernet adapter (see this current Apple Forum thread). At this point there are either file permission issues or the operating system fails to launch network related daemons/services. We recommend running the “Repair Disk Permissions” utility that you can find within your “Disk Utility” on your Macintosh HD to accomplish this. For a detailed tutorial please see this blog post.

DisplayLink USB Graphics Adapters and Docking Stations

The primary challenges relating to USB-graphics that were present in Mavericks (10.9.x) are still problematic in Yosemite. The following are a few key issues can be especially problematic (though the severity and frequency of these issues can vary from system to system):

  • Second connected DisplayLink display may not display an image.
  • Display arrangement does not persist after rebooting when using two or more DisplayLink displays.
  • Some users experience higher than expected CPU usage when a DisplayLink display is connected.
  • Users can encounter intermittent spontaneous instances of being logged out of their account. (This is caused by Apple’s WindowServer process crashing. We’ve documented a fix that helps this behavior in Mavericks here but have not yet successfully reproduced this issue in 10.10 to see if the same fix is successful.)

 
There is a more comprehensive list of known issues relating to Yosemite on DisplayLink’s Knowledgebase. DisplayLink is still attempting to engage with Apple regarding these issues, and we’ll continue to post updates as they become available.

One positive development of note is that DisplayLink has recently released an updated beta driver (v2.3) for OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.x, and 10.10. It contains some minor bug fixes and adds support for 4K resolutions using DL-5×00 based display adapters such as our UGA-4KDP.

USB hubs

USB 3.0 hub support on Yosemite has not had any noticeable changes. Overall, users should expect a hassle free experience with any of our VL81x series chipset hubs with all of their devices. One notable exception is some external hard drives may need a firmware update installed from the drive manufacturer. This is nothing new, many Mac users have needed to update their external hard drive firmware for stable operation in older OS 10.x releases, but we always recommend to check if you run into any issues.

Most drives will not have this issue, but we do see it happen on occasion in edge case scenarios. Symptoms to look out for are drives failing to resume from sleep properly resulting in the drive not being ejected (unmounted) properly. Because of this data corruption can occur, and we recommend that if the drive is being used for Time Machine backups, to make sure the external hard drive directly connected to the Mac.

2014-10-06-Phison-Flash-Storage-Controller

What BadUSB Is and Isn’t

The BadUSB exploit is an idea and working proof of concept which takes advantage of the fact that some USB devices have firmware, and on some of those devices the firmware can be updated.

BadUSB has exploded onto the press in the last few days with articles like Wired – The Unpatchable Malware That Infects USBs Is Now on the Loose, CNBC – Why USB malware just became a big problem , The Verge – This published hack could be the beginning of the end for USB.

2014-10-06-Phison-Flash-Storage-ControllerThis first wave of articles have a few problems, as you might guess. As a former Development Manager of the USB team at Microsoft and the founder of a USB device maker (Plugable Technologies), I hope to fill in a few more of the pieces.

First off, this is a real family of security issues. Anywhere there’s running code, there’s opportunity for exploit. In the Internet of Things era, there is code running nearly everywhere. As electronics shrink, things we think of as “devices” are really computers. To deal with an evolving world, we often want these little devices to be software fixable and upgradable. This creates risks that need to be actively mitigated.

To hack a computer with a USB device, at least 2 things have to be true:

  1. The USB device being infected needs to have firmware, that firmware needs to be software upgradable, and that upgrade mechanism needs to be insecure. That is true of some USB devices but not others.
  2. If a USB device is vulnerable, the virus has to be designed for particular USB controller(s) in that device. The method of flashing firmware on the device and the instruction set is controller specific. The BadUSB code out now is specific to one USB flash controller (Phison) and won’t affect other USB devices. It is not a universal attack.

Whether #1 and #2 are true depends on the particular device. Take our Plugable USB product line as an example: none are exploitable with the BadUSB code as it stands right now because we don’t use the Phison controller. However, some would be vulnerable if specific attacks were targeted at the specific controllers in the devices.

main_512For example, the Termius Technology Chipset used in all of our Plugable-brand USB 2.0 hubs is a fixed-function hardware ASIC without executable or updatable firmware. These USB devices are not vulnerable to BadUSB-style attacks of any kind.

On the other side, our USB 3.0 SATA drive docks use the ASMedia 1051E and 1053E chipsets, which have an 8-bit microcontroller. It is firmware upgradable. So while the recently released BadUSB code will not infect these docks, in theory they could be targeted in the future with a similar effort to that which went into BadUSB.

An interesting 3rd example is our Plugable USB 3.0 Tablet / Laptop Docking Stations and Graphics Adapters. These use DisplayLink DL-3×00 and DL-5×00 chipsets. They make use of firmware. That firmware is software upgradable. However, DisplayLink has implemented on-chip authentication, encryption, and firmware validation which makes it quite difficult for any 3rd party to successfully update firmware. To date, no 3rd party has successfully been able to crack this and talk to the DisplayLink chip. That is one of the reasons why these products work only with Windows and Mac where DisplayLink provides drivers themselves. No software-based security is invulnerable. But it can be a strong mitigation.

You can find out which USB controllers are used in our products on the product pages at Plugable and on Newegg or Amazon listings, etc. We do that because chipset is the best way to dig into compatibility details, but it’s also the best way to research what security features the chips have. We’ll be working to expand on our security information and features over time.

Hopefully some of this detail helps create a fuller picture of what BadUSB is and isn’t. You can also get a lot of great detail from Brandon Wilson and Adam Caudill’s video of how BadUSB was created. If you have any questions, we’re happy to share what we know, just comment below.

Bernie Thompson
Founder, Plugable Technologies

IMG_2475edit

USB Stock Chargers, Dedicated Multi-Port Chargers, or Charge & Sync Hubs. What’s Best for Me?

In today’s world of mass portable devices with USB connectivity, charging should be as simple as plug and play. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Take me for example. On my desk I’ve got a Google Nexus 5, Dell Venue 8 Pro, Apple iPhone 4, and several generations of iPad. Each one came with a completely different power adapter for charging! My Nexus will charge off of almost anything, my Dell Venue 8 Pro is quite picky, but Apple might be the most confusing of them all.

The reason is USB charging has not been well standardized until recently. Apple has been charging devices via USB with special signaling since the first USB connected iPod. Devices determine whether and how fast to charge, and make that decision based on different non-standard methods to recognize “their charger.”

Take for example the following charging signals commonly seen today:

  • Apple 2.4A (12W)
    (iPad Air / iPad Mini, likely any subsequent iPad releases)
  • Apple 2.1A (10.5W)
    (original iPad through iPad Retina)
  • Apple 1A (5W)
    (first seen with the iPod all the way back in 2002, commonly found with all iPhones including the newly released iPhone 6/6 Plus)
  • Dedicated Charging Port, DCP (wattage varies per device)
    (often referred to as the Android charging signal, common for almost all non-Apple devices)
  • Samsung 2.4A (12W)
    (usually seen with Samsung tablets, potentially some phones)
  • USB-IF BC1.2 CDP 1.5A (7.5W)
    (the official USB charging standard, it’s not well adopted yet, but more devices are becoming compliant)

What exactly does all of this mean?

In short, taking my Dell Venue 8 Pro as an example, I can’t plug it into just any USB charger and expect it to charge, it works on Android and Apple 1A signals but won’t charge on any of the others. Or if we take my iPad Retina and plug it into my iPhone 4 charger, it’s going to charge at an overly slow rate.

Because of scenarios like these, most users have a preconceived notion that they must use the stock charger that came with their device. Sometimes with the fear that if they do not, their device won’t charge, or worse, could actually be harmed.

Fortunately this isn’t the case. In fact, most devices on the market can actually charge from the Apple 1A signal as it has unofficially been adopted as the universal USB charging standard; mainly because it’s been around for so long. Also a device will only pull as much power as it needs, so using a more powerful charger may actually help your device charge faster. The newly released iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ship with the standard Apple 1A charger, but will charge much faster on the Apple 2.1/2.4A chargers or another charger that the iPhone 6 recognizes.

Many consumers don’t realize they can downsize their growing pile of stock chargers for a more convenient multi-port charger that can charge almost every USB charging device in their home simultaneously from just one AC wall outlet. Take our flagship multi-port charger, the Plugable USB-C5T (temporarily out of stock 10/3/2014). It has 5 USB charging ports with enough power (7.2A, 36W) to charge two iPads and three iPhones concurrently (or three iPads and one iPhone, etc) at their maximum charging rates.

Click to enlarge.

The Plugable USB-C5T, bringing order to chaos.

Three of the C5T’s USB ports simulate the standard Apple 1A signal which will charge most devices, including my picky Dell Venue 8 Pro, but where the C5T really shines is with the two outer ports which are equipped with a smart charging chipset made by the folks at Genesys Logic. The GL888F chipset can simulate almost all of the aforementioned charging signals (sans Apple 2.4A) and will intelligently select the best one for your device. This is great because if your device happens to not be compatible with the standard Apple 1A signal, chances are it will charge off of the smart ports.

Great. Sign me up!

Not quite yet, but we’re almost done. Have you ever tried to charge your device from your computer only to be let down by slow charging or no charging at all? If so, you’re not alone, it happens to the best of us. When you connect a phone or tablet to a computer, the device wants to put itself into a mode where data can be synced. Often syncing while charging either isn’t possible or is extremely slow, only drawing around 0.5A from the host computer’s USB port. This behavior is also expected on all USB hubs unless they are BC1.2 compliant. The BC1.2 charging signal, CDP (charging downstream port), is compatible with all current Apple Lightning Cable devices like the iPad Retina / iPhone 5 (and newer) and many new Android and Windows Mobile devices are moving this direction as well.

Our flagship 7-port USB 2.0 hub, the Plugable USB2-HUB7BC, is BC1.2 compliant and devices can charge at up to 1.5A while syncing data. The HUB7BC can also act as stand alone dedicated charger when the computer is turned off or not connected. To many this is the proverbial “holy grail” of USB charging despite slightly slower charging rates (1.5A) compared to a dedicated smart charger like our GL888F (up to 2.4A) equipped USB-C5T due to the added convenience of charge and sync.

In a time where USB charge and sync functionality can be unnecessarily complicated, we work hard to deliver simplicity to the equation. With charge and sync being available on nearly any BC 1.2 compatible device, which is most mobile devices produced in the last few years, why would you want to haul around an individual charger for each device?

 

2014-03-10-14-Monitors

New DisplayLink Windows Driver Version 7.7 Leaves XP Behind

photo_power_searcherDisplayLink has released their new Windows driver version 7.7 M0. For most users, we’re recommending they stay on DisplayLink’s mature 7.6 M2 driver series for the time being, but this release does improve performance especially for 4K Ultra HD (up to 3840×2160) USB multi-monitor graphics adapters like the Plugable UGA-4KDP.

This release is also the first that is Windows Vista or later only. Windows XP users will need to stay on the Windows 7.6 driver series (or earlier). Windows’ graphics driver architecture was very different in Windows XP, causing DisplayLink’s driver to be “two drivers in one”. Dropping XP support in 7.7 allows DisplayLink to focus on and optimize for newer Windows versions. Note that for systems automatically downloading from Windows Update, the correct version will automatically be downloaded for you.

UGA-3000_In use illustrationWe’ve been testing this release since the betas, and had seen stable results with the betas. With the final 7.7 M0 release, however, we’ve seen problems during install and with missing cursors after install. Because the performance differences are most noticeable in modes above 1920×1080, and the previous driver version 7.6 M2 has proven most stable, we’re only going to point users of our 4K adapters immediately to this new driver. For sub-4K adapters, 7.6 M2 is well proven — and of course is essential for XP.

Detailed Release Notes

DisplayLink Software Release R7.7 M0 warnings: Some users have reported mouse cursor problems and install problems, requiring a revert to 7.6 M2. That release is well proven.

DisplayLink Software Release R7.7 M0 delivers the following improvements:

- Improved full screen video frame rate and image quality on high resolution screens
- Lower mouse cursor latency on desktop applications
- New embedded firmware upgrade mechanism improving first connect user experience. Visible from future releases.
- Early support for Intel Broadwell platform

Fixed issues since R7.6 M2 (7.6.56275.0)

Monitor EDID was incorrectly interpreted, if the monitor id contained an underscore (_). (17606)

Audio output might not switch to default after disconnecting headphones from DisplayLink device in hibernation (S4). (17401)

On some laptops, the video performance can decrease on DisplayLink screens when a proprietary docking station and a DisplayLink docking station are connected at the same time and the user logs on and off. (16915)

Some platforms running Vista x64 can stop responding after installing DisplayLink Ethernet driver. (17384)

DisplayPort++ to DVI adapters can display incorrect available mode list. (17427)

Occasionally a DisplayLink monitor could be blank after resuming from power saving mode. (17554)

Ethernet UDP performance might drop when playing video and audio over a DisplayLink device. (17579)

Intermittent screen corruption visible when a DisplayLink monitor duplicates a touch screen display in Basic mode on Windows 7 (17782)

Wake on LAN sometimes doesn’t work when DisplayLink device is connected at USB 3.0. This is a regression introduced in 7.6 M2. (17865)

Video and/or Ethernet not available after power state changes on some platforms. Ethernet could show a Yellow “!”, with Error Code 43, in device manager (17896, 17047)

If multiple DL-5xxx or DL-3xxx devices are connected, one device can fail USB enumeration resuming from S4 when connected to USB 2.0 on Windows 7. (17835)

Removed compatibility check which prevented installation if a 3rd party USB graphics solution was connected. Now installation will only be blocked if 3rd party USB graphics drivers are found to be installed. (17763)

Does OS X 10.9 Mavericks log you out of your session?

We do not recommend USB graphics solutions on OS X 10.9 Mavericks, because of compatibility breaks in OS X after 10.8.5. This unfortunately, has yet to be fixed. But it does work for some cases on 10.9.x, and we have had some die hard customers (including myself) using it daily. But lately there has been a strange and frustrating new problem. It seemed like the operating system would suddenly kick the user out of the session. All the work was lost, and there you were, sitting in front of the log-in screen scratching your head, wondering what happened.

This is a manifestation of the window server crashing which in the past would have all displays repeatedly go black/blank while the window server restarts but would still deem the system unusable.

After digging on various forums for answers why the window server would crash on Mavericks, a suggestion was made to disable certain animations. This forum post was of great help and it turns out if you disable “opening and closing windows and popovers” you severely limit the chances of your window server crashing while using DisplayLink products. To disable this feature, do the following:

  1. Open the terminal
  2. Run the following command:
    defaults write -g NSAutomaticWindowAnimationsEnabled -bool false

     

  3. Reboot

And that’s it. This is what it took to eliminate the windows server from crashing for our customers and myself. If you still experience crashes like these after running this command you can go down the list of the forum post and disable other features of animations such as “smooth scrolling”, “showing and hiding sheets, resizing preference windows, zooming windows” and “opening and closing Quick Look windows”.

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Plugable Launches Small, Durable USB to Audio Adapter for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chromebook Systems

The new Plugable USB Audio Adapter is a compact, effortless solution for adding an external audio interface to nearly any computer or tablet. The adapter has separate standard 3.5mm receptacles for stereo headphones and microphones. It lets you easily USB enable your favorite analog headset or headphones, so you don’t need to compromise to get USB connectivity back to your PC.

This can be used to bypass or replace a faulty sound card or audio port. It can be left connected to a USB hub or docking station to add convenient, easy-to-reach audio jacks — saving stress on the audio ports on your computer. The adapter body is lightweight and durable with its black anodized metal body.

The adapter is compatible with Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Chromebook systems with a free full-sized USB port. No drivers are necessary as the adapter’s C-Media CM108 chip exposes the standard and widely supported USB Audio class.

Just plug in the adapter, select it as your default output and input device for instant audio playback. Note that most operating systems support multiple audio outputs, but only allow a single one to be enabled at a time. So this manual step of selecting the right audio output from the operating system’s built-in audio control panel is essential.

This audio adapter really shines with custom Linux development boards like the Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone Black, and other unique scenarios such as a “Hackintosh” setup where the on-board audio devices don’t have Mac drivers.

Any questions? Feel free to comment below or email us at support@plugable.com. We’re happy to help.

Thanks for going out of your way for our broad line of Plugable products!

Plugable USB Audio Adapter with 3.5mm Speaker/Headphone and Microphone Jacks (Black Aluminum; C-Medi... Product Details
$7.95