Computer Port Extension
By Gabriel Torres on October 20, 2004
Who never yelled bad words while trying to plug one of the countless connectors at the back of the computer's case? Parallel port, serial port, joystick port, loudspeakers output, video monitor output... All these connectors are placed in the back of the computer's case, making the act of plugging and unplugging them a hard task. Who has a joystick knows what we are talking about. If you placed your PC into a cabinet or a special-made furniture, the case is worst, since you have to remove the PC from the furniture in order to have access to its connectors.
But this problem is becoming a problem from the past with this invention from FrontX (http://www.frontx.com): the Computer Port Extension (CPX). This peripheral moves the connectors from the back of the computer's case to the front and has a standard 5 1/4" bay size, so it is compatible to all available PCs. Since you have an available 5 1/4" in your PC, you can install this peripheral.
Figure 1: The Computer Port Extension, from FrontX.
The idea is to have a housing bay that you can install as many different plugs as you wish, as it was a Lego toy. So, you can buy the bay and then the plugs for what you want (i.e., the features your computer has), like audio inputs/outputs, joystick/MIDI, serial ports, parallel ports, USB ports, etc. This peripheral helps users that work with audio editing as well as gamemaniacs, since with the use of the extension is very easy to install and remove a joystick and audio plugs.
This peripheral also has a retractible cover, allowing you to close the bay while not using the connectors, giving a fine visual touch.
For further information on how to buy this product, visit the manufacturer's website (http://www.frontx.com). Its price starts at USD 13.60 (for US residents), including shipping and handling. If you live outside US, you should check the manufacturer's website for the correct final price. The final price depends on how many plugs and from which kind you will want your Computer Ports Extensions to come with.
As a curiosity, the LAN Party motherboard series from DFI comes with this product. At the figures below you can see the Computer Port Extension that comes with the KT400A model from this series.
Figure 2: Box and bay of the Computer Port Extension that comes with LAN Party motherboards from DFI.
Figure 3: Computer Port Extension plus that comes with LAN Party motherboards from DFI.