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I am looking at purchasing a win 8 tablet (non rt) that only has one usb port.

I need to be able to connect an epson serial printer as well as a usb to ethernet adapter.

Given that there is only one usb port; is there serial over usb adapters that can go through a usb hub? Or are there better options for achieving this same goal?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are plenty of adapters that attempt to provide the kind of connection you need. Will adapter X work with hub Y? Impossible to predict. USB hubs are supposed to be invisible to devices (aside from the loss of speed when the port is shared) but some manufacturers are sloppy about that.

And that's not even your biggest problem. You'll need software to send printer commands over your serial channel. If it's a Postscript printer, you might find some open source software to do the job. If it uses a proprietary printer language, forget about it. The manufacturer has certainly stopped supporting the printer long ago, so even if you can download the software, getting it to run on W8 would be a royal pain.

Does the printer have some functionality that you can't replace cheaply? If not, the smart thing to do is simply buy a new printer.

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The printer is supported on win 7 and thus win 8. What I am trying to do is use Ativ Smart PC 500T for a restaurant POS. Connect a TM88 V Thermal Printer and rather than use wireless, hard wire it with usb ethernet – Brandon Grossutti Nov 19 '12 at 23:47
@BrandonGrossutti I jumped to a conclusion when you said "serial printer", because that usually signifies an old printer. This is a new model -- which is why it also has a USB interface. (The serial port is probably for backward compatibility.) You should be able to connect it directly to your tablet without an adapter. Whether it's compatible with a hub is a question you should direct to Canon tech support. – Isaac Rabinovitch Nov 20 '12 at 0:34
Thanks Issac, chatted with my rep at Squirrel POS and they informed me that they use serial for some form of hardware failover support where they put a chip into the epson unit. Turns out i can also run the serial back to the server rather than to the terminal and save the headache altogether. Then just directly connect my usb to ethernet adapter direct to the device. Thank you again for your help – Brandon Grossutti Nov 20 '12 at 0:58

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