I'm hoping somebody will be able to direct me to an essay that explains the abilities and limitations of USB hosting with an Arduino.
To be honest, I think you're probably wasting your time expecting somebody to point you towards an article explaining exactly what you want to know - especially on an Arduino forum
"The following device classes are currently supported by the shield:
I have been slowly coming to the conclusion that relatively few types of USB device can work with a USB host shield. For example it doesn't seem to be possible to use it to connect to another Arduino !!
USB to serial converters - FTDI, PL-2303, ACM, as well as certain cell phones and GPS receivers
There is generally little or no general explanation of the sorts of things you can and (perhaps more importantly) can't do with them.
What do you actually want to do? Be specific.
Right this minute all I want to do is learn the capabilities and limitations of the USB host shield system. I assume somebody knows what it can and can't do. It's beginning to feel like it's a big secret.
[ but you seem unwilling to acquire that understanding.