from the edit machine window, i do not see anything about USB ports. I'm needing to add a printer or a usb-serial adapter for printers. Is this possible?
USB Passthrough was added in ESXi 4.1 and requires the machine at Hardware Version 7 (VMware vSphere 4 - ESX and vCenter Server) and is not possible in ESX 3.5. I would recommend that you upgrade as ESX 3.5 has been end of life for a number of years now.