Yahoo! News Story - Floppy Disk Becoming Relic of the Past (fwd)

From: Tony Duell <>
Date: Wed Sep 22 17:27:37 2004

> While I do agree that USB is NOT a be-all do-all, like some proponents, I do
> not think is a is *Botch* either.

There is plenty I don;t like about it. Like so much of modern computing
it's designed to let idiots do simple tasks trivially, but it also makes
it impossible for hackers to do difficult tasks. Since I seem to always
want to do the latter..

I don't like the fact that you're supposed to pay for an ID (and have thr
device 'certified') if you want to make your own stuff. Never had this
problem with RS232 :-)

And the fact that you seem to need special drivers for many devices which
you can bet are not available for any of my machines.

And the fact that it's very assymmetric (there are 'masters' and
'slaves') is something I don't like either. RS232 was much more

An example of why I don't like this. My HP100LX has an RS232 port. It was
clearly designed to link it to a PC to transfer files (and it does this
perfectly well). But as it's an RS232 port I can also link it directly to
a serial printer, or to a modem, or...

More modern palmtops have USB ports. They're slaves, designed to hang off
a PC. You can't link them directly to a printer. It's interesting that
some of my older handhelds have HPIL ports, but by default the handheld
is the loop controller ('master'), so you can link them straight to a
printer. But they can be 'slaves' if you want to link them to a larger
machine. We've gone backwards (as usual)

> Any x86 style computer CAN have a usb port, and there are kits for other

I've never seen an ISA USB card...

> platforms as well [I integrated a USB sub-system with and embedded ARM-7
> system last year], so I am confused about your stantement that not of the
> computers you have *CAN* have usb ports.

All my PCs have ISA slots only. Other machines have Unibus, Qbus, BBC
1MHz bus/Torch X-bus, various custom I/O slots (like on th HP9830), HPIL,
PERQlink, etc. Just about all of those have RS232 (or compatible) ports,
I've nver seen USB for any of them

> I also don't understand youstatement that it is not a bus.....

Electrically it's not a bus. If it was, I could just parallel up
connectors and plug in several devices, there'd be no need to _always_
have a hub (which, from what I've seen, contains a fair amount of logic).

Received on Wed Sep 22 2004 - 17:27:37 BST

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