[OT] USB KVM switches

From: Scott Stevens <chenmel_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Tue Feb 1 20:04:07 2005

On Wed, 2 Feb 2005 00:33:39 +0000 (GMT)
ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk (Tony Duell) wrote:

> > Ok, so what I don't understand is how USB became a successful and
> > widespread standard if it's such a pile of shit. You and Tony,
> Err, can you say 'Windows' :-)
> > accomplished hardware designers both, think it's crap. It's great
> > that
> My main objection, other than the fact that nothing I have supports it
> or can support it, is that it's typical of modern systems. It makes
> easy jobs (hooking up a printer, mouse, modem, etc) trivial, but more
> difficult jobs (homebrew interfacing) much more difficult. I can make
> something that links to an RS232 or Centronics port from the bits in
> my junkbox in about half an hour. I doubt I'd ever be able to do that
> with USB...
> In general I dislike the idea of 'one size fits all' solutions.
> There's no good reason why a printer should use the same interface as
> a digital camera or a keyboard or a mouse or.... TO try to fit
> everything into one standard is likely to make things over-complex for
> no particularly good reason.
> Then there's fact it's a very 'assymetrical' interface. What I mean is
> that given 3 devices with USB ports, it's not normally the case that
> you can link any pair together (unlike RS232 given null-modem cables).
> You have effecively 'master' devices like PCs and 'slave' devices like
> printers, mice, etc.
> Think of the HP49G+ calculator which has a USB port in place of the
> RS232 port of older models. That will link fine to a modern PC. But it
> won't link directly to a printer. Or to a homebrew ADC interface.
> That's enough to keep me from buying that calculator.
> And to think that when HP made an HPIB interface availabel for their
> calculators about 20 years ago (the 82169), it was by default a
> controller (that is, the calcualtor was the master device on the
> HPIB), but you could turn off the controller functions in software if
> you wanted your calcualtor to just be a device on the HPIB. Back then
> HP did things right...
> -tony

The thing that continues to frighten me about USB is that it's part of
the 'new technology' initiative that seeks to completely remove hardware
and software support, on common PCs, for the serial and parallel
interfaces, which are FAR more open technically. Microsoft classes
serial/parallel as 'legacy' and have them tagged to be completely done
away with ASAP.
Received on Tue Feb 01 2005 - 20:04:07 GMT

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