[OT] USB KVM switches

From: chris <cb_at_mythtech.net>
Date: Wed Feb 2 15:34:26 2005

>> I've only ever noticed the following USB connectors
>> A, B, and mini
>Full-size A and B come in male and female.
>Mini comes in A, B, and dual (for "USB On-the-Go"). The mini A and
>B come in male and female. The dual only comes in one gender, and is
>intended to mate with either mini A or mini B cables.
>That's nine different connectors!

Yeah, its actually funny... right after I hit send on my first email, I
walked into another office to upgrade a hub... there happened to be a
digital camera and a new Palm on the desk in there, so I looked at the
connectors... low and behold I saw mini A and mini B connectors...
expanding my "previously" seen list by 4 (I assumed if I was looking at a
Female socket, there must be a matching Male plug).

I've still never seen the USB On the Go style, but now I'm going to keep
my eyes peeled.

Although you state there are 9 different connectors, all of them are 100%
compatible with each other, aren't they? In other words, if you just get
a decent set of adaptors, there is nothing more then plug the correct
ends together and off you go.

That isn't true with "serial". I know RS-232 has a "standard", but I also
know that I had to own a Blue Box specifically for figuring out the exact
pinout of DB-25 "serial" connectors all the time... I'm sure I've hit way
more then 9 configurations over the years, and there was no way from
looking at them which something was going to use... in otherwords, you
couldn't rely on a simply set of adaptors to let you match up to

Once you had the right pinout, you still had to deal with handshaking and
speed issues.

And that didn't count the tons of products that used the exact same
connector for totally incompatible devices. On more then one occasion, I
had to disconnect parallel printers from Mac SCSI ports.

At least USB is for the most part, plug it in and it works. (I'm not
counting crappy drivers that fail, or incorrect hardware that fails...
I'm only talking conceptually, if a USB device is done *right*... I don't
think the failures of USB are so much the spec, as they are a sign of how
little effort any manufacturer seems to put into a product any more)

Received on Wed Feb 02 2005 - 15:34:26 GMT

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