|Why so durned many connectors??|
Message #5 Posted by John L. Shelton on 4 Sept 2005, 3:07 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Eric Smith
In some idealistic future, we will have about 5 connectors from which to choose, not millions. Things being connected will negotiate with each other before applying voltage, so no damage is ever possible.
Our connectors will include:
- very small, easily attached and detached - for providing data or power (or both) to small devices, where accidental disconnection is acceptable (and perhaps desirable, instead of breaking something.
- Small, reliable (locking) connector for data or power to small and medium devices. Designed for less-frequent use, and difficult to accidentally disconnect.
- Heavy duty - suitable for delivery of lots of power. Probably comes in several sizes: 1KW, 10KW, 100KW, etc.
- environmentally secure - watertight, gas-tight, etc.
In this ideal future, gadgets will need only one connector, but will perhaps have extras, to allow easy daisy-chaining etc. Plugging a calculator into a wall outlet would require negotiation: "I need 12VDC. I can supply data at this rate." "OK. I can give you 12VDC. Tell me more about your data; I have a refrigerator that wants to know something."
Sound far-fetched? Imagine all the effort we've spent over the years designing millions of special-purpose connectors. And all the effort wasted trying to connect dissimilar devices. And the sheer stupidity of re-using the same physical connector for incompatible (and electronics-damaging) purposes. Like the good-old DB-25 connector, used in the 1960s - 1990s as an RS-232 serial connector. Used also 1990s - 2000s for PC Parallel printers. Used also 1980s-1990s as Macintosh SCSI connector. Oops - there goes another blown chip!