New batch of pdp8 OMNIBUS to USB interface! Please Read and react!

Liam Proven lproven at
Mon Feb 13 12:36:44 CST 2017

On 13 February 2017 at 19:10, Fred Cisin <cisin at> wrote:
> THAT is apparently why USB-C was developed.   it is symmetrical.

Well, it's not _only_ that, but it's part of it.

Apple led the way with its symmetrical Lightning connector:

This introduced millions of customers to a USB-sized single plug for
data, audio & power that could go into its socket either way. That
"primed the pump".

Then a design student published a, well, um, a design for a USB plug
that could go in either way:

This was widely admired and discussed, or as they say now, "went
viral". I think some companies implemented it but it violates the USB
formal spec.

(Not that that bothers the cheapo vendors -- e.g. I have both external
hard disks and a laptop cooling stand that both take a USB *A* to *A*
cable. I.e. the computer-end connector on both ends. This is highly
illegal -- you could connect 2 computers directly and blow at least
one of them up thereby -- but nobody enforces the rules.)

The bi-directional plug and Lightning both demonstrated that this was
desirable, possible, and that there was demand.

Also, there were the bodges of USB 3 extensions to the micro-USB spec
such as this:

... and this...

And commentary such as this:

Sort of Siamese-twin double connectors -- big and ugly and a very
visible kludge.

Something Had To Be Done.

USB C is the result.

And although owners and prospective owners of the new MacBook Pro
laptops are complaining widely that they *only* have USB-C ports, it's
actually a good thing, IMHO.

As this eloquently explains:

The higher-end MacBook Pro has 4 of them -- *and nothing else*.

You can plug the power cable into any of them. Doesn't matter. Plug a
display in to any of them. Doesn't matter. Phone, memory stick, wired
network cable, docking station. Any port. Doesn't matter.

Plug the power supply into the MacBook, the MacBook charges. Plug the
same cable into your phone, the phone charges. Plug the phone into the
MacBook -- same cable -- the phone charges and syncs.

I really like the idea of a small silent computer that's got a bunch
of ports and anything plugs into anything. 2 or 3 screens? Just works.
Sync several phones? Just works. Where's the power socket? There isn't
one. Plug it in anywhere. If it fits, it works, either way round.

Liam Proven • Profile:
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