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Thread: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

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    Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    USB co-inventor Ajay Bhatt says that design was constricted due to PC maker cost worries.
    Read more.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    many expletives have been emitted due to the single-orientation rectangular port design. There is a popular IT enthusiast anecdote that getting a USB Type-A connector plugged in round the back of a PC or similar will take three attempts - after giving up the first fumbled attempt, turning it 180 degrees becomes clearly evident that one should have persevered earlier, and then it will pop in easily when you switch back…


    Have you got secret cameras in my house? This was me on Sunday...

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    "There is a popular IT enthusiast anecdote that getting a USB Type-A connector plugged in round the back of a PC or similar will take three attempts - after giving up the first fumbled attempt, turning it 180 degrees becomes clearly evident that one should have persevered earlier, and then it will pop in easily when you switch back…"

    Hardly anecdotal. It's almost certainly true!

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Clearly the original Type-A connectors are four-dimensional in order to require three attempts at plugging in. Doesn't seem much like cost-cutting to me!

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    USB-A connectors are a perfect example of Schrödinger's cable.

    It doesn't matter if you look at both plug and socket before attempting to connect, the plug will instantly reverse itself on contact with the socket.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Ajay Bhatt is a sheep, not doing reversable usb cable from begining because of what cost, like 1 cent extra. He so cheap he crys when he's taking a dump.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by fynxer View Post
    Ajay Bhatt is a sheep, not doing reversable usb cable from begining because of what cost, like 1 cent extra. He so cheap he crys when he's taking a dump.
    I think you've missed the point here.

    Engineers don't get to make these project decisions, such as whether it's worth spending another cent on additional functionality.

    Engineers of course have to inform the project stakeholders why having certain features like a reversible USB type-A plug is worth the extra cent, but ultimately the call isn't theirs to make.

    The article describes how Ajay Bhatt regrets not making a bigger fuss and influencing on the decision that lead to USB being what it is.

    I think it's very unfair to call Ajay Bhatt the names you did.

    As an engineer myself, I know how it feels when project stakeholders make decisions contrary to my recommendations, and throwing good intentions and sometimes months of work in the bin.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    As an engineer myself, I know how it feels when project stakeholders make decisions contrary to my recommendations, and throwing good intentions and sometimes months of work in the bin.
    The road to hell is paved in managerial disregard for engineer recommendations.
    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    ...every time Creative bring out a new card range their advertising makes it sound like they have discovered a way to insert a thousand Chuck Norris super dwarfs in your ears...

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    The road to hell is paved in managerial disregard for engineer recommendations.
    You could replace "engineer" with pretty much any job role to be fair.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by aidanjt View Post
    The road to hell is paved in managerial disregard for engineer recommendations.
    There's a balance to be struck. Leave it entirely to engineers and you may never ship a product. Or (one for tank nerds,) you end up with a TOG2.

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    Wink Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Easy enough to buy a reversible USB type A or a USB Micro B these days.

    People don't know they're available...?

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by spacein_vader View Post
    There's a balance to be struck. Leave it entirely to engineers and you may never ship a product. Or (one for tank nerds,) you end up with a TOG2.
    That failed due to the old gang deciding what requirements to design to (and setting those requirements based on what they were comfortable designing, while ignoring the reality on the ground) - not really good engineering

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by Xlucine View Post
    That failed due to the old gang deciding what requirements to design to (and setting those requirements based on what they were comfortable designing, while ignoring the reality on the ground) - not really good engineering
    That's my point. It shows that you need non-engineer input into deciding the requirements and signing off on the completed product at the end.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by DerbyDave View Post
    "There is a popular IT enthusiast anecdote that getting a USB Type-A connector plugged in round the back of a PC or similar will take three attempts - after giving up the first fumbled attempt, turning it 180 degrees becomes clearly evident that one should have persevered earlier, and then it will pop in easily when you switch back…"

    Hardly anecdotal. It's almost certainly true!

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Quote Originally Posted by fynxer View Post
    Ajay Bhatt is a sheep, not doing reversable usb cable from begining because of what cost, like 1 cent extra. He so cheap he crys when he's taking a dump.
    Bit harsh, everything we deal with in life is cost based.

    What have you invented that changed the world? We look forward to the list. If it so much as scratches the surface of the genius is USB, I will be astounded.

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    Re: Original USB plug design was non-reversible due to cost

    Being a bit harsh on Bhatt there. As an engineer I come up with the cost cutters all the time. I deal more in one offs rather than millions off. With USB A it must be billions and every cent saved adds up. If you as a Dell or HP can save a cent on each USB port on a PC then it amounts to $100,000's a year to the bottom line.
    As a one off recently we spent £16,500 repairing something we had spend over £30,000 repairing in the last 18 months. A new, smaller, more efficient one, with a 36 month support warranty would have been £20,000. It failed again last week, another £6,000. You can kick an accountant in the bo**ocks until you are blue in the face, but they will always go the least cost route. Unfortunately the plant can always be repaired, it does not fully fail so that it has to be renewed.

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