Author Topic: Argh USB argh!  (Read 1811 times)

Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2020, 01:40:02 pm »
Cameras always had the middle-little one (which is better than the really small one, as you can't bloody tell which way it's supposed to be).

DSLRs tend to be Mini-B. Every pocket digital camera I've encountered has a horrible proprietary multi connector and usually the proprietors rarely stick to the same one from year to year.

Cables with USB-A at both ends are also very rare. I realised this when looking for such a beast the other day.

They shouldn't exist under anything that even pretends to follow the USB spec. I've only ever seen them on very cheap hacky devices, but I feel sufficiently understanding the cheapo Chinese electronics product design process that leads to such a thing being invented would take many many lifetimes.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #26 on: June 08, 2020, 01:43:35 pm »
It'll be something daft in the original idea, like  how are people meant to know what end to put where? Ok give them different plugs.
...which implies a need to know the difference.

But at least they got over that idea by the time they designed USB-C.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #27 on: June 08, 2020, 01:47:51 pm »
Edit: I foudn a plausible reason:

"Because male A to male A is a very bed idea because someone will use it to plug two computer together and will wonder why they release the magic smoke."
https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/345711-why-do-printers-use-usb-b/

Aha! That makes a kind of sense.

It might even be true!

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2020, 02:25:26 pm »
Cables with USB-A at both ends are also very rare. I realised this when looking for such a beast the other day.

They shouldn't exist under anything that even pretends to follow the USB spec. I've only ever seen them on very cheap hacky devices, but I feel sufficiently understanding the cheapo Chinese electronics product design process that leads to such a thing being invented would take many many lifetimes.

As well as the naughty ones (I have a AA/AAA battery charger that uses one[1] as a power input), I have encountered an obscure but legal variation:  One end is a dongle with a pair of USB Ethernet controllers back to back, so it's a point-to-point Ethernet network that looks like a USB A(male)-A(male) cable.

USB A(male)-A(female) is on dubious grounds standards-wise (technically, I think they're required to have a single-port USB hub in them to regenerate the signalling), but they're incredibly useful.


The 'bus' in "Universal Serial Bus" refers to the fact that it requires obscure local knowledge to make proper use of it...



[1] No, I can't find the cable.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2020, 02:39:29 pm »
I don't see any contradiction in there being many types of Universal Serial Bus. Don't cosmophilosophists tell us there are many universes, it's just they're not sure whether they exist in parallel, concentrically, or in some sort of venn-graph-like overlap of varying proportions.

Also, it's Serial, so there must be a series of them. But it's an odd sort of Bus, doesn't follow any set route.

But surely in Series, one follows the other, therefore USB-A and USB-B should have been fully superseded by USB-C; unless of course this in actually an ORACLE Sequence in which case sequentiality is not guaranteed even less so if you have a RACk of them...
It could be a Windows series: A, B, 47, E, Pineapple, Didgeridoo, 11...
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #30 on: June 08, 2020, 04:32:06 pm »
USB A(male)-A(female) is on dubious grounds standards-wise

Not to mention dubious grounds semantics-wise.

I mean, we’re now living in a non-binary world where possession of a plug or a socket is no longer regarded as a gender-defining characteristic.

You geeks need to update your terminology.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2020, 10:50:44 pm »
I don't see any contradiction in there being many types of Universal Serial Bus. Don't cosmophilosophists tell us there are many universes, it's just they're not sure whether they exist in parallel, concentrically, or in some sort of venn-graph-like overlap of varying proportions.

Also, it's Serial, so there must be a series of them. But it's an odd sort of Bus, doesn't follow any set route.

But surely in Series, one follows the other, therefore USB-A and USB-B should have been fully superseded by USB-C; unless of course this in actually an ORACLE Sequence in which case sequentiality is not guaranteed even less so if you have a RACk of them...
It could be a Windows series: A, B, 47, E, Pineapple, Didgeridoo, 11...

Or a MacOS series, all variations on 10.


ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #32 on: June 09, 2020, 09:26:34 am »
USB A(male)-A(female) is on dubious grounds standards-wise

Not to mention dubious grounds semantics-wise.

I mean, we’re now living in a non-binary world where possession of a plug or a socket is no longer regarded as a gender-defining characteristic.

You geeks need to update your terminology.

I'm pretty sure that somewhere on the internet people are getting very angry about gendered cables.

For the matters of biological accuracy, not all male animals have protuberances. The majority of male birds don't have penises. Apart from ducks. Ducks can have huge dicks, the entire length of their body and helical because well, if you're meeting a lady with a helical vagina – just like USB – the plug really should match the socket. Some sockets are more complex than others, who knows who was on the committee that decided that echidnas would go with a four-pronged approach. So basically, USB is a metaphor. Think on that the next you're clutching a cable and pondering whether it will fit.
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Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #33 on: June 09, 2020, 09:56:40 am »
People did briefly make a fuss about the "Master" and "Slave" designations on IDE cables, and they got an official deathbed renaming to 0 and 1.

Imagine, if SATA hadn't come along, we could still be filling message boards with entrenched arguments about it to this day. Which side is your BIOS on?

(Has the horrible thought that someone, somewhere is arguing about it right now. Daren't look...)

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2020, 10:33:31 am »
I'm pretty sure that somewhere on the internet people are getting very angry about gendered cables.

It was a facetious comment but there is a serious point behind it. And it’s not about cables.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2020, 12:41:41 pm »
People did briefly make a fuss about the "Master" and "Slave" designations on IDE cables, and they got an official deathbed renaming to 0 and 1.

I'm generally in agreement with that one.  It's an unnecessary metaphor, where alternative terminology like 'host'/'client', 'controller'/'worker', 'primary'/'secondary' or similar would be just as good.

The problem is that there are plenty of enduring standards with 'master'/'slave' are baked into them.  Parallel IDE may have had its day, but we're not getting rid of SPI that easily.  (The advantage of 'main'/'secondary' is that the abbreviations don't change, so it's okay if your datasheet or board design has pins labelled 'MOSI' and 'MISO'.)

Connector sex, well, I'm sure it'll go out of fashion at some point.  Not that it's ever been a strict binary; hermaphroditic connectors which can mate with another of the same type are eminently useful.  And there are plenty where a male shell contains a female pin and vice-versa.  To my mind, it's less problematic because there's no inherent superiority implied. (Indeed, whether one type of connector is superior depends on context; female connectors tend to be more electrically safe, male ones tend to be smaller but more mechanically fragile, etc.)
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2020, 01:03:40 pm »
A topical renaming of master and slave could be dock and statue...
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2020, 02:21:05 pm »
To my mind, it's less problematic because there's no inherent superiority implied.

None the less, the general principle is surely that any gender-normative language, in any context, reinforces the status quo - even if only subtly - and should therefore be deprecated.

It’s perhaps something to be mindful of rather than something to get worked up about, but avoiding gender-normative language (especially in contexts where it is strictly irrelevant) is nearly always going to be a good thing.

I dare say there are people who would describe this as political correctness gone mad, and would deem the right to describe inanimate objects as male or female to be a hill worth dying on, but frankly I have little time for their point of view.

FifeingEejit

  • Not Small
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2020, 03:06:51 pm »
'controller'/'worker'

Careful now, a brief look into the history of workers identifies bondsmen and servitude.


citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Argh USB argh!
« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2020, 03:35:49 pm »
'controller'/'worker'

Careful now, a brief look into the history of workers identifies bondsmen and servitude.
Semantically, it still works as an analogy, as does master/slave. But in that case, it’s not about semantics.

Male/female doesn’t work, because the meanings of those terms have altered. Besides which, what Kim says about ‘hermaphrodite’ connectors shows it to be a deeply flawed analogy by any definition of the terms.

It’s also limited to a narrow mammalian world view. It would be fun to see more connector designs inspired by duck anatomy.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #40 on: June 09, 2020, 04:17:16 pm »
Male alligators are permanently erect. This is, I assume, why you never seen them wearing trousers.

To be honest, I'm quite fine with gendered connectors, they aptly recognise the conventionally understood ins-and-outs of the matter. If people want to be offended by USB cables, oh well. Just don't get the cheap Chinese ones, like with internet-obtained viagra, this will result in problems inserting them.

On the matter of penis and lack thereof, birds do have the genes for penile development, but for most birds, the cells that would go on to make a penis undergo programmed death during development. Basically, their penises fall off.
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citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #41 on: June 09, 2020, 04:36:55 pm »
If people want to be offended by USB cables...

Come on, ian, you're better than that.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #42 on: June 09, 2020, 04:47:39 pm »
I'm (hopefully obviously) perfectly OK with people choosing the gender they prefer (nor do I think they have to justify it, whatever, I don't care and I don't care in a good way, it's their choice and they should go with it) but I'm not sure USB cables have much bearing on that. They're using a commonly understood attribute. A male USB cable is unlikely to start a fight in a pub car park because he thinks you looked at his female counterpart. Probably. I've never taken a USB cable to the pub. My heady supply of penis facts means I have loads of real friends. Tell us more ian, they so regularly chorus.
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citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2020, 05:28:04 pm »
It's the "if people want to be offended by..." formulation that most disappoints me. That's proper Daily Mail talk.

So, if they do want to be offended by USB cables... what exactly should they do? Go back where they came from?

Anyway, it's all good - no one is actually contesting anyone's god-given right to talk about USB connectors as being male or female.

And please do keep sharing the penis facts. They're far more interesting than all this nonsense.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2020, 07:10:48 pm »
I didn't really say that though, I just said that I don't think there's much reason to be offended and truthfully I've never met anyone offended by the gender topography of computer peripheral cables. I don't believe thst saying that males generally have penises precludes there being males that don't have penises, or that penises are uniquely male attributes or a requirement for maleness. Hence my roundabout point about male birds not having penises (that wasn't merely an excuse to insert a large duck penis into the argument, but hey, why forsake the opportunity to insert a penis anywhere).
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Morat

  • I tried to HTFU but something went ping :(
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2020, 10:42:50 pm »
The original full-sized cable is still current. It's the various small ones that have gone through evolutions as the universal-for-everyone-but-apple standard for phones

As I discovered when looking into this recently, the original A-type plugs are officially deprecated since last year - though I guess it will be some while before they properly fall out of use. And while the latest standard may be the same shape as the original USB-A, they are different internally.

The original B-type that was introduced at the same time is no longer in use, deprecated since 2016. I think my printer is old enough to have a USB-B socket, but we connect to that wirelessly anyway so it doesn't matter that I have no idea where in the house I would find a cable with a USB-B plug...

My wife still uses her old digital camera that has a Mini AB socket.

Wow - I never knew... Please don't tell my EPOS receipt printers. There are many of them and they all like USB-A. Some of them do still have USB-B but their ranks are thinning.
Tandem Stoker, CX bike abuser (slicks and tarmac) and owner of a sadly neglected MTB.

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2020, 10:53:41 pm »
It might help if each plug and socket was marked with its type.
Days become simply the spaces between dreams, spaces between the shifting floors of time...

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #47 on: June 09, 2020, 11:07:01 pm »
I didn't really say that though, I just said that I don't think there's much reason to be offended and truthfully I've never met anyone offended by the gender topography of computer peripheral cables.

That's because literally no one has ever said they were offended by it. But it's not about being offended. Nor is it about cables.

Quote
I don't believe thst saying that males generally have penises precludes there being males that don't have penises, or that penises are uniquely male attributes or a requirement for maleness. Hence my roundabout point about male birds not having penises (that wasn't merely an excuse to insert a large duck penis into the argument, but hey, why forsake the opportunity to insert a penis anywhere).

You're thinking about it too much like a biologist rather than like a geek.

The metaphor only works on the basis that the plug-socket relationship is analogous to the penis-vagina relationship, within a narrow binary understanding of gender. And it doesn't even work very well within that limited definition, as Kim's description of various different connector pairing combinations shows. If you start bringing non-mammalian reproductive systems into the picture, you're just creating extra layers of confusion.

As for "commonly understood"... Well, that's the same argument that's used to justify stubbornly clinging on to miles, pints, stones, furlongs and barleycorns a mere 50 years after we stopped teaching kids that nonsense in schools. Why didn't we as a nation properly embrace sensible units in the 70s? Simple - because you can't force people to accept change, and if some people stubbornly refuse to stop living in the past, there's no point getting angry or offended about it. All you can do is plant the seed of an idea and hope that the more progressively minded members of society embrace and nurture it.

Eventually you end up in a situation like we have now where among the younger generation, imperial units really are not commonly understood at all.

And for an increasing number of kids growing up today, describing cable connectors as male or female would make literally no sense either. It doesn't make an awful lot of sense to me, to be honest, and I'm an old duffer who was brought up believing that girls were the ones in skirts and boys were the ones in shorts. I don't generally use gendered language to talk about inanimate objects because a) they are inanimate objects, and b) I'm not French.

Maybe in another 50 years, using gendered language to talk about inanimate objects will have fallen out of fashion too. But by then, I'll either be dead or will have found something else to not be offended by.

citoyen

  • Occasionally rides a bike
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #48 on: June 09, 2020, 11:08:20 pm »
Wow - I never knew... Please don't tell my EPOS receipt printers.

Don't worry, they'll probably be obsolete long before the USB police catch up with them.

ian

  • feat. Undead Jess & Finestre, Queen of Hell
Re: Argh USB argh!
« Reply #49 on: June 10, 2020, 09:44:41 am »
OK, then if a USB cable is offended by its (his? her?) gender assignment, I'll resign my commission. I have never, tbh, referred to a USB cable by its gender, I just try and stick it in the hole (I was going to make a poor joke here, but I fear I may be drunkenly staggering through a minefield) and it either (a) works, (b) doesn't work or (c) something important breaks off.

Tbh, I have no issue with gender, a point that I fear we may need to differ over. I'm happy for males and females, and for people that don't want to be either. I don't think there are negative connotations to any of these, so embrace the one that you are comfortable with.
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