Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Technology Wednesday--A First World Problem
You might recognize the tangle of cables pictured above as a fairly typical cluster of power and connection cables for computers, phones, cameras and other electronic devices that we have all come to depend on. You might also think that I need to organize said cables, which I tried, but it didn't help much. So I keep the ones I use most frequently plugged into a power strip, and the ones I use less piled in a shoe box. I dumped the cables out of the shoe box onto the floor for dramatic effect.
Yes, I know this is a first world problem and I should either get organized or shut up, but it occurred to me that it would be nice if manufacturers of electronic devices could agree on some standard plug-ends for these cables. The USB (the U does mean universal, after all) comes close, but there are also mini-USB's and 1/4 inch plugs and 3.5 mm plugs and RCA plugs and plugs I don't know the name of except they're not like any other plugs.
If standards seem impossible, manufacturers did agree on standards for the LP record, the (shudder) eight-track cassette, the cassette audio tape, the VHS video tape, the CD and, I suppose, the .mp3 format. So it is possible. So what do ya say, manufacturers? You can name it anything you like or you can name it after me. I won't mind a bit. Just a plug for standardization.