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Subject: Re: low-tech ways to avoid polarity problems
From: Fred Maxwell (rockbox_at_anti-spam.org)
Date: 2004-03-18


Brian Wolven wrote:

> Hmmm, very true. But then again, I'd hate to see us all driving
> Hummvee's, too.

I don't think that the feds were ever promoting the Hummvee as a
passenger car. They did, however, realize that it was important to
standardize on military vehicles for reasons of cost, serviceability,
spares, etc.

> The dividing line between promoting compatibility and
> stifling innovation is not perhaps as clear as we'd like it to be!

I could live without the "innovation" of having a dozen or more
difference sizes of coaxial power plugs. Well thought out standards
promote innovation and reduce consumer costs. Just ask anyone who has
fried an Archos or other piece of expensive consumer electronics because
the polarities of the plugs were not standardized or because their 24
volt wall wart used the exact same plug as their 6 volt wall wart.

Just how innovative is it to make a coaxial power plug that's just like
an existing one but is .5mm larger in outside diameter? And would we
really be better off if we didn't 'stifle innovation' by having
standards for house current voltage, frequency, outlets, and plugs?

> In
> the meantime, we'll just have to consider this a form of Darwinian
> evolution for electronics (and their owners). =)

I wish that it really would evolve, but I've seen no evidence of
"survival of the fittest" when it comes to coaxial power plugs. Every
time I look, there are more sizes than the last time.

Regards,
   Fred Maxwell

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