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post #81 of 86
I think maybe I didn't state my point well as I'm in a similar situation. I work automation which is similar in its reliance upon older technologies. In any event I still think people are dreaming when they look at TB as a USB replacement, the difference in the technology, implementation costs and other issues will keep the two ports around for a very long time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

You haven't seen any fire alarm or security panels lately have you?

Not in the last year though I did help one of our facilities guys debug an issue a couple of years ago.
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They still use RS232. We are bidding a job that will use a brand of security panel we aren't certified for. Training requires a laptop with a RS232 port. The fire alarm panels we install use RS232. For the programming these systems need there is no need for higher data speeds so those industries have never made the move to USB.

You say high speed or the lack of need for that is the reason they stay away from USB. That is certainly part of it but the other thing is cost. Not so much that USB hardware is that much expensive, as you can get both RS232 and USB built into cheap mircocontrollers, but rather development costs. For many uses a RS232 port is easily implemented and even if more complex behavior is required one can find may a embedded OS that handles the job fine. USB is a far bigger development effort coupled with compliancy issues.
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One day it will happen but not yet.

One day maybe. For some devices I'm not sure it would ever be viable. On the flip side Ethernet is becoming huge in automation as it has none of the issues that USB has, is relatively fast and fairly cheap these days.
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You would be amazed at how much older stuff is still out there and still in regular use. We have cable testing equipment that use serial cables for download. Heck, one of the pieces of equipment uses 3.5 inch floppies for storing test results.

Yeah I have $100,000 machines that boot and RUN off floppy.
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For smaller companies it is cost prohibitive to purchase the latest greatest test gear. We would simply go broke. The old stuff still works fine and as long as it is serviced by the manufacturer there is no reason to dump it.

Conversely a lot of the specialized equipment companies can't afford to develop for USB. Some of these guys are very small shops doing one off or very short runs of equipment that has few uses outside of one or two industries. More importantly if more performance is needed USB isn't the smart choice for most of these types of equipment.
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And a lot of the newest equipment isn't capable of interfacing with the older panels that are in service. Old programming software doesn't run on newer OS's. You have to keep older computers around if you want the service and maintenance contracts. Lot's of businesses (like school districts) don't have the money to replace existing equipment that still does the job just because it is old.

I have two very old computers and one 5TI PLC programming terminal that I have to keep around just in case.
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And most of the specifications on the new installation jobs we do require electronic copy on optical media.

We get a lot of specs, manual and stuff these days on optical. Frankly it is a mixed bag. Paper manuals and especially prints can often be more useful than electronic distributions. I'd like to see an iPad used for this at work but frankly they still aren't fast enough and flexible enough for that sort of work.

Maybe I'm old but futzing around with a PDF reader can be very frustrating when you are under the gun to get a valuable line back in production.
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So for some of us (more than you are aware of) there is a continuing need for keeping the old even while embracing the new.

Nope, I think I'm in the same boat in a slightly different industry. Maybe I wasn't communicating well but my point is that RS232 has been dying for a very long time. Likewise USB won't be giving up the ghost anytime soon. More importantly TB will become a niche product if it doesn't get picked up in PC land.

Now in this thread nobody want to hear that. TB is the latest slice bread from Apple and is thus something that can not be dismissed in anyway. It will be very easy for TB to end up somewhat like Firewire in my mind. I'm sure it won't be as bad mainly because I believe Apple has a plan that hasn't been fully laid out yet.
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This may all sound crazy to people that are lucky enough to instantly move to the latest and greatest but switching over is a much slower process for the rest of the world.

Up until a couple of years ago I worked on equipment that still used RF tubes. Today I still have pre microprocessor based controllers running equipment that has been around longer than I in the plant. Given all of that the new stuff makes heavy use of Ethernet bypassing USB altogether. This is one of the reasons I'm bummed about AIR and the lack of a built in Ethernet port,.

The other issue with USB is its rather limited usability over any distance. People see USB being sued at home but don't realize that it sucks in other settings, often being a poorer choice than 9600 baud RS232. Oh one more other issue, many USB to "whatever adapters" suck pretty hard no matter what platform you are on.
post #82 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Now in this thread nobody want to hear that. TB is the latest slice bread from Apple and is thus something that can not be dismissed in anyway. It will be very easy for TB to end up somewhat like Firewire in my mind. I'm sure it won't be as bad mainly because I believe Apple has a plan that hasn't been fully laid out yet.

I agreed with you. I just got tired of making points on why I think this. Anyway we don't all have to like something just because apple backs it. The only thing I really like about it in its current form is that it's a potential high speed port that could be matched up throughout the line. Imacs and macbooks lacked any way to hook up esata so this looked like a successor to firewire on those machines, and yet the ports are still missing on the mac pro *sigh*

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Oh one more other issue, many USB to "whatever adapters" suck pretty hard no matter what platform you are on.

Agreed and apple has too many things that require adapters already. All of the mini versions of display connections never have a snug enough fit and the adapters are not entirely reliable. What this means is if you're traveling or these things are critical to your job, you end up with not only the adapter but a spare of each one used because these kinds of junk parts have a tendency to randomly die without warning.



Anyway I don't see it as a usb replacement especially if it's stuck at one port per laptop for now. Adapters, hubs, and other crap are a waste if you're trying to make a more compact laptop.
post #83 of 86
I just don't think it will ever compete with USB or even FireWire on cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I agreed with you. I just got tired of making points on why I think this. Anyway we don't all have to like something just because apple backs it. The only thing I really like about it in its current form is that it's a potential high speed port that could be matched up throughout the line. Imacs and macbooks lacked any way to hook up esata so this looked like a successor to firewire on those machines, and yet the ports are still missing on the mac pro *sigh*

Don't get me wrong TB has some good points I just don't see it becoming cost effective compared to USB anytime soon. Thus I'm not sure how many would pick a TB based drive over a USB3 based one. Obviously this depends upon ones ultimate need for the device but if that external drive is there for media storage TB will do nothing for you. What I think many mis is that this factor alone will drive TB to high end devices for a few years.

As to the Mac Pro well it should be obvious to everybody that that machine doesn't get updated until Intel has suitable chips for it. Sad I know but I suspect sales are so bad for the Mac Pro that it is actually one of Apples secret charities.
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Agreed and apple has too many things that require adapters already. All of the mini versions of display connections never have a snug enough fit and the adapters are not entirely reliable.

You mean Mini Display Port right? If so I tend to agree. It does make you wonder why Apple implemented a high performance port over a questionable connector.
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What this means is if you're traveling or these things are critical to your job, you end up with not only the adapter but a spare of each one used because these kinds of junk parts have a tendency to randomly die without warning.

At work if the IT guys run out of serial ports they then use USB adapters. As you note the quality of the hardware and even the drivers varies widely. I can't count the number of times I've had to get a platform running again by cycling power on a USB dongle.

The lack of an Ethernet port on the AIR is a big shortcoming for me. Every time I mention that some bozzo says get a USB dongle to which I just shake my head. I'm often amazed at the ignorance and gullibility seen in these forums.
Quote:
Anyway I don't see it as a usb replacement especially if it's stuck at one port per laptop for now. Adapters, hubs, and other crap are a waste if you're trying to make a more compact laptop.

The adapter mentality is a joke for sure. What is the point of a compact laptop if you need a whole bag full of flaky adapters. Especially from the stand point of a tech that needs to carry special purpose adapters with him anyways.

TB might give us the potential of better performing adapters, especially since they work outside of the USB stack. The problem is this who wants to pay seventy to a hundred dollars extra for an adapter?
post #84 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I think maybe I didn't state my point well as I'm in a similar situation. I work automation which is similar in its reliance upon older technologies. In any event I still think people are dreaming when they look at TB as a USB replacement, the difference in the technology, implementation costs and other issues will keep the two ports around for a very long time.


Not in the last year though I did help one of our facilities guys debug an issue a couple of years ago.

You say high speed or the lack of need for that is the reason they stay away from USB. That is certainly part of it but the other thing is cost. Not so much that USB hardware is that much expensive, as you can get both RS232 and USB built into cheap mircocontrollers, but rather development costs. For many uses a RS232 port is easily implemented and even if more complex behavior is required one can find may a embedded OS that handles the job fine. USB is a far bigger development effort coupled with compliancy issues.

One day maybe. For some devices I'm not sure it would ever be viable. On the flip side Ethernet is becoming huge in automation as it has none of the issues that USB has, is relatively fast and fairly cheap these days.

Yeah I have $100,000 machines that boot and RUN off floppy.

Conversely a lot of the specialized equipment companies can't afford to develop for USB. Some of these guys are very small shops doing one off or very short runs of equipment that has few uses outside of one or two industries. More importantly if more performance is needed USB isn't the smart choice for most of these types of equipment.

I have two very old computers and one 5TI PLC programming terminal that I have to keep around just in case.

We get a lot of specs, manual and stuff these days on optical. Frankly it is a mixed bag. Paper manuals and especially prints can often be more useful than electronic distributions. I'd like to see an iPad used for this at work but frankly they still aren't fast enough and flexible enough for that sort of work.

Maybe I'm old but futzing around with a PDF reader can be very frustrating when you are under the gun to get a valuable line back in production.

Nope, I think I'm in the same boat in a slightly different industry. Maybe I wasn't communicating well but my point is that RS232 has been dying for a very long time. Likewise USB won't be giving up the ghost anytime soon. More importantly TB will become a niche product if it doesn't get picked up in PC land.

Now in this thread nobody want to hear that. TB is the latest slice bread from Apple and is thus something that can not be dismissed in anyway. It will be very easy for TB to end up somewhat like Firewire in my mind. I'm sure it won't be as bad mainly because I believe Apple has a plan that hasn't been fully laid out yet.


Up until a couple of years ago I worked on equipment that still used RF tubes. Today I still have pre microprocessor based controllers running equipment that has been around longer than I in the plant. Given all of that the new stuff makes heavy use of Ethernet bypassing USB altogether. This is one of the reasons I'm bummed about AIR and the lack of a built in Ethernet port,.

The other issue with USB is its rather limited usability over any distance. People see USB being sued at home but don't realize that it sucks in other settings, often being a poorer choice than 9600 baud RS232. Oh one more other issue, many USB to "whatever adapters" suck pretty hard no matter what platform you are on.


Quoting the whole post for thread inflation

Bleh we live with what has become a heavily consumerized brand. They make things that work well for the majority of people out there with light to moderate needs. I/O port functions seem to be a real problem at times as they often clash with apple's design concepts. Mini displayport has been terrible since the start. The adapters suck too. It's not just a pin remapping but an inferior standard. As for ethernet ports they may be watching to see how many complaints arise from doing that on the Air with similar plans for the rest of their laptop line. I like some of what Apple does but it feels like everything is all about design and looks these days with less and less regard for preserving functionality. In that regard they've done something that none of the other oems have ever accomplished. They've made a computer brand fashionable.
post #85 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

I like some of what Apple does but it feels like everything is all about design and looks these days with less and less regard for preserving functionality. In that regard they've done something that none of the other oems have ever accomplished. They've made a computer brand fashionable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jobs

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.

If you understood that, you'd understand. If you don't understand that, you'd be a PC manufacturer.

   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

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   Apple develops an improved programming language.  Google copied Java.  Everything you need to know, right there.

 

  MA497LL/A FB463LL/A MC572LL/A FC060LL/A MD481LL/A MD388LL/A ME344LL/A

Reply
post #86 of 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by John.B View Post

If you understood that, you'd understand. If you don't understand that, you'd be a PC manufacturer.

You knew what I meant and you're trolling, but I'll respond anyway. They obviously calculate how many users are affected by one thing or another. Plugging in an external display sucks and has never had a firm connection, yet the magnetic charger connection is awesome. When they remove ports it often affects only the most demanding users. The guys at Apple realize what they're doing. If some of the ports happen to suck they're aware of it, but made the decision to use them anyway.
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