One cable to rule them all: a look at Apple's retired connectors through the years

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 56
    berndogberndog Posts: 90member
    Time to close all the holes and go to lightwave, radio wave or induction to access the box
  • Reply 22 of 56
    Express Card? I think there were a couple of variants. both a card and an MBP to plug it into. Not sure if it works, though.
  • Reply 23 of 56
    anomeanome Posts: 1,486member
    Pata had a problem where you could only have 4 hard disk devices. Each pair of hard disks took up an IRQ. And the host of course has to do the transfers. so accessing your hard disk steals attention from the cpu

    scisi supported a chain of up to 15 devices and it only used one IRQ. And the hard disks can move data between each other without the CPU being involved. 


    IRQs back in the old days were very precious. if your computer had a printer , a sound card , a modem , and a mouse. Well that was it. u had no more room for any more devices.  Maybe you could throw in additional cards that don't use IRQs

    the IBM PC AT gave you more IRQs. But you really only had irq 9 free. And that was used for your video card 

    you young kids that build your own computers don't know the pain

    Another neat thing that Apple did, that the PC line didn't, was assign IRQs to the slots, not to the peripherals. PCs were very picky about which interrupts you used for which devices, so your VGA card had to be on a specific IRQ, your drive controller on another, and you had to set dipswitches on the board for other things, and tell the system which interrupt it was using.

    On the Mac, IRQs were assigned automatically by the system, usually depending on which slot or bus the device was connected to. Of course, you often had to set the SCSI ID on the devices on your SCSI chain, but that was usually less complicated. And only affected you if you were adding multiple SCSI devices.

    watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 56
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Soli said:
    We're living in the golden age of port interfaces. This doesn't go into all the connectors used by WinPCs, but thanks to Apple moving to USB we saw a lot of those fall away much faster than they would have had Apple not made the first move. I do not miss all the variants of DVI that appeared on Macs over the years. Long live the USB-C port interface.


    ascii said:
    Nice survey. That last sentence is a key point though. The Thunderbolt 3 bus over USB type C port will not be the one port to rule them all, it will just be one more port.
    The USB-C port interface is the closest we've ever come to that and it's one of two port interfaces on the current MBP. I see no reason why protocols graters than USB 3.1 and TB3 won't be able to utilize USB-C in the future so why don't you think it fits the "to "one port to rule them all" mantra?
    I think they will eventually replace USB-C with something else for the same reason they replaced USB-A with USB-C, namely they will want to have a smaller connector still.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 56
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member

    ascii said:
    Nice survey. That last sentence is a key point though. The Thunderbolt 3 bus over USB type C port will not be the one port to rule them all, it will just be one more port.
    Try explaining that?

    One connector with both a professional (40 Gbit/s bi-directional 80 Gbit/s)  and consumer (10 Gbit/s) level data transfer standards on it. Plus, it's backward compatible with all versions of USB without a dongle (converter), just change the cable, $5 each and at most you'll need 3 cables. I had been waiting a long time to replace a lot of my external devices, now I only buy USB-C/TB-3 and most come with USB-C to USB-A cables.

    It can pretty much can replace everything out there (USB, Firewire, Serial, parallel, mini-SATA, HDMI, Display Port, ethernet, audio, etc).

    Plus with a dock, you can channel everything to include audio, video, ethernet, a discrete GPU and 100w of laptop power through a single cable. If anything the laptop power will make it the go to standard, since no other cable does it and that power can be drawn from a power supply or another device, like a monitor.

    I only use a dock at home so I can use one cable to connect everything. I'm only on Thunderbolt 1 and it works like a charm.

    I can't think of a single consumer device (TVs, computers, smartphones, etc,) that couldn't replace all of it's ports with this one connector, maybe with the exception of ethernet, since that plug is unlikely to be replaced due to the nature of the cabling.

    One current consumer device that does not perform optimally optimally over TB3 is eGPUs. If you look at most reviews they say that it runs ~ 15% slower than the same GPU connected via a PCI-E slot. We should expect a future TB4 to have higher data rates and lower latency/protocol overhead. You can imagine 8K monitors aren't that far away either (Dell already has the UP3218K - 7680 x 4320 resolution).

    But that's just a protocol/controller upgrade. Whether it will require a new port too I don't know, they might just run the current one as higher frequency. But as I said to Soli I think they will eventually want to go to something smaller. Can't you imagine a more futuristic port than USB-C? Maybe a pure fibre optic connector called USB-X. Technology doesn't stand still.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 56
    Coax for token ring?? That's the most obscure bit of kit I've ever heard of - I think you have it confused with thinnet i.e. 10base2 ethernet.  
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 27 of 56
    lwiolwio Posts: 100member
    I think my old performa 5200 had an rs432 connector as opposed to an rs232 never did really know the difference. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 28 of 56
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    We would probably be still using FireWire if it wasn't for Apple wanting royalty payments on every computer sold
    The FireWire Consortium, which was quite a bit more than just Apple, including contributions from Texas Instruments, Sony, Digital Equipment Corporation, IBM, and INMOS/SGS Thomson, was by no means the only standards body to get royalties from manufacturers using the standard. (I edited one of the IEEE.1394 standard versions, and that was done along with some co-workers from, and with the blessing of, Sun Microsystems.)

    For a couple examples, HDMI use involves royalties, and Thunderbolt required royalties to be paid until a bit after Thunderbolt 3 arrived.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 56
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    The eight-pin lightning connector is a technological marvel. It's such a beautiful, compact, and robust design.
    watto_cobrajony0
  • Reply 30 of 56
    stevehsteveh Posts: 480member
    The ADB port was invented at Apple, and it was also used (for a while) by NeXT, HP, and Sun Microsystems, although Sun, at least, didn't call it that.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 56
    irelandireland Posts: 17,794member
    Marco Aments three best articles, all written within a few months of one another. Apt to link to them now.

    Dream, the impossible dream https://marco.org/2017/10/14/impossible-dream-of-usb-c
    Fixing the MBP https://marco.org/2017/11/24/fixing-the-macbook-pro
    The best laptop ever made https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever
    edited July 2018
  • Reply 32 of 56
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,567administrator
    ireland said:
    Marco Aments three best articles, all written within a few months of one another. Apt to link to them now.

    Dream, the impossible dream https://marco.org/2017/10/14/impossible-dream-of-usb-c
    Fixing the MBP https://marco.org/2017/11/24/fixing-the-macbook-pro
    The best laptop ever made https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever
    Ah yes, the ArmentBook Pro.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 56
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    ascii said:Is 
    Soli said:
    We're living in the golden age of port interfaces. This doesn't go into all the connectors used by WinPCs, but thanks to Apple moving to USB we saw a lot of those fall away much faster than they would have had Apple not made the first move. I do not miss all the variants of DVI that appeared on Macs over the years. Long live the USB-C port interface.


    ascii said:
    Nice survey. That last sentence is a key point though. The Thunderbolt 3 bus over USB type C port will not be the one port to rule them all, it will just be one more port.
    The USB-C port interface is the closest we've ever come to that and it's one of two port interfaces on the current MBP. I see no reason why protocols graters than USB 3.1 and TB3 won't be able to utilize USB-C in the future so why don't you think it fits the "to "one port to rule them all" mantra?
    I think they will eventually replace USB-C with something else for the same reason they replaced USB-A with USB-C, namely they will want to have a smaller connector still.
    I don't understand what your point is. I don't think the article—or anyone else—made any claim that there will never ever be a port interface to come after USB-C.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 56
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,825member
  • Reply 35 of 56
    asciiascii Posts: 5,936member
    Soli said:
    ascii said:Is 
    Soli said:
    We're living in the golden age of port interfaces. This doesn't go into all the connectors used by WinPCs, but thanks to Apple moving to USB we saw a lot of those fall away much faster than they would have had Apple not made the first move. I do not miss all the variants of DVI that appeared on Macs over the years. Long live the USB-C port interface.


    ascii said:
    Nice survey. That last sentence is a key point though. The Thunderbolt 3 bus over USB type C port will not be the one port to rule them all, it will just be one more port.
    The USB-C port interface is the closest we've ever come to that and it's one of two port interfaces on the current MBP. I see no reason why protocols graters than USB 3.1 and TB3 won't be able to utilize USB-C in the future so why don't you think it fits the "to "one port to rule them all" mantra?
    I think they will eventually replace USB-C with something else for the same reason they replaced USB-A with USB-C, namely they will want to have a smaller connector still.
    I don't understand what your point is. I don't think the article—or anyone else—made any claim that there will never ever be a port interface to come after USB-C.
    I interpreted the line in the article "it appears Apple has achieved much of what it's been reaching for much of its history," as saying we have reached some kind of one port utopia.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 36 of 56
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,265member
    ireland said:
    Marco Aments three best articles, all written within a few months of one another. Apt to link to them now.

    Dream, the impossible dream https://marco.org/2017/10/14/impossible-dream-of-usb-c
    Fixing the MBP https://marco.org/2017/11/24/fixing-the-macbook-pro
    The best laptop ever made https://marco.org/2017/11/14/best-laptop-ever
    Ah yes, the ArmentBook Pro.
    Is he serious?  Not “enough bandwidth”?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 37 of 56
    SoliSoli Posts: 10,033member
    ascii said:
    Soli said:
    ascii said:Is 
    Soli said:
    We're living in the golden age of port interfaces. This doesn't go into all the connectors used by WinPCs, but thanks to Apple moving to USB we saw a lot of those fall away much faster than they would have had Apple not made the first move. I do not miss all the variants of DVI that appeared on Macs over the years. Long live the USB-C port interface.


    ascii said:
    Nice survey. That last sentence is a key point though. The Thunderbolt 3 bus over USB type C port will not be the one port to rule them all, it will just be one more port.
    The USB-C port interface is the closest we've ever come to that and it's one of two port interfaces on the current MBP. I see no reason why protocols graters than USB 3.1 and TB3 won't be able to utilize USB-C in the future so why don't you think it fits the "to "one port to rule them all" mantra?
    I think they will eventually replace USB-C with something else for the same reason they replaced USB-A with USB-C, namely they will want to have a smaller connector still.
    I don't understand what your point is. I don't think the article—or anyone else—made any claim that there will never ever be a port interface to come after USB-C.
    I interpreted the line in the article "it appears Apple has achieved much of what it's been reaching for much of its history," as saying we have reached some kind of one port utopia.
    If you use utopia to mean perfection in the absolute where it can't possibly get better in any regard, then that obviously isn't the case with anything in technology; but if you look at USB-C as being an achievement that allows for single port interface that will allow for a huge variety of data types and power then it's clearly achieved something that we've been working toward for decades.

    I can see USB-C evolving even more to get 20 Gibps speeds in a future revision, along with TB4 speeds being added (80 Gibps?). Eventually we'll probably see a smaller connection (micro-USB-C?) that has many of the same features of USB-C, but unlike USB-A, USB-C is small and robust enough that it's not going to force the USB-IF into creating a large assortment of different port interfaces to deal with different demands.

    Smartphones, tablets and PCs can all use USB-C. Maybe these will get too thin to be able to use USB-C and we'll need something thinner to replace it, but I don't see that happening soon.

    The biggest issue I see will come from much smaller CE, like wireless headphones, which are still using micro-USB-B (a port interface I hate), but even then the need for "micro-USB-C" will likely be further minimized as Qi charging gains in popularity. Devices like headphones have such small batteries that inductive charging would be fast and easy, as exampled by AirPods.

    I have no concerns about USB-C being the future of USB but I do have two questions about it: 1) When will automobiles start to support USB-C, and 2) will they offer enough power that I'll be able to power a Mac notebook over the USB-C connection?

    PS: I recently traveled with my 2017 MacBook Pro and Nintendo Switch. It was great to only need to carry the charger for my MBP because both used USB-C for charging.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 38 of 56
    DuhSesameDuhSesame Posts: 1,265member
    How about we look the Type-C Thunderbolt in another way.  Sure, it’s not compatible if you just want to stick skmething in, but if you have multiple devices to connect, there’s not a better solution than Type-C.  With some proper management, I’m able to use multiple DisplayPort monitors with many Type-A hub built-in, while charging the MacBook Pros at rated 100W, only with a single port.  How many ports will you use and left for the previous generation?

    Then let’s not forget that even 17-inch MacBook Pros have only three Type-A ports, which many OEM laptops offered four, but none of the ones I know today have four Type-C with thunderbolt 3.
    edited July 2018 watto_cobra
  • Reply 39 of 56
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 3,714member
    You forgot to include all the video interfaces - but that would have doubled the length of the article!

    USB-C is not an interface per se, rather a new plug for USB 3. The problem(s) I have with it are first convenience - by not including even a single usb A port, Apple guaranteed that you would need to use a dongle to use any USB A device - the most common interface/plug by orders of magnitude. Second, car and away the most common activity people do with a laptop is charge it, and after 6 months with a new MacBook, I can say that USB C is definitely inferior to the old MagSafe connector. 

    Finally, has anyone gone to the allow store web site and looked at the reviews for USB C dongles? They are universally panned. Having ‘one connector to rule them all’ is fine as long as you can use it. It appears that many people can’t. 
  • Reply 40 of 56
    “FireWire was quickly replaced by Thunderbolt”? 1999 to 2013 is quick in the tech world?
    "first sold as part of a consumer product on 24 February 2011" by Intel

    Once Thunderbolt was introduced, yes. Thunderbolt was introduced on the 2011 13"/15" MacBook Pros and overlapped with Firewire for only two years. My 15" 2013 MBP is Thunderbolt only. the overlap was probably a little longer on the desktop models.


    watto_cobra
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