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    I skimmed this, strikes me as highly revisionist. It was apparent at the time that Intel and Microsoft rolled out a new technology to force a hardware upgrade cycle. The USB architecture put a PC at the center of all data movement, where firewire was device to device, think connecting audio/video/storage equipment directly w/o have an intermediary. Intel was scared that the PC would no longer be the center of the data movement hub.

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      USB is a low cost solution compared to stuff like firewire though. I feel like this is a legit concern, and nobody was going to be making cheap firewire mice, for example.

      USB as the cheapest way to build a thing to connect to a machine seems like a pretty straightforward raison d’etre, I think.

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      USB - A shitty problems-introducing half-baked solution, designed in the terms of the shittiest version of everything, to a problem that could have been perhaps left unsolved for a little longer.

      Now we’re going to go with this for who knows how long, with all the mess it lugs behind. 6-simultaneous-key-press-limit on keyboards and everything.

      Plus, with constant idiotic updates, the USB cables are becoming the issue they were attempting to solve. Great job!

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        The 6-key limit is a myth. Competently designed USB keyboards can support NKRO fine. The problem seems more that a lot of keyboard makers don’t actually understand the the HID standard, or don’t care.

        There’s plenty about USB that’s crap though.

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          Did look on and found ergodox drivers firmware that have NKRO. Will look on it when I’m more pissed about the limit than what I’m now. Thank you.

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          You really think leaving the problem unsolved for longer would have resulted in a better solution?

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            It’s more about whether anybody was needed to solve it in the first place. I’m sure they already thought of universal connection for peripherals in 1960s but they couldn’t make it yet back then. Also the existing serial ports would have been getting smaller and faster in any case. Possibly we could have handled without USB perfectly well.

            The answer to your question is yes though. You can use Internet protocol suite for communication between small devices as well. By now it could be extended to all peripherals. Instead of USB we could have had yet another entry on the link-layer.

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              I think it’s important to view USB in the context of where it came from, rather than comparing it to current technology and evaluating it only in hindsight.

              It’s more about whether anybody was needed to solve it in the first place.

              The experience of using USB today completely outclasses the ISA, PCI, Parallel Port, and PS/2 connections of the day. I used to have to set physical jumpers on a sound card to make sure that the IRQ and DMA settings matched what my motherboard/OS supported and didn’t conflict with other installed cards. 20 minutes on my knees with a manual and screwdriver in hand, every time, only knowing if you got it right after booting up the OS each time and testing it with some software. Yes, I think someone needed to solve this.

              Possibly we could have handled without USB perfectly well.

              I honestly feel that we had to go through a painful phase (non-flippable connectors, manual jumpers, plethora of cable types, screwed-in vs non-screwed in connectors, manually setting non-conflicting IRQs, power distribution) before we could get to a decent one, and I’d rather that painful phase be in the past than the future. Same as with Bluetooth – there was a bad time, and now things “generally” work unless you’re doing something at the fringes. Waiting for the next thing would have just delayed any lessons the industry could have learned.

              Did you know the USB spec required the ‘trident’ logo to be on the top side of the connector, meaning you always knew which way to plug it in? This seems like a great solution, until you witness millions of people messing it up every time (without even knowing this was part of the standard), compounded by dubious manufacturers flooding the market and ignoring the spec (sometimes making cables without any trident, let alone on the wrong side). You only witness these things by having a product in the wild or having seen another products/specs suffer these problems in the wild. In either case, there is a painful phase that eventually stabilizes into something useful.

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            Plus, with constant idiotic updates, the USB cables are becoming the issue they were attempting to solve.

            This, exactly! The U stands for Universal, the idea that any device could connect to another. If I recall correctly, even before USB 1.0 was released there were two incompatible plug types in widespread use: A and B. Supposedly this was to separate the host and client, but as devices quickly appeared that could be either host or client (think of plugging a camera directly into a printer) the mess because apparent. It’s only gotten worse from there, with USB C, mini- then micro-USB, and the micro versions of USB B and 3 (I still daily drive a Note 3 with the Micro USB 3 I think it is).

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              What are you doing that requires more than six keys being pushed down at one time?

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                In my case, hotseat multiplayer games like Liero (think realtime Worms). Playing with two kids on one keyboard is super fun!

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                  Nothing, but it’s still a thing that limits the use of a keyboard and is stupidly low number for a key buffer. It should be at least 24 keys, preferable 4000 keys. Pointless to have so small buffer.

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                    I don’t know about you, but I only have ten fingers, and I only really use eight of them for typing.

                    Probably should’ve made the limit 8 instead of 6. You could fit the full set of keycodes (assuming I’m reading this correctly and all USB scan codes are one byte) evenly into four 16bit registers, or, nowadays, one 64bit register.

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                      FWIW it’s not actually 6 keys total; modifier keys don’t count towards the limit.

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                I mean, USB is awful, but the most awful thing about it these days is that anyone thought USB power delivery at big watts makes any kind of sense, knowing what we know about the state of the USB cabling infrastructure.