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    It’s more worth reading to the end than I expected. I was expecting to find the author touting the modernity we have, and presenting some case where everything we do and know today is better than it was.

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      The point about I/O is important — it makes these sorts of comparisons hard to summarize (“we went to the moon with a pocket calculator!” …no). People don’t realize how much was done in hardware on the guidance computer to allow it to connect to so many sensors and maintain real-time accuracy with such limited CPU power. Nowadays one uses an overpowered general-purpose computer because it’s much cheaper to just throw excess cycles at the real-time problem.

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      This has as much to do with USB PD being complicated as it does with 32-bit MCUs becoming extremely cheap.

      You can implement PD with a tiny 8-bit MCU and a few hundred bytes of RAM, but why bother when you can spend a few more cents and use a cortex-M0?

      We’ve long crossed the threshold where the incremental engineering effort is more expensive than the incremental compute & RAM. This is the reason why USB chargers could fly us to the moon.

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        With regards to:

        “USB-C Power Delivery solves problems and gives us new capabilities. But it is another step toward increasing complexity. It is another firmware and chip to handle during manufacturing. “

        I am wondering if the sensor they have built, could also use USB-C PD for video signal transmission. In this way, perhaps USB-C PD can simplify manufacturing and reduce complexity?

        Big attraction of USB-C PD is elimination of proprietary hardware, and proprietary protocols to negotiate power, video and networking transmission (with DRD - Dual Role Device) demands between physically connected, and, importantly, independently manufactured devices.

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          This just made me realise that these chargers are probably not running on Free Software.

          Is it possible to update their firmware? If so, Richard Stallman would not approve of using these non-free chargers. We should not even mention them, lest anyone would think it’s acceptable to use them for anything.

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            Is it really NetBSD policy to take cheap shots at RMS?

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              We should not even mention them, lest anyone would think it’s acceptable to use them for anything.

              Miserable heretic! May Stallman break down your door at 3 AM and beat you savagely with the head of a dead penguin.