Heads or Tails? How about trick coins instead?

Why are there two different sides to a coin? I mean, back when cave men decided to replace the barter system with gold and silver, then the gold and silver with coins and bills, did they predict we would use coins for coin tosses and Credit Cards for everything else?

But this blog is not for history buffs, nor is it for the Chicken or the Egg type questions.. It’s for technology.

If you find it hard to fathom why thousands of years ago they made coins double sided, then you should probably stop reading now; because it only gets mysteriouser and mysteriouser…

Now for the million dollar question:

Seeing as data cables support two-way communication between a device and a PC, why are there two different ends to a cable?

Before you answer, think about the following:

  • It cannot be for making money off male-to-female converters (and vice-versa), because it would be cheaper to mass-produce cables with matching ends.
  • Firewire is an example of a product that tried to set things right.. It had three different types of heads (!!!) and more types of cables than I can count (actually its 3! which equals six cables ;D) but of the six cables, three had matching ends (contact me for the math :P).. These found their biggest audience to be those searching to link identical devices to one another, for example, networking two PCs, transferring video between to Digital Video Cameras, etc. But now Firewire is dead..
  • Using head/tail converters (aka extension cables) will significantly lower quality and speed, introduce static/interference, and decrease performance by some of the basic laws of physics.. You are adding resistance, you are adding a conductor that is in many times not 100% sealed, and you are rerouting the electric flow.
  • If cheaper production costs, easier usage, and better performance aren’t enough to make you ask why, let me ask: why not?

I think the answer is simple. At any rate, even if this answer is incorrect, it makes sense, it works, and there is really no other explanation.. Unless you have details on solving this obvious X-File, in that case send me an email…

One of the first things you learn in any business management course, or any other type of management course for that matter; is something known as the commitment concept.

In a nutshell, the commitment concept refers to the tendency of managers and designers (anyone in charge of making decisions) to stick to something that is obviously wrong and/or flawed, in an attempt to distance themselves from marks of ‘failure’ or mistakes. It seems quite obvious that we started off with a flawed design, and apparently no one had the guts to stand up and say “This is obviously the wrong way fo doing it, let’s try something new,” no one did that then, and no one is doing it now… Let’s hope its not too late.

Apparently according to the rumor mill Apple is dumping its own industry-standard Firewire.. According to the ‘sources’ they are replacing it with USB 2.0. Firewire B (or 2.0) exists, is faster than USB 2.0 and is just as easy to use. However, it seems that Apple is not taking that path.. I have always looked to Apple for hardware innovations (I mean, come on, they now have mouses with TWO buttons!) so here’s to hoping they take the right stance on this issue if they choose to develop something new..

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