Should You Thank A Man?
Start of November 7 Column

Thank God And Guru: One Charging Cable To Rule Them All

The EU will require USB-C charging for mobile devices by the end of 2024

One cable type for everything. A single standard for all power cables, meaning interchangeable and less expensive chargers, except for devices like the Apple iWatch which cannot be charged with a cable).

Let me translate that for you: No More Lightning Connectors! It seems unlikely that Apple will make separate European versions of everything, or that it will give up the European Market.  For me, it means no longer taking four kinds of cables with me on vacation, “Just In Case.”

I admit it would be nice if all USB connectors were reversible, like the Lightning connector. Maybe vendors could paint one side black, just so we wouldn’t have to toss a coin every time we plug something in.

I am old enough to remember the Wild West days of DOS before the IBM PC. A dozen serial connectors (RS-232 anyone?) and a dozen parallel connectors (Centronics Parallel anyone?). Standards are good. They lower costs and make life easier for consumers. What’s not to like?

I love quoting my good friend, one of the fathers of the PC, George Morrow. On the subject of standards, he was both flippant and serious.

Flippant: “I believe in standards.  Everyone should have them.”

Serious: “It is the user's responsibility to promote standards.  Companies that try to set their own standards should not be rewarded by getting the users' dollars.”

When serious, he was not only right, he placed the responsibility where it belongs: on us, the users.

Workers of the World Unite! You have nothing to loses but your chains―comprised of random charger cables. God Bless The EU!


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