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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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So there’s all this excitement about the epic speed of USB 3. Stop getting excited.

USB 2 has a decent amount of bandwidth, but I don’t even care. It’s a dog. It breaks constantly. It doesn’t scale. Try running an external disk, an external sound card, and a mouse all at the same time on a laptop while doing anything compute and/or IO-intensive on your machine. It doesn’t work. It’s not a matter that the drivers are bad (but, dear reader, they are). It’s just that the architecture doesn’t scale for all of the things it has been made to satisfy — USB must now be our mouse, keyboard, external storage, printer, mobile music player, phone, and god knows what else cable.

USB was meant to be a replacement for the serial port. It should be for communication peripherals, and not for data pipes. I’ve long since given up the “firewire was meant for what most people use USB for” argument, as firewire is dead. This is a bummer, but you can get better throughput from a NAS on a gigabit ethernet line than you can from FW800, and even now most machines only come with FW400 if at all.

I don’t get why we’re not seeing more eSATA. Let’s put our heavy IO stuff on a suitable peripheral connection.

There is one upside to this, though. With everybody talking about the bandwidth potential of USB3, nobody is going nuts about wireless USB, which as far as I can tell is still a bad replacement for bluetooth. Count your blessings.