Rant: Why Can’t Cables & Adapters be Standardized?

angry man- smallerWarning, rant follows!!

If your household is anything like mine, you have numerous devices which either require connecting to the PC occasionally or charging regularly, and each device’s cable comes with a different connection on one end or different power adapter. For example; in our household, with just the two of us, we have 2 cameras, a Navman GPS, 2 eReaders, an iPad, and 2 cellphones, none of which include cables that are interchangeable… each cable’s device end connection is slightly different in shape and/or size to the others. Is this a waste of money and resources or what?

Now I’m not the neatest of people but I have manged to keep all my connection cables together in an old shoe box. I guess I could have attached labels to them as well but, quite frankly, I’m just not that organized either. Consequently, each time I want to connect a specific device to the PC I have to go through a frustrating ritual of trial and error. Why can’t cable connectors be universal?

Why Can’t Power Adapters be Universal Too?

mess of cables twoEven more annoying is the vast array of different AC/DC power adapters needed to power our devices. Obviously, radically different types of devices are often going to require different wattage and amperage output but what about those devices that fall within the same genre. For example; over the years I’ve needed to replace my router 5 times and each router’s power adapter has come with different specs, so when a router dies, another perfectly good adapter then becomes unusable. Similarly, over the years myself and she who must be obeyed have replaced 6 cellphones between us, each accompanied by a different power adapter, not only different in specs but also different in the way they connect to the phone.

I now have a pile of power adapters, all in good working order and for all sorts of devices, sitting on a bench in the garage just gathering dust. Why do I keep them? Because you never know, when a power adapter currently in use breaks down one of the old ones might just be a perfect fit. The only thing is, that never quite pans out, does it.

So, here’s an idea. How about all you manufacturers get together and adopt a universal standard for cable connections and power adapters? What’s that, you make too much extra money out of charging for separate cables and adapters each time… hmmm.


About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

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