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'[going OT] USB Micros'
1998\02\07@150418 by Chris Eddy

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I bought the $99 starter kit for 1.5M design work.  Taking it out of the box was
the easy part.  It has been a multi-week ordeal getting USB to run on the PC.
First I bought a new PC.  Then I discovered that the USB port was not
acknowledged by '95 (must be the OEM version 2.1+USB).  So I found that I needed
a handful of BIOS updates and patches and drivers and PHD's.  10 hours later '95
no longer boots.  I have the Beta for '98 on my desk, and I am tempted to load
it
up.  Chances are the MB still won't give me a valid port to address.

The big thing going through my head is, if it is this hard for me, how hard will
it be for customers?  Will it be a good 20 or 30 years before everyone has
working USB ports?

Sigh.

Chris Eddy

Eric Smith wrote:

{Quote hidden}

1998\02\09@152941 by )

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Chris Eddy Wrote:

> It has been a multi-week ordeal getting USB to run on the PC.
> First I bought a new PC.  Then I discovered that the USB port was not
> acknowledged by '95 (must be the OEM version 2.1+USB).  So I found
> that I needed a handful of BIOS updates and patches and drivers and
> PHD's.  10 hours later '95 no longer boots.  I have the Beta for '98
> on my desk, and I am tempted to load it up.  Chances are the MB still
> won't give me a valid port to address. The big thing going through my
> head is, if it is this hard for me, how hard will it be for customers?
> Will it be a good 20 or 30 years before everyone has working USB
> ports?
>
I've often asked myself the same question. If I, as a degreed EE with 10
years professional experience and almost 25 years as a hobbyist and 17
years experience with all sorts of computers from mainframes to embedded
controllers, have trouble - what does an average consumer do that has
trouble programming their VCR? I've gotten into "plug n' play"
situations that made feel like I ought to go change my pants! It would
be too easy for me to simply be able to tell '95 "look here's what I
added and here's where I put it or here's where I want you to put it,
now go and test it". Instead I get a bunch of cheerie windows telling me
that everything is being taken care of by Micro$oft somewhat reminiscent
of Zaphod's sunglasses which turn black before impending death so that
you can relax and not fear what you don't know!

I did a quick check on a system I'm building for myself. I had no
trouble recognizing USB, but did not have any devices to test, plus my
motherboard has a 14 pin dual row header connector for USB and all the
connector kits I've seen have a single row (6 pin?). My motherboards are
ABIT IT5H and PX5. Anyone know the pinouts? ABIT has a pretty good web
site, but doesn't seem to respond to email individuals.

I asked this question about a year ago "So where are all the USB
peripherals?" I know about Kodak's digital camera (or two by now) and
the Keytronics keyboard and a few others. There's that USB "full" motion
video capture device. Not exactly the interface I would have chosen for
the required bandwidth. So I ask again where are all the USB
peripherals? How about USB floppy drives (that can operate in the
background, instead of taking up most of the CPU time when active), USB
ZIP drives, USB modems, USB to IR, USB to IRDA, USB game controllers.
Useful things! I don't need my monitor "networked". I have seen a few
USB monitors (and I ask myself "why?"). And I don't want my SCSI-2
devices replaced by something 1/10 the speed! Heck, how about even being
able to control my PC speakers from my keyboard (volume, bass, treble,
3D, etc.)? How about a USB to RS232 or USB to ECP/EPP? Where are these
things? In order for USB to take off, it needs creative peripherals that
also fit the available bandwidth.

-Frank

1998\02\09@155033 by John A. Craft

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At 03:03 PM 2/7/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I bought the $99 starter kit for 1.5M design work.  Taking it out of the
box was
>the easy part.  It has been a multi-week ordeal getting USB to run on the PC.
>First I bought a new PC.  Then I discovered that the USB port was not
>acknowledged by '95 (must be the OEM version 2.1+USB).  So I found that I
needed
>a handful of BIOS updates and patches and drivers and PHD's.  10 hours
later '95
>no longer boots.  I have the Beta for '98 on my desk, and I am tempted to
load
> it
>up.  Chances are the MB still won't give me a valid port to address.
>
>The big thing going through my head is, if it is this hard for me, how
hard will
>it be for customers?  Will it be a good 20 or 30 years before everyone has
>working USB ports?
>
>Sigh.
>
>Chris Eddy


I am currently running 98 beta 3, and it "plugged and played" the intel USB
camera I have.

Seems to work ok, for beta sofware anyway.

Jc.

1998\02\09@205722 by Jamen Porteus

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Hi,
I keep telling myself that I'm pretty switched on, so why haven't I
heard of USB.
What is it?
Is this something new that I've read about and promptly forgot because
it did not apply to me.
Please educate me :-))
thanks to all on the list.
Jamen Porteus

Richterkessing, Frank H (GEA, 055132) wrote:

{Quote hidden}

1998\02\09@222810 by Peter van Hoof

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USB stands for universal serial bus , a medium speed serial communications
port on newer types of PC's that is able to supply devices hooked up to them
with a modest amount of power, is hot pluggable, loads and unloads drivers
whenever a new device is added to the chain and can have 128 devices hooked
up to one port, but better than taking my word for it (I'm known to be wrong
sometimes) check it out at http://www.usb.org

Peter

spam_OUTpvhTakeThisOuTspammicroserve.net

{Original Message removed}

1998\02\09@223748 by Walter Banks

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Richterkessing, Frank H (GEA, 055132) wrote:
>
> Chris Eddy Wrote:
>
> > It has been a multi-week ordeal getting USB to run on the PC.
> > First I bought a new PC. .

> In order for USB to take off, it needs creative peripherals that
> also fit the available bandwidth.

USB on Windows 98 is a sane replacement for the many
peripherals that are currently available that plug
into the printer ports. The rise of many of these devices
came from the reluctance of PC users to open the box
to add new devices.

USB is a universal interface that even with its limitations
can provide a flexible way to change the configuration
of a computer. The beta versions of Windows 98 although
far from perfect shows a lot of potential with Plug and Play
USB devices that don't require re-booting.

USB device hardware and software is quite easy compared
to most other protocols. I expect as it becomes available
it will become quite popular

Walter Banks

1998\02\09@224803 by Jamen Porteus

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Thanks Peter
Interested to hear in future how win98 goes with USB.
Jamen

Peter van Hoof wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

1998\02\10@102701 by Dennis Merrill

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Actually you can only have 127 devices hooked up at once.  USB requires one
address for the enumeration process.

At 10:26 PM 2/9/98 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

1998\02\10@104043 by Dennis Merrill

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At 03:24 PM 2/9/98 -0500, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

It seems to me that the biggest problem right now, from a developer's
standpoint is developing the supporting software to make the peripherals
work under Win. It only took us a couple of weeks to actually develop the
hardware and program the micro (we used an Intel part).  The problem is
that MS (as usual) doesn't have their act together.  For instance, a USB
driver has to be a WDM driver, which is supposed to become standard in
Win98.  There are no good debugging tools for the drivers and the
documentation for the MS spec on the driver classes is far behind the
actual USB spec.   I do have to say, however, that I was impressed once I
got everything together.  I think when Win98 (which will probably be Win99
by time it comes out) will be our best hope for USB.  As for developers, it
seems that the Win98 beta is best unless you are cursed with the task of
developing a driver for one of these in which case you have to work with
OSR 2.1

                                                       - Dennis

1998\02\10@112644 by Chris Eddy

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Richterkessing, Frank H (GEA, 055132) wrote:

> Chris Eddy Wrote:
>
> > <abuncha stuff>
> >
> I've often asked myself the same question. If I, as a degreed EE with 10
> years professional experience and almost 25 years as a hobbyist and 17
> years experience with all sorts of computers from mainframes to embedded
> controllers, have trouble - what does an average consumer do that has
> trouble programming their VCR?

I was a tech at a company once upon a time, and went out to help people
hookup their VCR's.  One old guy had it all hooked up right, but couldn't
figure out where power and play were.

{Quote hidden}

Make a search for CNDtech or sumthin like that.  They have full color
pictures of every pinout.

{Quote hidden}

Looks like everyone is waiting in the wings for 98.  There is more stuff out
there but the comodity devices do not pay for advertising until the big one
comes.  Check out the members list at usb.org.

> -Frank

1998\02\10@182617 by davewave

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Richterkessing, Frank H (GEA, 055132) wrote:<snip>

> How about USB floppy drives (that can operate in the
> background, instead of taking up most of the CPU time when active),

SMSC has a new chip just for this type of application: USB97C100. It
provides an USB to ISA interface. Their info packet includes schematics of a
design that includes a super I/O chip, floppy controller chip, and two ISA
slots. Great stuff if the software was ready! I tried, but could not find
any company that plans to do a USB floppy drive. IMO, a great product idea -
and there is a reference design already!

> USB ZIP drives, USB modems, USB to IR, USB to IRDA, USB game controllers.
> Useful things! I don't need my monitor "networked". I have seen a few
> USB monitors (and I ask myself "why?").

USB monitors are typically a monitor with a built-in USB hub. I suppose the
monitor brightness/contrast/etc could be controlled over USB. Here again,
the software doesn't seem to be ready.

> And I don't want my SCSI-2
> devices replaced by something 1/10 the speed! Heck, how about even being
> able to control my PC speakers from my keyboard (volume, bass, treble,
> 3D, etc.)?

I have a set of the Phillips USB speakers in front of me (non-production
Beta units). Real nice sound, but I have yet to get them working over USB.
At least they have analog audio inputs. Word is that digital audio over USB
will not be supported in Win95.

> How about a USB to RS232 or USB to ECP/EPP? Where are these
> things?

I got samples of these last month. Again the software is a royal pain in the
you-know-what to get working.

> In order for USB to take off, it needs creative peripherals that
> also fit the available bandwidth.
>
> -Frank

I feel that if USB is to succeed, there has to be full support in Windows
95. And not just OSR2.x but all versions of '95. Most industry experts
recognize that users are satisfied with '95. Win98 does not offer a huge
performance boost for the average user, and there are only a few brand-new
features not already available in Win95.

Of course, Microsoft will likely discontinue Win95 once Win98 is on the
store shelves. So maybe my argument is moot. OTOH, consider how many PC
users are still content with Win3.1!

Dave

1998\02\10@221121 by joel

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Frank wrote:

> I've often asked myself the same question. If I, as a degreed EE with 10
> years professional experience and almost 25 years as a hobbyist and 17

snip

> Useful things! I don't need my monitor "networked". I have seen a few
> USB monitors (and I ask myself "why?").

snip

> -Frank

The USB Monitors that I am aware of contain a USB hub. That is, the USB
nature of the monitor is to provide ports that are more conveniently
located, than the ports on the back of the PC box.

Joel A. Kunze

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