Thursday, June 07, 2007

The problem with standards is that there's so many of them

My new motherboard came in. I bought a new video card at the same time because the new standard for video cards is PCI Express/16 (besides, my old video card sucked). I bought new memory because the new memory standard is DDR-2 rather than the DDR memory in my old motherboard. I bought a new processor for the new motherboard of course. But I forgot about one thing: Power.

WTF, you say? I mean, I have a top quality Antec power supply in my case, right? And it's an ATX power supply, right? Only problem: It's for the *OLD* ATX power standard, ATX-1.3. Not for the *NEW* power standard, ATX12V. Which, from what I can tell, is absolutely identical to the *old* power supply standard, except they took the "auxiliary" plug and molded it in with the "regular" plug to add four more power inputs and now require four SATA disc drive power plugs rather than just two.

Sigh. So off to Fry's I go in the morning, to buy a new power supply to replace a perfectly good one that the Masters of Planned Obsolescence have deliberately obsoleted...

-- Badtux the Obsoleted Penguin


  1. Sorry for the hassle.

  2. Sorry, bud, this planned obsolescence gets to us in every phase of life.
    Oh, BTW, I had never heard of Laura Nyro before - bought several ofher songs for my ipod. Thanks. Amy Winehouse isn't my cup of tea right now. Like most of your suggestions.

  3. Share cropper, I've been in the computer business for 25 years now so I know how it works. It still irritates me every time I run into it. If you're going to create a new power supply standard, at least give it a new name so that those of us with the old power supply can look at the motherboard box, realize it says "Requires ATZ power supply", and order the ATZ power supply at the same time we order the motherboard! I glanced at it, saw the letters ATX, and didn't even think about the possibility that they'd create an entirely new power supply standard using those same three letters to denote it...

    It's sorta like NFSv3 vs. NFSv4. NFSv4 is practically an entirely new file server protocol. Calling it NFS is a crock of reeking.... bull excrement. Sigh.

    As for Amy Winehouse, I did call her songs "slight", you might recall?

    - Badtux the Technology Penguin

  4. I wasn't necessarily talking about computers when I mentioned planned obsolescence. I bought an acrylic paint that was labeled with the same name as what I had been using...only it was a blend instead of pure pigment now. Mixing this blend makes it muddy - and now I can't find the other at all. And, my car part with the same number doesn't fit. I think that appropriate names and adequate labeling would be good business practice, but, as you say, Corporate America doesn't exist any longer - and global business practice is its own kind of warfare.

  5. Thanks for the heads up on that BT. I have to put together another box shortly, and it's good to know I'm springing for a new power supply because I had been planning to use an old but nice case and supply with three fans already installed.

  6. 25 years in the computer business? Darned young whippersnappers. 30 and counting here. And, it wasn't that much better in the "good" old days. :-(

    What's that saying? If you don't like the standard, well, go make your own.

    And, as for ATX supplies, well, I've had some experience with them. It seems that last summer, the AT style supply in my computer flamed out. Do you have any idea of how hard it is to find a 250 Watt AT style supply (with extra long leads, so that it will fit in my super tower case) now? I finally had to resort to a ATX style supply, with an ATX-to-AT style adapter cable to get it to work (along with some changes to the power switch). But, it works.

    And, as to why I'm still using an 11 year old system (I built that box in the spring of 1996!), well, it works and it does what I need it to do. Sure, I could upgrade it, but why spend money needlessly if the old hardware still does what I need? In any case, it's a testament to how well built of a system it is, given that it's lasted many computer generations. :-)


  7. In my case, I'd bought this big widescreen LCD monitor and my old hardware was utterly incapable of driving it at full screen DVD resolutions. The new hardware doesn't even breathe hard playing full-screen DVD's (CPU usage never gets above 10% on one core -- I have two of them, remember?). Add in the fact that I wanted to do hard-disk recording using Ubuntu Studio, and my need for speed becomes more apparent...

    - Badtux the Multimedia Penguin


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