Every time I look inside my PCs (or even my Mac, but not as much) i get really irritated? Why? Because my PCs are riddled with legacy crap. I have been thinking about the legacy stuff (ports, etc.) in my computer and have come up with this list.
It seems to me that just about every connector on the back of a modern PC can be replaced with USB and/or Firewire. I haven’t used half the ports on my computer in ages, and i’m a geek. Most people have absolutely no use whatsoever for these ports and I would love to see motherboard manufacturers start to recognize this. I’d love to be able to buy a motherboard that replaces all these legacy ports with a shitload of USB and a few Firewire connections.
I’m sure some people will disagree (some strongly) with my opinions, and I’d like to hear from them..
- Parallel Port – The last thing I used a parallel port for was a printer. The last time I had a printer was my freshman year at RIT. In that time just about every printer either comes with a USB and Parallel port or has completely moved over to USB. The only thing I can think of using my parallel port for in the past 10 years was a Parallel Port Zip drive (which was slow as hell and would be better served by USB anyway, if I actually needed a Zip drive anymore) and a Laplink cable (I originally wrote Parnet cable but then realized that I was a geeze).
- Serial Port – Sure, there’s going to be a few geeks who disagree with me on this one, but I really feel that this one needs to go as well. I can think of a single use for Serial Ports, and that’s for connecting to or programming embedded devices (including network hardware) or for connecting to headless servers. You know what? If you are one of the 1 percent of the computer-using population that needs a Serial Port, just use a USB to RS232 adapter. Christ, they could at least throw me a bone and switch to something smaller than a D-SUB (my Tivo uses a headphone-style jack).
- ATAPI and their 40-pin headers – I know Serial ATA is on it’s way to save us from old-school ATA, but it still isn’t quite mainstream. I’ll be satisfied when all motherboards REPLACE the 40-pin headers with SATA ones. If I have a legacy ATA device I will buy the SATA to legacy adapter.
- Floppy Drive/Controller – I hate the floppy. You want a floppy? Hook one up using USB. You want one internal? Replace the floppy controller header with some USB ports for use inside the machine. You probably already have some of these, my past two motherboards have had 4-pin USB headers for connecting front-panel USB connectors. Add a few more of these, and you’re all set. Or “they” could make a Serial ATA floppy drive, and all your internal drives would use the same interface. Either way, it has to go.
- Game Port – Do they even make new Game Port joysticks anymore? I am sure you can buy old product, but every joystick I have seen in the past 4 years has been USB.
- ISA Slots – ’nuff said. Fortunately, it seems that most motherboards in the past few years have ditched this slot. The only use I can think of for ISA anymore is hardware hackers wanting to make/test on the cheap. ISA is a no-brainer to work with, maps right into the address space, and PCI or USB controllers are expensive. Again, the majority should win (and by all obvious signs, have in this case).
- PS/2 style Keyboard and Mouse connectors – Pretty much every mouse these days is USB, and pretty much every keyboard SHOULD be if it isn’t. Remember how annoying PS/2 mice were? If they became disconnected after the computer was booted you usually had to reboot to bring your mouse back to life. What the fuck were they thinking?