In the beginning was the command line..

Proprietary connectors suck

, posted: 27-Aug-2007 17:35


I've had a guts-full of proprietary standards lately, been reading too much about the Microsoft Open XML format.

Maybe that was the reason I felt the need to attack this old Compaq laptop to remove it's burden of incompatibility and nuisance.

The IEC figure-8 connector I thought to be a standard-enough replacement for the mickey-mouse connector (if viewed upside down) it was fitted with. Why can't more laptops be like this? Toshiba have it right but Dell need to get a clue, their power connectors are straight from hell.

Other related posts:
Sound the alarm: ACTA negotiations delayed
I'm not protesting S92a
watch Al Jazeera on XBMC

Comment by rscole86, on 27-Aug-2007 18:28

I assume that the centre pin on that earthed figure eight is larger than the normal figure eight pins?

W1350 - and therefore ths cable will not do the trick?

Comment by paradoxsm, on 27-Aug-2007 18:50

It's called a "Cloverleaf" of all names.

Prop connectors plain suck, That was one of the huge buying points for the N95, standard jacks all round asides the stupidly small charger.

The ipod connector is slightly useful though if you make up one, "do it all" cable.

Author's note by barf, on 27-Aug-2007 23:08

$14 bucks! this cost me $0 because I have about 10 spare old xbox/ps2 cables lying around :-P

Comment by ZollyMonsta, on 28-Aug-2007 09:17

Something I absolutely hate are those tiny motherboard pin headers for the case front buttons. Surely by now they should have come to some sort of agreement on a standard plug.

Comment by xcubed, on 28-Aug-2007 13:39

It may be a cheap and easy fix, but your laptop is not earthed anymore! Congratulations, you are now a potential candidate for the Darwin Awards!

There is a reason why you need to be a licensed (as a Electrical Service Technician) to perform electrical work on mains powered devices.

barf: did you not notice the small black earth wire?

Comment by inane, on 28-Aug-2007 14:44


you are right, and wrong at the same time,

believe it or not I have seen cables similar to this, with a ground at the machine side,

but not at the wall plug!!! thats super dodgy to me!

Author's note by barf, on 28-Aug-2007 16:11

Xcubed: I don't think I'll win any darwin awards but I admire the vigil.

The power supply inside is a completely covered plastic box and insulated from the mainboard and other components. So unless in the power supply, DC 0v somehow becomes phase (which obviously could happen in some more obscure failure scenarios), I think I'm safe

Xboxes for example, and most modern electronics are designed this way (floating chassis), why don't you complain about their lack of earthing?

Anywho, you raise a good point, just added a small disclaimer.

Comment by xcubed, on 29-Aug-2007 15:39

Apologies for not recognising the small black wire as an earth and I agree that it's unlikely to cause you any harm.

My point is merely that while there are many appliances that are double-insulated (eg: Xboxes, hair dryers, etc), these devices are specifically designed to operate without an earth. It's not a good idea to remove earthing from an appliance that is supplied with an earth from the factory.

Yeah a two pin wall plug to a three pin device is definitely dodgy!

Add a comment

Please note: comments that are inappropriate or promotional in nature will be deleted. E-mail addresses are not displayed, but you must enter a valid e-mail address to confirm your comments.

Are you a registered Geekzone user? Login to have the fields below automatically filled in for you and to enable links in comments. If you have (or qualify to have) a Geekzone Blog then your comment will be automatically confirmed and placed in the moderation queue for the blog owner's approval.

Your name:

Your e-mail:

Your webpage:

barf's profile

Stuart MacIntosh
New Zealand

Hello world.