de facto five volt connector
Wednesday, May 25 2011
This morning I mowed the lawn for the second time this season, using, as always, the electric-powered weed-whacker. In the nearly three weeks since the season's first mowing, the grass had grown nearly as tall as it can get. It seems those three weeks happened to coincide with the peak growing season for perennials (such as grass and trees).
The other day we had a weird power outage that must have been accompanied by electronics-damaging powerline spikes, because once the power came back up, the five volt switching (as opposed to linear) wall wart supplying power to a gigabit switch had died. That wall wart had not been protected by a surge protector, so the idea was in my mind that I should buy a few surge protectors. The power went out again today and was still out when I went into town where I would, among other things, buy surge suppressors.
When I went to the power strip section of Home Depot, I was delighted to find that a new kind of connector had been added to newer (and somewhat more expensive) models of powerstrip: Universal Serial Bus (USB). Among its uses, USB has become a de facto standard for supplying five volts DC. Every car dashboard should have USB ports, and it makes sense for power strips to have them too. And devices that require five volts should stop having proprietary connectors or even barrel connectors and settle on USB. Everything else is BetaMax. Unfortunately, the presence of USB ports seems to add $10 to a device, though $10 is a reasonable price for a consumer five volt switching wall wart.
Also while I was in town, I exercised a prescription Gretchen had been given for her favorite sleep aid: Ambien. Health insurance is awesome; Gretchen gets her ambien (and Celexa) for free. If I wasn't such a procrastinator, I'd already have some doctor prescribing medication to correct my "attention deficit disorder."
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