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Friday, July 07, 2006

Electricity plug points again

After thinking some more about my complaint on plug shapes, I realised that having incompatible plug shapes is actually a good thing. Different plug shapes prevent you from accidentally connecting a device meant for one voltage into a plug point which delivers another voltage. This is an example of the design principle 'Make it hard for users to do the wrong thing'.


Anonymous said...

Yeah same goes with computer parts, car parts, etc.

But ofcourse in the private sector, the flip side(from a customer standpoint) is that they're made incompatible deliberately.

If my laptop power connector ever dies I cant buy it from anyone but the manufacturer of the laptop..pretty screwed up.

Siddhi said...

If everyone could standardise on the power requirements then the connectors can be standardised, but until then its safer to have it incompatible so that you don't fry the laptop by connecting whatever random cable you can get your hands on.

This is also why some models by the same company have different cable connectors - because they have different power requirements.

What would help is some standard power requirements. If that could be standardised, then the cables can be standardised subsequently.