Well, Beth, I think you are lucky. I have seen problems with these connectors. Some just stop working. Others seem to degrade. I get messages that the device can go faster if plugged into a USB 2.0 port (when that has been how it worked all along). I plug it into a different USB port and it works full speed.
I'll add my 2 cents to the clamor and say I've never had a problem with USB connectors. The fact that the author says it's the female end, inside the device, which tends to break makes this a major problem, since it's relatively inaccessible.
I was puzzled by the author saying there's no indication on the male plug regarding which side is up. Uh, you must have a Windows machine. Macs have always indicated which end of the plug is up with a symbol.
I agree with the upside-down problem, Jenn. In the posting, the user said you're going to hit it wrong about 50 percent of the time. I have a side-loading input in my laptop, so 50 percent misses are about right. Yet those misses don't seem to do any damage to either the USB-A connector or the laptop port.
I've also never had a problem with USB connectors breaking, nor have I heard complaints from friends or co-workers regarding this issue. I wonder if this is a common problem for many or if there is some sort of wacky user error going on in the case of this author. In any event, the only problem I ever have is when I try to jam the connector into the slot, only to realize I have it upside down.
I've never had a problem with a USB-A either, Beth. Though I've always felt uncomfortable with the leverage factor. The way the thin USB-A sticks out of a laptop makes me think that dropping the laptop just a few inches at the right angle would snap the USB right off. So far, I've been careful not to drop my laptops.
I have never had a problem with USB-A, but I have had a USB-B detach from a printed circuit board (part of the microcompuiter in-circuit emultaor) when I was trying to debug a product 500 miles from the office. In order to continue working I had to cut the USB cable and solder it directly to the PCB.
The problem was that there was no mechanical reinforment of the connector which is mechanically held on by the surface mount solder connections only.
I read this post with great interest waiting for the "aha" moment when I too could say, I experienced that as well. I have to say with all of the devices/laptops/desktops scattered around my house/home office, I have never, ever had a problem with a frail USB connector, despite the numbers of times I've connected/disconnected. I'm wondering if the USB connector is from a specific manufacturer or set of manufacturers and perhaps quality issues belies the problem rather than the actual USB-A connector standard.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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