[probably came into prominence with the appearance of the KL-10 (one model of
the PDP-10), none of whose connectors matched anything else]. The tendency of
manufacturers (or, by extension, programmers or purveyors of anything) to come
up with new products that don't fit together with the old stuff, thereby making
you buy either all new stuff or expensive interface devices. The KL-10 Massbus
connector was actually *patented* by DEC, which reputedly refused to licence the
design and thus effectively locked third parties out of competition for the
lucrative Massbus peripherals market. This policy is a source of never-ending
frustration for the diehards who maintain older PDP-10 or VAX systems. Their
CPUs work fine, but they are stuck with dying, obsolescent disk and tape drives
with low capacity and high power requirements.
A closely related phenomenon, with a slightly different intent, is the habit
manufacturers have of inventing new screw heads so that only Designated Persons,
possessing the magic screwdrivers, can remove covers and make repairs or install
options. Older Apple Macintoshes took this one step further, requiring not only
a hex wrench but a specialised case-cracking tool to open the box.
In these latter days of open-systems computing this term has fallen somewhat
into disuse, to be replaced by the observation that "Standards are great! There
are so *many* of them to choose from!" Compare backward combatability.
connection-oriented « connection-oriented network
service « connective « connector conspiracy »
CONNIVER » Co-NP » CONS