when you think about influential inventions or innovations in the history of computers what comes to mind Windows the Mac iPod well there is certainly one interface that many people don't think of the USB or Universal Serial bus well what is USB and who invented it what is its purpose to fully understand USB we have to first understand its history back in the early 1990s when USB was unexist --nt setting up devices to a computer was a pain in the people had to deal with several types of cables most of which were not interchangeable and had inadequate capabilities even to connect the few common devices such as the monitor printer mouse keyboard and speakers took five different cables normal computers had only two serial ports and a parallel port which was slow and often had to accommodate for far more than I could handle it was simply a big hassle so the seven big computer and technology companies at the time compact dec IV M Intel Microsoft NEC and Nortel came together to create a connection interface that was Universal fast and could be used for a multitude of purposes within a year of development the universal serial bus version 1.0 was released this newborn design had many good things standing for it it could be used for multiple functions it had plug-and-play and hot swapping capability and it also had fast data transfer rates lastly it was available on most new computers but what was most important was that it brought connecting devices to a whole new level of simple you connect the USB plug to your computer and in most cases that's all there is to it if the computer doesn't recognize the device it'll ask to install a driver for it so how does this technology work inside your standard USB 2.0 cable are four wires one for upstream data one for downstream data one for power and one ground USB allows transference of simultaneous upstream and downstream data packets between the host and the device meanwhile providing five volts of power the architecture of a USB system is a special one it includes the host such as a pc television or gaming console the USB device and the USB cable that connects it to the relationship between the host and device is called a master slave connection the PC or the host is a master and decides what happens in the slave or the device listens the host has two types of responsibilities hardware and software hardware responsibilities include detecting USB connections and disconnections providing electrical power to the connected devices and controlling the transfer of data between the host and the device software responsibilities include handling the USB devices and their connectivity configuring the USB devices running the devices drivers and managing power levels and bandwidth you all think you know what a USB plug looks like but what you're thinking is only the most common one the one you know is a standard a plug which is what you plug in to your computer this specific type of end draws power and is the host other types of USB connectors include the B connector micro a micro B and mini B these connect to the device they do not draw power nor do they have the power to send instructions stop and think for a second have you ever seen a USB cable which both ends had a a connector you probably haven't because it's very rare the reason there are no dual a connector cables is because both would draw five volts of power from the host creating power supply problems now that we understand how USB works you must ask ourselves how is USB impacted us it may seem simple but in reality there are more answers than just the obvious let us start with the positive side evidently USB has nearly completely taken over as the status quo for peripheral connections due to its increased accessibility for hundreds of devices if the average person was instructed to connect the keyboard to the purple 6 pin mini D&I port a mouse to the green ps2 port a PDA to a serial port and a printer to a parallel port he'd be left completely confused only to ask for a repetition of the instructions the thing with USB is you don't have to be a tech wizard to know how to use it it has become basic computer knowledge to know about USB 1 standard connection connects all your devices we've all seen and recognized this infamous logo we know it just as well as the Apple logo or the Nike logo the USB Trident logo is branded on every single one of the 10 billion plus USB compatible devices sold on this planet that's right more than 10 billion well if the USB really has become a universal standard what kind of devices use it what better way to emphasize my point than to list a whole bunch of them mice keyboards cell phones tablets desktops laptops speakers mass storage devices printers monitor scanners wireless network 6 joysticks webcams digital cameras modems and network connections I'm not finished slipper heaters heated gloves vibrators eye massages massage balls dog tags humidifiers and even a grill this list just goes to show you how versatile and ubiquitous USB really is iPods and iPhones the average iPhone or Mac owner owns at least 10 devices in their homes that use usb as a medium of connection in fact all Apple products themselves use usb this one connection allows users to do all of that now that you think about it it's pretty remarkable isn't it now on to negative social impacts none the USB platform has literally done nothing that has impacted our society for the worse and no it made things simpler and therefore we have become lazy is not a valid answer but like all things great the day will come where USB will crumble and that will be caused by a little something called technological advancement right now us bees are the way to go but that's because they're the best thing we have with wireless technology blooming and growing all around the world it won't be long before all devices become wireless wireless printing wireless monitors wireless everything and that most certainly will be the successor to our precious USB.