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Paint It Black

The underside of the USB plug, that is. Make the reflectivity different to the top.
  [vote for,

All USB plugs should have the underside of the metal poking bit painted black, so that it is immediately visually apparent which way round they go. I've just destroyed about the fourth usb hub by forcing a USB cable in the wrong way up, breaking both the plug and the socket as usual.

If it were apparent which way up they go, in the dark areas where plugs and sockets go (ie, the slightly raised embossed usb logo on the plug is not sufficient - it's invisible, and on half of my usb cables, there's simply two different types of usb logo - one on each side - which encourages forcing in the wrong way round because it actually says USB if there was enough light to see it back there) then it'd be more straightforward to attempt plugging in, in one take.

If one (standard agreed) surface of the metal plug was black, and therefore non-reflective, it'd be quite easy to wingle it around a bit and see if it catches any light, or not, and whichever side does is the top side (the top being the side that doesn't have the plastic connector substrate in the plug, but is mating with a plastic connector substrate in the socket).

Ian Tindale, Dec 03 2008

Shameless elf promotion Paint_20Them_20Black
[Texticle, Dec 03 2008]

(?) This next song is dedicated to Ian's USB port http://www.youtube....watch?v=GNk0HC6Xc3U
[MikeD, Dec 08 2008]

Going Up? http://www.buy.com/.../101/204734600.html
You got problems if you paint your bottom. [Amos Kito, Dec 08 2008]


       What if the socket is vertical orientation? Does black mean left or right?   

       Forcing sensitive electronics is seldom a good idea.
Texticle, Dec 03 2008

       [+] But even better perhaps, or additionally, one side could be rough/dimpled and the other smooth, so you can tell which way up you have it from sense of touch alone.
imaginality, Dec 03 2008

       On most there's a vertical line on the bottom where the metal is folded together. It's hard to feel it if you're feeling around for it but its easier to listen for it if you scrape around with a fingernail.
Spacecoyote, Dec 04 2008

       Forcing a USB connector, the wrong way around, into one computer (at work) used to cause it to reboot. Not any longer. Now that front USB socket just doesn't work.
neelandan, Dec 04 2008

       I'm with [UB] on this one - a small wiggle will tell you if your USB is the right way up, even in the dark.
v Hoi! No sniggering down there!
gnomethang, Dec 04 2008

Jinbish, Dec 04 2008

       "...Darling, - is that USB 2.0 or 1.1?"
hippo, Dec 04 2008

       I never could understand why these damned things can not be made so that they plug in either way up. + for your pain
xenzag, Dec 04 2008

       I'd like to have a special hammer for forcing those things in. Half the time they won't go.
ldischler, Dec 04 2008

       ampersandnbspsemicolon, shirley?
shapu, Dec 04 2008

       women have a gentler touch <cough>
po, Dec 04 2008

       comes natural.
po, Dec 05 2008

       //jumbo connector plug// - always modest, is [UnaBubba]
hippo, Dec 05 2008

       What imaginality said.
DrBob, Dec 05 2008

       It has been my experience (even though YMMV) is that the side of the plug that has the universal USB logo is the "up" side.
Jscotty, Dec 05 2008

       /I'd like to have a special hammer for forcing those things in/   

       Yes. This hammer would also be useful for travel abroad, in foreign countries, where the walls are full of all sorts of strange orifices it can be hard to get a good American plug into.
bungston, Dec 05 2008

       dimples are cute - winks at DrBob!
po, Dec 05 2008

       //I've just destroyed about the fourth usb hub by forcing a USB //   

       Maybe some people just shouldn't use computers..
simonj, Dec 06 2008

       Maybe some people shouldn't design plugs and sockets (glaring glaringly at the French, for inventing the swear-inducing SCART)
Ian Tindale, Dec 06 2008

       Never seen a scart, methinks the word alone would be unwelcome at the dinner table.
Spacecoyote, Dec 06 2008

       Nobody's ever seen one. That's the point. You can only attempt to feel for them at uncomfortable outstretched reach, behind the telly.
Ian Tindale, Dec 06 2008

       //useful for travel abroad, in foreign countries, where the walls are full of all sorts of strange orifices//   

       Bungco should market a universal power cord, with bobby-pin prongs that could be bent to fit any foreign orifice.
ldischler, Dec 06 2008

       I was under the impression everything was invented by someone French...
stupop, Dec 08 2008

       [Ian Tindale]... Whilst I agree that when scrabbling round the back of a computer, the USB connection has a habit of getting lost and the wrong way up, most of the time anything you're plugging in regularly should go in the front of the computer. I think this would be a good idea (although the rough/smooth idea is probably better [imaginality]), but not for the reasons you're suggesting.   

       If you're managing to break the plug by forcing it so hard when it's the wrong way round, then either I shouldn't be insulting you (i.e. you're built like a house on steroids, and can be excused for hamfistedness, due to most USB connections being crushed between your fingers when you gently pick them up), or you need to learn to respect the equipment you work with!   

       I'm all for brute force and ignorance if the need arises, but getting the square peg through the round hole, and the round peg through the square hole using a sledge-hammer isn't going to leave either square or round for the next person using the right hole for each!   

       Would you campaign for more obvious garage walls if you kept writing your car off and damaging the garage trying to drive out the back, rather than the front?
Skrewloose, Dec 08 2008

       <Conway Twitty> [Ian], believe me, I understand, when it comes to USB ports; You want a slow hand. <CT/>
MikeD, Dec 08 2008

       A friend who used to work for a modem manufacturer once told me of the modem returned to factory because someone mated a 25-way D-type upside-down.
Now *that* takes some strength.
coprocephalous, Dec 08 2008

       //underside of the metal poking bit painted black//
Which way is the underside? See [Link].

       On an unrelated topic --- my mother plugged a USB flashdrive into a serial port. And it fit onto those little pins.
Amos Kito, Dec 08 2008

       //dimples are cute - winks at DrBob!//

Ooh, err!
DrBob, Dec 08 2008

       Five years on - Did they decide which side is to be painted black ?
popbottle, Nov 16 2013


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