North American Network Operators Group

Date Prev | Date Next | Date Index | Thread Index | Author Index | Historical

Re: First Post! Annoying Debate at Work.

  • From: Roland Perry
  • Date: Sun Feb 29 07:58:36 2004

          USB in this scenario would be synonymous with PCI, in regards
to the type of technology that interfaces with the cpu.

3)       Just because a device has two physical mediums of
connectivity, dosent make it a ?converter?. My coworkers argue that a
USB Ethernet adapter is an ?Ethernet to USB Converter?.
Perhaps they are being confused by the existence of things like USB/Serial and USB/Parallel "converters" (I have one of the former here, for when I need to plug my GPS receiver into my laptop), but in fact these are "adapters", just like the PCI/Serial and PCI/Parallel cards you might buy to fit in a PCI slot [although most PCs have this functionality on the motherboard, so extra cards are unnecessary].

Another way of telling that they are adapters (even the USB/Serial one) rather than converters, is that that they need Windows Drivers, which are added by the standard plug-n-pray system when you first attach that device to the PC. A genuine converter (like 9-25 pin serial) doesn't need a driver.

If this is
true, then the following could be said:
          a.       A PCI Ethernet Adapter is a ?converter? because it
?converts? Ethernet to PCI.
You are on the right track here - both the PCI and USB items are "adapters". Neither are "converters".

          c.       Lastly ( I love this one ), An integrated Ethernet
adapter on a motherboard is a ?converter? because it ?converts?
ethernet to uhh ??  processor? Riiiiight?
It's a few years since I designed a PC, but I think you'll find that motherboard adapters like are actually connected to the PCI bus, but internally across the PCB, rather than via a separable connector (and at early stages in their evolution using the exact same chip soldered to the motherboard as would have been on the plug-in card).

Roland Perry