Ridding Yourself of Legacy Hardware

Legacy hardware consists of hardware or ports no longer necessary to the availability of better alternatives.

  • Parallel port – You would be hard-pressed to find a non-USB printer nowadays. So why do you need the port?
  • Serial port – While there are still some devices that still run off of serial ports, they are rare enough that one could purchase USB->Serial Converter cables for the last ones and eliminate that port as well.
  • Floppy controller and floppy drives – Floppy drives and floppy disks are fairly rare nowadays. We’ve removed them from all of our computers in favor of one external USB floppy drive for emergencies. Most people will find a USB flash memory drive is not only more durable, but can store more in less space
  • IDE connectors – We have yet to fully rid ourselves of 40-pin IDE connectors. While hard drives now come with Serial ATA connectors, which are smaller and more efficient, removing the headaches of master and slave that come with the IDE system, CD/DVD drives have yet to switch over in any large majority.
  • Analog Video Connector – The 15-pin VGA connector, despite having been around since the earlier days of VGA monitors, shows few signs of going away. The newer standard, DVI(Digital Visual Interface), not only transmits to the monitor digitally, but usually has the pins to transmit analog signals as well in order to remain compatible with the older standards.

5 thoughts on “Ridding Yourself of Legacy Hardware”

  1. While I agree that it would be nice if all vendors went away from legacy hardware, as long as there isn’t standardization, it’s tough to promote it as a good recommendation. For example, until very recently Dell desktops that shipped with a RAID-1 configuration were using a RAID driver that required a floppy disk to correctly set up in MS-Windows. While this is just one case, it points to the broader problem with PCs that there are too many players, and not enough standardization to fully rid ourselves of legacy hardware.

  2. Somebody needs to tell Staples the floppy drive and 56K modem are dead. I was there yesterday and they were selling internal floppy drives in their clearance section for $10 and internal 56K modems for $50. I wouldn’t have paid those prices 5 years ago, let alone today(not that there’s any price I’d pay today, but that’s not the point).

  3. We are fully aware of that. Fortunately, newer versions of BIOS allow USB booting. Thus, our recommendation to remove them in favor of a USB floppy as an emergency backup if necessary is still valid.

    And there are numerous players and not enough standardization. But we feel that adapter cables to address these issues is a superior solution to maintaining these standards on the motherboard.

    That is why our emergency kit contains a USB->parallel cable, a USB->serial cable, a USB floppy drive, a USB flash memory drive, and a VGA to DVI converter cable. If your computer doesn’t have a USB port by now, you probably should upgrade.

  4. As for Staples, for one, that is why they are in the clearance bin. They hate throwing stuff out because it means they lost money. As Ari says, they aren’t dead quite yet. Although if anyone would like to hire a contract killer to kill them…we would look the other way.

    Specifically about the 56K modem…there are still people who use dialup, surprising as it may seem. We know we suffer every time we have to.


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