A life ordinary by Amit Sarkar - Issue #19

Hello friends,

Welcome to another very late edition of my newsletter.

My wife and son returned from India last week so it took some time for me to settle back into a routine and hence the delay with my newsletter.

Last week, I cycled 50kms from my home to Ide hill and back covering 839m of elevation during the ride. It's a very beautiful route with a lot of hills to train the legs and get some good cardio workout.

I watched the TCS London Marathon on BBC iPlayer. Kenya's Amos Kipruto and Ethiopia's Yalemzerf Yehualaw were the winners this year. It's an incredible feat to see these athletes perform and run at such an incredible pace throughout.

Over the week I also caught up with some of my local friends over either coffee or dinner. It is always pleasant to eat good food in the company of good friends.

It was also the end of Navratri and Durga Puja. Many people from around the world celebrate these festivals. It's a time for fun, dance, food, music, clothes and just being out and about.

⚡ Laptop ports

My wife recently bought a Dell XPS laptop with three ports.

  • 1 x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (with DisplayPort and PowerDelivery)

  • 2 x Thunderbolt 4 USB Type-C (with DisplayPort and PowerDelivery)

This indicates that these ports are used for 3 different purposes

  • Data transfer

  • Power delivery

  • Audio/Video (AV) transfer

Reading about the device specifications made me think about why these ports exist and why they are the default ports now available on all laptops. So I went around reading about them.

The three ports are as follows -

  • Universal Serial Bus (USB) - This was developed collaboratively between Compaq, DEC, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, NEC, and Nortel. The USB standard is maintained by the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF). This is the most commonly used port in the world for connecting myriad devices.

  • Thunderbolt - This was developed by Intel, in collaboration with Apple, for power delivery, data transfer and video transfer.

  • DisplayPort (DP) - It is a video interface standard administered by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA).

Each device can connect to these ports using different types of connectors and different standards for these ports. The connector decides how a device will connect and the standards decide how fast will be the data/AV transfer or the power delivery.

What is the shape of the USB connector?

  • Type A

  1. Standard

  2. Mini

  3. Micro

  • Type B

  1. Standard

  2. Mini

  3. Micro

  • Type C

What are the various USB versions?

  • USB 1.0 (aka USB 2.0 Low-Speed)

  • USB 1.1 (aka USB 2.0 Full-Speed)

  • USB 2.0 (aka USB 2.0 High-Speed)

  • USB 3.0 (aka USB 3.2 Gen1)

  • USB 3.1 (aka USB 3.2 Gen2 x1)

  • USB 3.2 (aka USB 3.2 Gen2 x2)

  • USB4 (latest version)

  • USB4 2.0 (upcoming version)

Each version improves power delivery and data transfer speeds over previous versions.

What is the shape of the Thunderbolt connector?

  • Mini DP

  • Type C (alternate mode)

What are the various Thunderbolt versions?

  • Thunderbolt 1

  • Thunderbolt 2

  • Thunderbolt 3

  • Thunderbolt 4 (latest version)

  • Thunderbolt 5 (upcoming version)

What is the shape of the DP port/connector?

  • Standard

  • Mini

  • Type C (alternate mode)

What are the various DP versions?

  • DisplayPort 1.0

  • DisplayPort 1.1

  • DisplayPort 1.2

  • DisplayPort 1.3

  • DisplayPort 1.4

  • DisplayPort 2.0 (latest version)

✍️ Right hand vs Left hand

In today's world, we use a plethora of devices and technologies that are mostly biased towards right-handed people.

But what about people who are left-handed?

Take for example the computer mouse that we use or the smartwatch that we wear over our wrists. They are all designed for right-hand users.

Actually, not for all. Recently there has been a big push to make devices accessible for left-handed people and that is a welcome sign. But there are many industries or vocations where being a left-handed person is a disadvantage.

The reason I keep thinking about this difference is that I occasionally get wrist pains when using the computer mouse with my right hand after a couple of weeks. So I started looking for a different mouse which I can use from both hands and found Logitech's M185 mouse. It's a small mouse with symmetry for ambidextrous users.

But in a world dominated by right-handed users does it make sense to invest in a product that works for everyone? That is the question we need to answer to decide whom to include and whom not to when we design any product.

August 13th 2021 is International Lefthanders Day and we asked a left-hander, what 10 things would make her working day in the office and in the world of technology easier if they were made with the left-handed in mind.

🧱 India Stack

India Stack is the moniker for a set of open APIs and digital public goods that aim to unlock the economic primitives of identity, data, and payments at the population scale. Although the name of this project bears the word India, the vision of India Stack is not limited to one country; it can be applied to any nation, be it a developed one or an emerging one.

India has been slowly transforming itself through the Digital India initiative. And it has now created an India stack that is revolutionizing the way people identify themselves, pay for goods/services digitally and share their personal data with other financial institutions digitally.

How India created a digital blueprint for the economies of the future

India’s attempt to solve for the economic primitives of identity, payments, data, and credit - through its digital infrastructure project known as India Stack - provide a progressive and accessible template for all countries wishing to upgrade their economies for the Internet Age.

The timeline for the India Stack has been outlined below -

India Stack is divided into three layers.

  1. The identity layer is powered by Aadhaar.

  2. The payments layer is powered by Unified Payments Interface (UPI).

  3. The data empowerment layer is powered by Account Aggregators (AA).

It's truly a phenomenal feat to achieve this and deliver it for over 1.4 billion people living in India.

Thank you so much once again for reading my newsletter this week. Please feel free to Buy me a coffee if you are enjoying what I am sharing.

Until we meet again next week, please stay happy, take less stress, count your positives, and laugh more.

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