Firewire and Robust Connectors

I read somewhere a long time ago that the cable connectors for IEEE 1394 (better known as Firewire) were inspired by the connectors that Nintendo used for their game consoles. This assertion now seems to be on Wikipedia, so it must be true:

The standard connectors used for FireWire are related to the connectors on the venerable Nintendo Game Boy. While not especially glamorous, the Game Boy connectors have proven reliable, solid, easy to use and immune to assault by small children.

Clever. The 6-pin design for Firewire cables is great: absolutely impossible to plug in the wrong way, and you won’t damage a thing even if you try really hard to plug it in the wrong way. There are no pins exposed on the connector that can be broken, unlike, say, those damn 9-pin serial or VGA cables (or even worse, SCSI cables, ugh). It’s like the Firewire was designed by Jonathan Ive. (I dunno if Ive designed the iPod dock connector, but that’s definitely not as robust as a Firewire one.)

Yay for good industrial design.

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