The 12v standard

The RBC anticipates Google!

Google thinks 12v suffices for PCs, and they have the purchasing muscle and alpha dog status to move the idea ahead.

I’ll never ever get another chance to say this, but this RBC member and humble techno-serf, in an obscure blog comment elsewhere in December 2005, beat the Google gurus to the punch.

Sometimes you need to master David Hilbert. Occasionally commonsense would be enough – if you can reach an audience.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web

6 thoughts on “The 12v standard”

  1. And apple beat both to the MARKET.
    The Minis have used external, fixed voltage power supplies since, uhh, forever.

  2. No offense, but this idea is old as dirt. I know I and most of the people I work with have been batting it around for years. In fact, I believe telco gear already runs on DC, though in their case it's 48V.

  3. I am not sure exactly what you mean here. Desktop PCs do use DC power; they just get it from their power supply which transforms the 115V AC available at the wall plug into +-5V DC.
    There are some very good reasons why utility power is distributed as AC. In a datacenter, where you have tens, hunderds, or thousands of machines all hooked into a giant UPS (DC) anyway, it makes sense to have one big AC-DC converter and run the DC to the machines avoiding two efficiency-robbing transformations.
    But when you only have one machine, and you want it to be able to do things like run high-powered graphics cards, you need a relatively large amount of power at a concentrated point. You could wire your house for DC (and if I were buiilding a new house from scratch I would think about putting in some 6V DC outlets) but it is not as easy as you think.
    Laptops are already DC; you can get any type of converter/transformer you need if you know where to look. They eventually need an input source.
    Personally I would love to have one of those hand-cranked units for both work and travel, but if you think it will replace 15" backlit LCD units with 2 GHz processors for general western-style work I would have to disagree.

  4. What do Hilbert Spaces, eigenvalues and eigenvectors have to with this post? Is this about the supposed dispute over the General Relativity field equations?

  5. Brendan: I don't think the Hilbert reference was literal. Metaphorically, the eigenvalue of a functioning PC is stable as one transforms the voltage running it.
    At least, that's how I took it.

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