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Normally, electronics engineers--even mediocre ones--are extremely sensitive to cost issues. Try it! Ask them to add a penny, or even a couple of tenths of a cent to the manufacturing cost of their designs. You will cause a reaction in them that is similar to that caused by fingernails being dragged across a blackboard.
How then, did so many electronics engineers get talked into adding an extra component to their notebook designs, which solves absolutely no existing problem?
Of course, I'm talking about the Maxim one-wire "solution", which added who knows how many cents to the manufacturing costs of so many Dell and HP notebooks.
That alone would make this a huge riddle, but it gets worse. The extra component, which solves no existing problem, but adds extra cost to their design, also adds a failure mechanism. A huge, predictable, and insurmountable failure that would never occur in their notebooks, if they did not add the extra, useless component!
How did so many engineers--knowing full-well it would cause their notebooks to be less reliable-- get talked into adding this totally unnecessary, extra cost to their notebook designs?
That's my question.
All I have is bad guesses: A mandate from government, or from some big company? Was it simply a really good salesman at Maxim? Was it kickbacks? Or perhaps the engineer's one weakness: good steak-house chow? I simply have no idea.