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What is USB OTG and why does a simple person need it?

A friend of mine, when he wants to unobtrusively demand respect for his gray hairs, says to his son: “I am an old one, I have seen a steam locomotive.” And the younger generation trails off in surprise and respect

I am not younger, I also saw a steam locomotive. And not only seen. The steam engine was pulling a train in which I had the chance to go from the city of Ostashkov to the city of Torzhok. Oh, glorious years, oh the great mighty Soviet Union! The pride of Soviet electronics. Computer “Electronics-60M”

By the way, about the Soviet Union. The USSR Ministry of Electron Industry neatly copied Western equipment, and once under my command came the Electronics-60 computer, which was called PDP-11 in American girlhood. The computer was cool, and my colleagues envied me. I myself did not believe my happiness – such computing power fell upon me. And after I added another 16 megabytes to the available 16 megabytes of RAM (not gigabytes – feel the difference!), I realized that from now on I can do everything.

And he established himself in this opinion when he exchanged a liter of technical alcohol for 50 floppy disks with a diameter of 5.25 inches. 5.25 inches – I explain to young growths – this is a little more than the diagonal of your mobile phone. 360 kilobytes of information was located on this vast area! No, I was not mistaken, it’s 360 kilobytes! But one could contrive and use both sides of the floppy disk for recording. Then it fit as much as 720 kilobytes.

To double the capacity of a floppy disk, it was necessary to break another small hole in the packet symmetrically to the large hole. The need for fiction is tricky Photo: Source On the cheapest current flash drive, if I’m not mistaken, you can write 8 gigabytes. For arithmetic lovers I give you the opportunity to calculate independently how many old discs you can easily carry in your pocket today. The fact that almost all of us carry a telephone in the same pocket, which has computing capabilities greater than the combined power of all the computers that participated in the launch of the first manned spacecraft to the moon, I do not even say.

This does not surprise anyone. Why be surprised? It’s an everyday thing, as the unforgettable Carlson said. In general, things, like people, never just so together, in one pocket, do not settle. The need for cohabitation is due to the need for cooperation. So co-existed in a pocket many years ago, a notebook and fountain pen. The converse is also true: since we had a chance to live together, let’s work together. The idea to connect an additional, also mobile, memory to a mobile phone appeared long ago.

And it began to be successfully implemented when flash drives with two USB connectors appeared: one ordinary, and the other a miniature one, which came up to the micro-USB connector of a mobile phone. A mobile phone is usually recharged through this connector. Such a hybrid flash drive is sometimes unofficially called a “push-push”. With its help, the task of transferring large amounts of information between a telephone and a computer or between several phones was successfully solved.

Connect the “faucets” of the right size, and download the information. But such a simple path did not always lead to the achievement of the goal. The fact is that when a USB flash drive is inserted into a regular computer, it takes over the management functions (in English this is called “master”), and the USB flash drive becomes manageable (“slave”). The transfer process is computer controlled. A smartphone, being attached to a USB flash drive, takes over the functions of a managed device. A flash drive itself, by definition, cannot be a control device. The tops cannot, the lower classes do not want. Typical revolutionary situation!

In order to resolve this collision, a new communication protocol was invented, which was called USB OTG. Sometimes this protocol is called simply OTG. The abbreviation OTG means On-The-Go, that is, “on the go.” Devices that provide a connection based on this protocol are also called USB OTG devices.
They allow connected devices to switch, if necessary, from the control (master) mode to the controlled (slave) mode. For example, a mobile phone can become a manager and organize the reading of data from a USB flash drive. And if the mobile phone is connected to a regular computer, all control functions will be transferred to this computer, and the phone will turn into a kind of passive storage device.

Thus, it becomes possible to connect various peripheral devices directly to gadgets without using a “large” computer. Why can’t you just integrate a full-size “large-sized” USB port into your smartphone or tablet? Because in this case, simplicity will be worse than theft. The mobile device will become thicker, heavier, and moreover, energy consumption will increase dramatically.

You can’t put it in any pocket, no battery can handle it. How is USB OTG protocol implemented? If your Android-powered mobile phone or tablet is recently released, it probably supports USB OTG technology. The easiest way to find out for sure is to look at the instructions.

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