Remember the days when connecting devices to your computer was a frustrating experience involving multiple cables, adapters, and software installations? Fortunately, we now have the Universal Serial Bus (USB), a ubiquitous technology that allows us to connect a wide range of devices to our computers with ease. But did you know that the first public demonstration of USB was a complete disaster?

In 1995, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, was scheduled to give a demo of USB at the COMDEX trade show in Las Vegas. Gates was known for his charismatic stage presence and his ability to wow audiences with his technology demos, so expectations were high for the USB demo.

Gates took the stage and began to explain the benefits of USB, such as its ability to connect multiple devices to a single port and its “plug-and-play” capability. He then attempted to demonstrate how easy it was to connect a scanner and a digital camera to a PC using USB.

Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned. The devices failed to work as expected, and Gates was unable to get them to function properly. He tried to troubleshoot the issue on stage, but the demo quickly descended into chaos.

The failure of the USB demo was widely reported in the media, and some in the industry began to question whether the technology would ever become widely adopted. But despite the initial setback, USB eventually became the standard for connecting devices to computers.

So, why did the first USB demo fail? Some have speculated that the devices used in the demo were not properly tested beforehand, while others have suggested that the USB technology was simply not yet mature enough for a public demo. Whatever the cause, the failure of the USB demo serves as a reminder that even the most successful technologies have humble beginnings.

In the end, the USB technology proved to be a game-changer, revolutionizing the way we connect devices to our computers. Today, USB is used in everything from printers and scanners to smartphones and game controllers. And while the first USB demo may have been a flop, it paved the way for the technology we rely on today.

So the next time you plug a device into your computer using a USB port, take a moment to remember the humble beginnings of this ubiquitous technology – and the crash that could have spelled its doom.

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