It’s a sad day for the video graphics adaptor, aka the VGA connector – this 15-pin relic of early PC technology will be killed off in 2015. Is this finally the end for analogue connections or are you still well and truly attached?
For decades there’s been something reassuringly solid about using these blue plugs and sockets to unite a PC and its monitor, sealing the relationship by tightening the gloriously archaic twin screws that stop them from being yanked apart.
There’s none of this ceremony with the VGA’s replacement, the HDMI (or as it’s not better known High-Definition Multimedia Interface) socket, and its sibling the DisplayPort. A mere tug on an HDMI cable and your gold-plated digital connection is disconnected.
HDMI killed the VGA star
But history counts for nothing in the relentless march of computer technology, with news that Intel, AMD and PC manufacturers will no longer support VGA beyond 2015. It’s too bulky and can’t compete with HDMI when it comes to colour depth and resolution, they say.
Of course, it will take longer than five years for the last VGA-only monitor to hit the recycling heap, just as we’re not yet rid of the parallel printer port. Just last month I was trying to eke the last dregs of life and toner out of the HP printer I purchased when I was a student. In those days we didn’t have USB, just the 1970’s era 36-pin parallel socket (remember those?).
Luckily you can still manage a connection between old printers and new PCs with a parallel-to-USB cable. Similarly, you’ll no doubt be able to link an old monitor to a VGA-less PC long into the future, with a dose of backwards compatibility.
Farewell analogue connections
But digital is the future, leaving VGA behind, and TV Scart sockets must also be on the list of endangered connections, too analogue to cater for our high-definition desires. A high-definition world where our TVs and computers need to be interlinked and the boundaries between broadcast and internet programmes become blurrier by the day.
So, will you miss the VGA (a Very Good Acronym, IMHO)? Does it bring back memories of a bygone age, of the heyday of IBM and beige PCs with floppy drives? Or did you barely notice that your shiny new netbook was lacking a VGA… until you tried to connect it to your old but perfectly serviceable monitor?