Wheel Analytics serves visualizations over Wifi and USB. Which is best?

The original concept was to connect over USB because it seems simple. But behaving as a USB peripheral requires a system device driver and these are unique to each operating system. Even worse device drivers are sometimes unique to one version of an operating system.

So I decided Wheel Analytics was incomplete if USB is the only way to use it. Long term value shouldn’t hinge on vendor support. Wifi felt like a good solution since I like the idea of walking up with my laptop or tablet and working without wires. With Wifi there’s an understood interoperability requirement no matter the platform or version. The decision to render in a browser instead of native apps is part of the same ethos. Apps need updates as their host platforms evolve but there’s always a web browser.

USB Compatibility

That said USB can be nice in some environments so Wheel Analytics tries its best. It simulates three kinds of USB ethernet devices — ECM, NCM and RNDIS — in the hopes of interfacing with an available driver. Sometimes Wheel Analytics will appear more than once if the host platform has drivers for more than one of these personalities. In the Islandix lab USB connectivity has checked out on Mac OS 10.14 + 10.15, Windows 10 Professional and Linux 4.19.