Apple has made available a small FAQ on its new Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter, which outlines some uses and limitations of the adapter, and also hints at potential troubleshooting for both it and other Thunderbolt devices.
In the FAQ, Apple makes particular note about the daisy-chaining of Thunderbolt devices; each chain can support up to eight devices (including the host computer). While in most cases users will have peripheral devices such as hard drives or I/O controllers attached to their systems, it is also possible to connect multiple computers in the same daisy chain (one use of this is for … Read more
Apple's MagSafe connections for its laptop power adapters allows the connections to be quickly detached from systems, the benefits of which are obvious to anyone who has ever caught a foot in the power cord of a charging device and yanked it to the floor from its resting perch.
The MagSafe adapter is a great idea, but a number of people complained that its first iterations did have a couple of flaws that resulted in the cable getting twisted and bent (a situation called "strain relief"). In some instances this strain would cause the cable components to … Read more
Some of the frustrations that Mac users have had with Apple's hardware developments over the years have been when Apple has limited various connectivity options. For instance, when Apple removed FireWire ports from some of its portable systems, users were concerned about options for Target Disk mode (commonly used for troubleshooting), or even connecting numerous FireWire devices to the systems. More recently, Apple has juggled between including an ExpressCard slot and an SD card reader on newer laptop systems.
As systems get smaller and thinner, the ability for Apple to accommodate various ports will undoubtedly decrease. As it stands, … Read more
It's hard to believe that it was almost two years ago when I dove into a tangled mess of wires and gadgets to perform my first public wire box cleanout. At the time, it looked like order and organization had won the day, and my future would be full of neatly bundled cables and perfectly sorted AC adapters.
Sadly, two years later, the forces of entropy and clutter have again reduced my wire box (actually four stacking plastic crates) to a jungle of old parts and useless accessories. This time, the motivation to clean out my wire box shantytown is an impending move, which is nature's great catalyst for discarding old junk. (And, as I prepare to move all the way from New York's SoHo neighborhood to, well, slightly farther east in SoHo, stay tuned for a series of articles on how I plan to construct my new midsize Manhattan apartment multimedia man cave.)
As I went through the four boxes of tangled wires and accessories, things were sorted into three categories: keep, trash, and give away. Click through the gallery above for a step-by-step tour of what I found, from vintage gaming gear to more sets of components cables than I know what to do with. If you're interested in any of the items that get placed on my giveaway pile, tune in to a future episode of the Digital City podcast, where I'll try and find a good home for any discarded gear.… Read more
Over the years Apple has used several display connections with their laptop computers. Older Mac models had full-size VGA and DVI ports, which easily connected to external monitors through standard display cables. In recent years, Apple has conserved space in laptops by using a variety of smaller connections that require adaptors in order to use external displays.… Read more
You are sitting at the airport and hooked up to the Internet via T-Mobile's Hotspot service that you've been paying $39.99/month for. It's great, and you can afford it. Well, good for you! What about your traveling companions though? You know, the ones who can't afford an extra Internet service and just sit there trying to make conversation with you while you surf through the latest stories at TMZ? Now there's a solution to the guilt of not talking to your companions, and it comes in a tiny package called the Windy31 Wireless … Read more
Tangled mess or work of art?
Definitely the former. This "accessories sculpture" was created when I innocently tried to pull a 6-pin FireWire-to-6-pin FireWire cable out of a box stored underneath my desk. One tug and out popped this circuitous entity, made up of wires, cables, adaptors, earbuds, a couple cassette adapters, and one Griffin TuneCenter. This type of thing doesn't happen overnight.
Taking suggestions for a title.