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March 31, 2011

My accidental Apple dongle collection — by Rex Hammock

Appledongles-20110330-092631

The Nashville nabob wrote yesterday on RexBlog:

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I'll confess: I buy lots of Apple computers. Not just for me, but for the people I work with. So, chances are, if it's a notebook with an Apple logo attached, I've owned it. Because I use such computers for presenting ideas to lots of different people in lots of different places, I've become an accidental expert in Mac Dongleology. (The word "dongle" is a geekish term for what the rest of us call adapters.) What you see in the photo [top] that appears with this post is just a small fraction of the dongles we need to "be prepared." I am convinced that Apple's real business is selling dongles. That mythological industrial development team at Apple is noted for their obsession with ridding the world of buttons and keys and ports — but when it comes to dongles, it's like  Jony Ive gets a bonus for how many they sell. So every few months, they change the shape of plugs and ports and your drawer of dongles grows more chaotic.

Another observation about dongles (now that I mention drawer): They are similar to socks: they are manufactured in some magic way that causes them to disappear inexplicably. One last observation about dongles and Apple (which calls them adapters like "the rest of us.") If you use Google to search Apple.com (something you should always do) x the word "adapter," you will get over 600,000 results.

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FunFact: if you use the alternative spelling "adaptor," you will get around 400,000 results.

March 31, 2011 at 01:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

Wow, Joe. What a tough crowd. Fred's busted me. I must admit, however, that I chose to use the word "dongle" because, while perhaps technically incorrect, it's much more funny than the word adapter. Anyway, I based my decision to go with the word "dongle" on ultimate authority on such matters, wikipedia, where the last person who logged in, wrote: "The term "dongle" was originally used to refer only to software-protection dongles; however, currently "dongle" is often used to refer to any small piece of hardware that plugs into a computer." So, until someone edits over that wikipedia entry, I'm good. ; )

Posted by: Rex Hammock | Mar 31, 2011 7:03:23 PM

Fred's correct.

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Mar 31, 2011 6:24:00 PM

A real "expert in Dongleology" would know that a dongle is a specific type of adapter (or card, or USB flash drive) that has an encrypted key built into it, generally to enforce software copy protection.

The devices pictured here are not truly dongles, they are merely video adapters of various flavors. That's why Apple's websites lists them as such.

Posted by: Fred | Mar 31, 2011 4:45:41 PM

I have more Apple crap than Carters has little pills. OTOH, my Smooth Fitness treadmill has an Apple Sticker dead center on the front of the control panel. As do 3 shotgun cases, a bow case, a competition custom-built .22 rifle case (going against stereotype), my Thule Rocketbox...

Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Mar 31, 2011 3:51:53 PM

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