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A Tangle of Wires
2008-11-10 14:56
by Will Carroll
Notes:
Scott Long is now blogging at NSFWsports.com.
Will Carroll can still be found at Baseball Prospectus.

I hate wires. One of the reasons I bought my Macbook Air was the push towards "pure" wireless. I don't need a lot of ports, I don't need a lot of size, and up to a point, I don't need a lot of processing power. I took a peak approach to deciding whether or not an Air would work for me, though I did it blindly, pre-ordering after lusting on it during a Stevenote.

Somehow, along the way, I've ended up with a tangle of wires. This is my current desktop:

Yeah, that's a four-port hub I have there, stuck into my Air's one USB port. I have an external hard drive (for Time Machine and media storage), my iPhone cord, and my Turbo.264 video conversion thingie. That leaves me with an open port for ... well, anything else. It was a $29 port, so anyone who says one USB port on the Air isn't enough just isn't trying. I did learn that video conversion was painfully slow on the first-gen Air, so the $89 Turbo fixed that. (It's slow on the Macbook that was available at the time, though I'm hearing fast on the new unibodies.)

Still, why so many wires? I can do file transfers via wi-fi, download from the Internet, but I can't transfer to a hard drive? Yes, it'd be slower, but would the tradeoff of a bit of speed for a wire be worth it? Maybe. There's been talk of wireless USB or some variant for years and if it worked, I'd be all for it. It's not just my computer -- it's the miles of wires connecting my Tivo to my receiver to my tv. It's the speaker wire running under the carpet. I'm ready to ditch the wires if someone will just let me.

Comments
2008-11-10 23:18:05
1.   Podesta
I plug things into my MacBook Pro instead. That way my MacBook Air can be used anywhere in or near my place wirelessly. During the summer I used it on the patio a lot.

If I did not have another Mac, I would have bought a Mac Mini for plug-in duty. It is the right size to act as a server and contact point.

I also have a Time Capsule and Apple TV, making tasks cord free most of the time.

2008-11-12 08:11:23
2.   Tangotiger
Will, the transfer rate through a wire is 10x that of wireless. And you better make sure that the all your devices are close to each other, too. So, of all the things you should settle on a wire for, I'd say the external hard drive is the one.

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