Collect them all: Living the dongle life


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The Macalope hopes you like ridiculous scenarios that would never happen because that’s what’s on the menu today.

The very fine people and editors and pernicious hive mind that furiously generates Apple clickbait over at Business Insider are all back, this time to warn us that “Apple makes 23 different dongles — and it would cost you $857 to buy them all.” (Tip o’ the antlers to Alex.)

Why… why would you do that? Are you some sort of dongle completist? Do you buy them and keep them in their original packaging so they stay in mint-in-the-box condition?

“Here’s a SCSI terminator I bought in 1994. I won’t part with it for less than $750. Serious collectors only.”

Last September, Apple forced new iPhone owners to accept a new reality…

Wow! That is some construction. They “forced” people who decided to buy an iPhone 7 into not having a headphone jack. They couldn’t keep their previous iPhones or switch to an Android phone because blabbity doo-dah honk-honk wacka wacka. Boy, if the Macalope could similarly “force” people to send him a hundred bucks against their will for a signed glossy photo of him eating a can of creamed corn, he’d be on easy street.

(He has a lot of photos of himself eating cans of creamed corn. Hey, it’s not any weirder than collecting dongles.)

The latest iPhone isn't the only Apple product that needs an array of dongles to become its most useful self.

The Macalope would argue that these devices become their “most useful selves” when you stop using all the dang wires.

You need a dongle to connect your MacBook Air to an ethernet cable.

If you find connecting to ethernet somehow more useful than just using WiFi, you may be doing “more useful” wrong.

If you were hoping to plug a flash drive right into your new MacBook, think again…

Unless it’s a USB-C flash drive in which case please resume your regular insertion process already in progress.

That got us thinking…

Is pudding a solid or a liquid?

We counted a grand total of 23 dongles on Apple's website…

Some of which — and the Macalope is legally obligated to note that he is not kidding here — are adapters for 30-pin dock connectors. In other words, for devices that Apple doesn’t even make anymore. How does Business Insider frame this?

So, after shelling out hundreds, or even thousands, for a new iPhone or MacBook, expect to spend about $857 (not including tax) to get every available dongle on the above list.

Sure, because after buying an iPhone 7, the first thing you’re going to do is buy a 30-pin dock connector to HDMI adapter because… well, you’re an adapter collector. That’s the only reason the Macalope can come up with.

The Macalope actually still has an iPhone with a headphone jack. He hasn’t used that jack since last December when he bought some AirPods. (Yes, AirPods cost more than a dongle, but remember that the complaint is about wasting money on simply connecting things.) If you back up to iCloud and use iCloud Photo Library, you really don’t ever need to connect your iPhone to a computer.

For his MacBook Pro, the Macalope does use two USB-A to USB-C adapters and a USB-C to HDMI adapter. (Since most laptops don’t come with HDMI ports and most monitors are HDMI, some adapter is pretty much the cost of doing business if using an external monitor is a thing you want to do.) The total cost of those was slightly short of $857 at just $22 from Amazon because why are you buying adapters from Apple in the first place? Your mileage may vary, but it’s never going to get close to $875 unless you have some kind of addiction.

As the aforementioned SCSI terminator reference probably makes obvious, the Macalope has been using computers for a little while now and, yeah, sometimes you have to use adapters. The fact that Apple has a fair number of adapters available for sale simply means they sell a fair number of products and have been around for a fair number of years. That’s it.

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