Friday, October 02, 2009

The hell of Apple video connectors

At my day job I made the fateful decision to go with an all Apple shop. Everyone has an Apple MacPro maxed out with dual monitors (we don't buy Apple monitors or RAM because of the excessive price). (Some of the team have switched their machines to run Windows XP or Windows Vista and one team member uses Ubuntu; the only person on PC hardware is the CEO).

For mobile users we have a range of laptops including the MacBook Air and different generations of MacBook Pro and one MacBook. We even have an Xserve as our main server.

But there's a price to pay... when connecting laptops to the projector in the meeting room we are in adapter hell.

To solve these problem I have one of each adapter with little stickers on them. One end of each of these is a standard 'VGA' style connector for the projector.

The red is for MacBook Air, because it has a micro DVI connector.

The green is for the MacBook, because it has a mini DVI connector.

The yellow is for the recent MacBook Pros, because they have a mini DisplayPort connector.

The blue is for the old style MacBook Pros, because they have a Apple DVI connector.

Oddly all these machines manage to have the same MagSafe power connector, but I'm in video connector hell. When is someone going to do a wireless video standard?

4 comments:

jason said...

the viewsonic wpg-350 wifi presentation gateway looks interesting. although, it requires proprietary software on the presentation machine. i would assume the protocol is proprietary is well. they do support windows and mac os x. no mention of linux.

Peter said...

I think lightpeak, while not wireless, will be the answer. If it gets as common as USB it will mean a standard adapter for devices and monitors.

If all of your machines have a USB port, you could get one of the USB video adapters that are out there. Basically it is a low end external video card that uses USB. They support resolutions that would work on most projectors. You have to be careful and read the fine print before you order one to be sure the resolution of your projector is supported. I use them to add additional monitors to my iMacs and they work fine.

diskdoctor said...

actually the magsafe adapter on the macbook air is slightly different than the magsafe the macbooks and macbook pros.

BJ Clark - the science department said...

This is why Apple is doing the mini Displayport. It's going to be on all their machines in the future.