Friday, November 11, 2016

Of Apple Dongles and Airline Baggage Fees

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

- Lewis Carroll

The dongle for Apple products. Like airline baggage fees, its something that didn't really exist in the past unless you had some unusual requirement -- like specialized software that used it as a copy protection key.

In the same way, airlines used to just let you check bags, and the only things people carried on were things that they might need during the flight. Unless you were traveling on business, most people checked their bags. Now, the airline industry makes millions on additional charges to people for doing what they normally do, bringing stuff they need with them when the travel.

With all of their recent dongle designs, Apple has imposed a surcharge to do things that are essentially normal, typical activities with a computing platform. And while Apple recently reduced the price of the dongles required to use the new Macbook Pro units, there is still a cost.

Even if Apple decided to give away the dongles for their systems, there would still be costs associated with it -- like needing a dongle to connect to Ethernet (maybe not a requirement for home users, but an essential for business and pro users). As a result, you must carry that dongle. Or, with the new USB-C connector, if you need to sync and charge your iPhone? You must carry a dongle for that as well. And using traditional audio connections with your iPhone -- you're carrying another dongle.

It's funny how the little fees add up...

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