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Any Port in a Storm

Any Port in a Storm
by Gary Woods

It used to be that laptop computers had a lot of what are called ports on every side of them. There were Parallel Ports for plugging in Printers and Serial Ports for plugging in a mouse and a plethora of USB ports for plugging in everything else. But, when I got my brand new 13" MacBook Air all I got was a couple of USB 3 ports a Thunderbolt port plus an SD card slot.

For me that's okay because I don't plug my laptop into a monitor and a printer or most anything else. Occasionally I plug in an external hard drive to back it up but other than that, life is good.

But, I know there are some folks out there that use their Laptop as their main computer and need those extra ports to complete their office experience. If you're one of those people check out the Matrox DS1 which is just bristling with ports. On the front there's a single Thunderbolt connector so you can come out of your MacBook Air or MacBook Pro into the DS1 then around the back there is a DVI connector for a monitor an Ethernet connector so you can hook up to your network, 2 USB 3.0 ports and for good measure there are headphone and microphone jacks.

The cool part about the DS1 is that when you plop your MacBook down on your desk all you have to do is plug in the Thunderbolt connector and everything else starts to work. I found the DS1 on Amazon for about $250 so if you're in need of a lot places to plug your peripherals check it out.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc