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C What They’ve Done!

C What They’ve Done!
by Gary Woods

Apple just came out with a new laptop computer called the MacBook, which puts it somewhere between the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air. It has a new keyboard a new track pad and 2 slots for everything else. One slot is a USB-C port that handles power in, USB for connecting peripherals as well as HDMI, VGA and Display Port for outputting video. That is going to be one busy little port. And oh yeah, the other slot, they still give you a place to plug in your headphones.

My Mid 2012 MacBook Air has 6 slots, 3 on each side. There are 2 USB ports one on each side. The Mag Safe power connector an SD Card slot for downloading pictures, a Mini Display Port for video out and a headphone jack. I haven’t even gotten around getting any Thunderbolt devices and here comes Apple once again making me crazy with a new protocol.

USB-C has only been around since September 2014 so how come Apple thinks we should all go down that road? It turns out there are a couple of problems with Thunderbolt. One is that Thunderbolt has never really caught on in the greater computing world, which makes it somewhat expensive. Thunderbolt is a great, very fast protocol but so many more manufacturers have embraced USB 3, which is pretty darn zippy itself. The other problem is that you can only make mini-Display Port connectors used with Thunderbolt so small and as we all know at Apple, smaller is better!

Thunderbolt is going to be around for a while longer on the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro but for units like the Mac Minis and the iMacs the writing is on the wall. There’s a USB-C connector in their future.

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Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and he is a Broker/Associate at Sotheby’s International Realty.