We don’t need no stink’n computer “ports”!


Desktop computer ports circa 206
Desktop computer ports circa 206
2015 Apple MacBook with only 1 port
2015 Apple MacBook with only 1 port


As an old “geezer” who has been messing with personal computers since 1978 (when the earth was still cooling according to our children and grand children), I’ve owned (personal) or managed (business) dozens of computers of almost every brand, operating system, and type (desktop, laptop, smartphone, tablet and now wearable.)

For years personal computing depended on a variety of hardware including floppy disk drives, spinning hard drives, noisy whirring fans, and dozens of “ports.”

We depended on ports to hook up our computers to other outside devices like speakers, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, scanners, external hard drives, CD/DVD drives, networking systems, headphones, telephones and on and on.  Basically you could not use a desktop or laptop without a half-dozen or more “ports.”

The first big change in ports came with newer laptops.  Keyboards, track-pads, built-in monitors and WiFi networking were pretty much standand on these devices.  The next big change was when smartphones and tablets became popular.  They had few or no ports.  Almost all had a power port (some used induction charging) and some had a headphone port.

Apple has recently introduced two new devices that are truly remarkable in that they use only 1 port (the 2015 MacBook laptop computer) or no ports (the 2015 Apple Watch).  The MacBook only has 1 port, a new design USB-C port that is cable of connecting to almost all outside devices along with charging the computer.  The Apple Watch has no ports.  It receives its power from a magnetic induction pad.

What happened?  Wireless happened!  

Newer technology like advanced WiFi, BlueTooth, AirPlay, DLNA, AirPrint and many other wireless systems has replaced cables and connectors.  We are people on-the-move!  We will not be harnessed, chained, or defined by port cables and connectors.

Pretty much everything can be connected “over the air” by wireless systems.  Monitors, TV’s, music systems, scanners, printers, Internet networks, thermostats, light switches, dead-bolt door locks, underground sprinkler systems, washers and dryers, keyboards, mice, refrigerators and even your cars door locks, start ups, navigation, audio systems and this is just at the beginning of 2015!

It’s a brave new world out there Preppies, and mobile technology will only get faster, more powerful, lighter, thinner and hopefully less expensive.

How about a new bumper sticker that says:  “I know more about technology than my grandkids!”  

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