My Hopes for Magsafe’s Possible Return

Today, 16 October 2021, I purchased a MagSafe charger for my 2011 MacBook. Affectionately called “the Beast” the computer, despite its age, still runs well and lets me run older programs with ease. 

I have lost count of how many Magsafe chargers I’ve purchased, but this is at least the 5th; I suspect more like the 7th. Each charger, btw, is (still!) $70–80 USD. You see, while most of the time the ‘brick’ part was fine, the cable that connects to the computer, the part with that beloved magnet, will inevitably fail, fray, and otherwise destruct over time. And since it is fixed to the brick, the whole charger is done at that point.

But I need that charger to run my computer, because the 2011 MacBook Pro has a MagSafe port, and it is the only way to charge it. 

I also have a newer MacBook, one that charges via USB-C. When that charger cable frays and breaks, when I go somewhere and forget it, when I lose it, I will buy another for less than $20 from the nearest electronics store1. They will be available from multiple companies, and come in many options. 

There are rumors that the MagSafe port is going to have a grand re-entrance into our lives on Monday, returning to the side of the MacBook where it was meant to be. 

Now, once upon a time our laptops had ok battery life, 2–5 hours depending on the make and model, which meant that a lot of the time you were using them they were also plugged in. 

This is the advantage to MagSafe, the safety feature, if you will. You’re there typing away on the couch, plugged in to the wall, chords strung about the living room floor—then someone rushes through, trips on the cable but the charger disconnects since it is just a magnet holding it in and your computer is safe! 

(Well, that’s the theory, the magnets are pretty strong, so I suspect the computer is going for a flight in this specific example…)

But it is a proprietary port. One that is still as frail as any other cable, but expensive to replace. Our computers have fantastic battery life these days; we aren’t sitting tethered to the wall anywhere near as much as we were. 

One day, I won’t be able to get a charger for the 2011 anymore. Maybe the machine will give up the ghost before then, hopefully. But this new MacBook? I will be able to buy USB-C cables and chargers for a long time. 

And, when I go on travel? I bring one cable. I use it to charge my Mac, my Switch, and my camera. I use it to connect to my camera, to monitors, external hard drives. And that makes it much more valuable than the perception of safety a magnet charger gives me. 

So my hope for Monday, should MagSafe see its way back onto the Macintosh—it made its way on the iPhone last year, in a way that makes me fear Apple is moving towards a port-less phone, which would be a step too far for me. Especially considering how inefficient wireless charging is. 

Seriously, I don’t understand how you can claim to be pro-environment and then offer wireless charging. /rant 

So my hope, if we are indeed to see MagSafe return to the MacBook is that it is, simply, optional, and they keep the already established USB-C charging as an option, for those of us who very much prefer to have one charger to rule them all. 

The Beast will live another day with the new charger. But it has only reminded me why proprietary ports are bad for the consumer, bad for keeping things running past their ‘expiration.’ That computer’s life span is more connected to the availability of a proprietary cable than the lifespan of the components inside. 

Also, a related side note, BACk-UP YOUR SHIT. 


Well, we got the best of both… no three worlds. The new MacBook Pros were announced and they indeed have MagSafe back. They also include the ability to charge over USB. 

BUT. Here’s the part that makes me happy. It is not a MagSafe charger, it is a MagSafe Cable, meaning that the expense to replace it will be less, and much simpler that for the MagSafe 1 and 2 chargers. And that’s a good thing.

screenshot from

  1. Yes I know not all USB-C cables are the same, but that is a different discussion ↩︎

How I would Change Microsoft

The Microsoft / Yahoo! rumors seem to still pop up every so often on the Intrawebz bringing up new discussion on where the software giant is going. The conquering of Google and the internet is its next objective, hence all the talk in the first place of acquiring Yahoo!.

Here is where I believe Microsoft is making a mistake. Microsoft’s core business is, well, business, not the internet. Yes the internet plays a part in what Microsoft should be doing, but it should not be the focus.

Right now Microsoft rules the desktop. Like or not, this is how it is. Between Windows and MS Office, business is conduted through software written by Microsoft. What would people do without MS Exhange? or Outlook? or dare I say Word (cringe).

Focus should be shifted to these two core applications. The Outlook – Exhange pair is essential to Microsoft, as it is essential to Business. Already they are near the top of their game. Love MS, hate MS, Outlook – Exchange make a good pair. Add in a Blackberry or Windows Mobile phone and you have an email / contacts / calendar solution that has everyone else running to catch up.


So push it. Farther. Make Exchange the most secure and stable email solution out there. Make outlook more flexible, more adaptable, more ready to meet whatever problems some IT group throws at it. Make us want MS on our back ends. Sounds naughty, eh?

Then what?

Microsoft Office Lite. Or possibly a better name, but the idea is simple. You divide office into “Professional” and “Lite”. Professional is what it is now, everything in all its glory.

The “Lite” is a new beast. Here is what you do. Go dig out the Office 2000 code. For 70% of the home user, this has everything they will ever need. Patch it up so it runs on Vista, add in all the file formats of the new office (like docx) and sell it for $50.

You heard me right, $50. At that price people will buy it. And yes, I know you have works, but get rid of it. Give them Office at a reasonable price and you’ll sell it.

Make the “Professional” one have the new whistles and bells, make it have all the Exchange hotness, etc. You aren’t looking to cannibalize your business sales with this move. You are looking to cannibalize your piracy.

So then what?

Windows. Windows Vista didn’t do so hot out of the box. That is OK, it happens, really *cough OSX 10.0 cough*. But instead of being all Microsoft about it, you should instead, well, be Apple about it.

Here is my Windows proposal. (and yes, I am aware the next version is called Windows 7, but I think this is better). First, get rid of all the different versions of windows. There is one version, and that is Microsoft Windows V. Now V.0 is what we got with Vista (see? Vista, V) Now we go to V.1 (which is probably one of the current SP, I am an admitted Mac guy here), which is a free upgrade to Vista.

Now since we have reduced our foot print to a single version of Windows we are going to focus on it. The next version, V.2 will be a paid upgrade, but the difference is here we will blatantly rip off Apple’s pricing and release schedule. Instead of $ONE MILLION DOLLARZ for windows, it will be $150. No upgrade, no media server, no basic and advanced versions, just $150 for Windows V.2.

Then we get on a regular schedule. V.3 will be 12 – 18 months later, V.4, etc. Meanwhile we have a crack security team (you may need to hire these guys…) to start working on V.2.1. What is this? the .1 – .X releases are security patches. Fix it and fix it fast.

Are there other things, like online Office, and anything with Web 2.0 buzz words in it that should be done too? Maybe. Let’s look at one.

Hotmail. Seriously, what in the hell is going on with Hotmail? If I have a Hotmail account, I want it to work on my Outlook and my Windows Mobile phone just like an exchange server. Yes it is free. Yes it is Hotmail, but make it better. Use the leverage you have with your exchange – outlook synergy (OOH! big manager word!) to make people think about jumping from gmail to Hotmail. Think it can’t be done? Then you aren’t thinking hard enough.

And please just forget about search engines. Really. You are only wasting money by going into that market. Hell I could have built you from scratch a better product than what you have online for much much less than what you would have spent for Yahoo! (Here is my offer, if you respond to this post in 36 hours, I’ll give it to you for only 2 billion. How does that sound??)

The fact is that Microsoft, you don’t need to get into search engines. You NEED to make Windows. You NEED to make Microsoft Office. Focus! (and leave Yahoo! the hell alone)

The Mac Taketh Away, but Giveth Back (Almost)

Nothing is perfect. Not even my Macbook Pro. Yes, I know, that is hard to believe. It has taken me several hours to just get used to the idea.

I got a music CD for Valentine’s. I put it in to rip it. The CD spins a few times and then ejects. WHen this happens, it gets a huge straight scratch along one side.

Now I already do not like or trust slot loading CD/DVD players in computers. Even in my Mac it seems to be the cheapest part of the who thing. My car, my Wii both have the same technology, but seem to excel where the Mac just barely meets standard.

Ok, so my CD has this huge scratch, which will not just wipe off. It skips in the player now. And I am not too happy.

So I put it back in, put ‘error correction on’ and started the import. what I got was better than nothing, but not perfect.

Tracks 1-4 were hit the hardest, and are not all there. The rest, however, was imported flawlessly. So iTunes was able to save 60% of what the slot loader took from me.

Not back. Not good, but not bad.

the CD is great, btw.