Those with notebooks, how is your "base station" arranged?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by munckee, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. munckee macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Just wondering what your home setup is like? How do you organize all the various cords to connect to your external monitor, speakers, external drives, keyboard, mouse, etc? Does apple make some universal adapter that will allow you to plug everything in?

    Eventually I'd like to end up with:
    PB 12" (already have this)
    apple keyboard
    dell monitor
    external HD #1: exact archive of my active HD
    external HD #2: secondary archive to store work and photos (I'm a designer, I tend to collect a large number of big files that need to be saved safely)
    external HD #3: music (primary library for itunes/ipod)
    scanner (already have)
    extra USB 2.0 port for my camera's card reader

    Any recommendations on how to best arrange all that so that I can walk in with my computer and plug in the fewest cords possible to have everything work?
  2. T-Stex macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2006
    I'd go with a wireless mouse and keyboard, and a usb hub that you can plug all the drives and everything into. That leaves you with your power cord, 1 usb cord, and the mini dvi cable.
  3. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    Well ... here's my setup ... the mess of wires is a bit annoying.
    I have my printer, scanner, and digicam cord connected to my LCD monitor, and I have a single USB cord coming from that to my laptop, along with the DVI. I connect my iPod manually through firewire, since I don't have USB 2.0 ports. That along with the power cord is all I connect to my laptop. I let the mess of cords with my display be ^^

    Did I mention I really like the dual monitor setup? Well I do =)
  4. airkarol macrumors 6502

    Nov 12, 2005
    Before I sold mine, I had an airport base station on the top of a shelf upstairs, and an airport express in the living room. The wires were always a mess for everything. I had a hard drive on the fw800, m-audio interface on fw400, wireless keyboard and mouse receiver on usb, iLok on usb, display on dvi, and power. I used almost every port. It was pretty crazy, and once I have the MBP, it'll be back to that mess. Now that mess is on a desktop :D
  5. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Nov 17, 2004
    The Msp
    I second the USB hub idea. Will really reduce your clutter, and make it easier. That said, I use a network drive connected to my wireless router which also has my second external hard drive and printer hooked up to it, so that I can access them wirelessly from my Powerbook, as well as my iMac. My iTunes library is on the drive, so it can be used by both computers as well.
  6. katie ta achoo macrumors G3

    May 2, 2005
    My setup is just my PB and the airport way in the other room.

    When I get up to it, I connect it S-Video to the TV, get out my BT keyboard and mouse and geek out with my 36" TV as a monitor.
    (It's how I watch all the stevenotes)

    Get a USB hub. That'll cut down on plugging straight into the Mac.
  7. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Thanks guys! Do they make a powered hub to help out with things like the scanner that don't have an external power brick? Any suggestions on the best place to find a decent hub for a reasonable price?
  8. jblock macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2006
    I don't have much clutter. I have an iBook G4 12" on an iCurve, mighty mouse plugged into an apple keyboard and the keyboard into the iBook.

    For your wire clutter you can by flexible plastic tubing, typically used for hi-fi components wire clutter, and put all your wires through that. Easy and neat.
  9. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2005
    The poor section of Connecticut
    I have pretty much the same set-up as Katie, although her TV is much bigger...sniff
    In my opinion, this set-up works the best, esspecially with the USB hub. Of course, Book Endz makes a docking station if that's what you're looking for.
  10. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Don't really have any cords connected to my iBook, except the power, of course (we need unlimited battery power, now!).

    External monitor: Don't have one. 12" is good enough for me... :p
    Speakers: Use Airtunes to connect to my hifi.
    External drives: My pendrive and external HD(s), CD-RW and DVD±RW are only connected when I use them. Which is not even on a daily basis.
    Keyboard/Mouse: I use the iBook's built in keyboard and trackpad. Have tried bot wired and wireless mouse (mice?) and neither suited my use...
    Stand: Magasin chopping board. :cool:

    Would like to see what Apple could come up with if they made a docking station for laptops, but I don't think they will...
  11. adk macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2005
    Stuck in the middle with you
    Dorm rooms don't give many options, but this is my best solution. I usually just keep mail and itunes up top.

  12. munckee thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 27, 2005
    Another question:

    If I get a powered USB hub (7 or 8 slots) and plug everything into that (keyboard, ext. HD's, scanner, etc) and then just plug that into my powerbook when I get home, will it all work?

    I'd figure it would look something like this:
    Hub connected to:
    3 external HD's
    keyboard (mouse connected to that)
    USB card reader

    Will it all daisy chain correctly so that all I have to plug in at home is my USB hub and my monitor?
  13. plinkoman macrumors 65816


    Jul 2, 2003
    New York
    yea, that should work for you no problem. just be carfull when disconnecting the hub, be sure the eject everything first. i've forgot that a couple times with my iPod which i have daisychained through a firewire hard drive; i eject the hard drive and forget about the iPod :p

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