Too annoying to use MacBook Pro as a laptop

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mcmike100, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. mcmike100 macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Does anyone else have this problem? Or, even better, a solution?

    I do a lot of serious computing work (programming, web design, graphic design, etc.), so I have a nice desk setup with a big monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers, etc. I also use my MacBook Pro as my main computer, i.e. as the desktop.

    Thus, I have all the following plugged in at all times: power, ethernet, monitor, USB hub with multiple external hard drives, speakers, and SD card.

    My problem is that I find it so annoying to unplug all that stuff (especially safely ejecting all the external hard drives), and then plugging it all back in when I'm done, that I hardly ever actually use it as a laptop except on trips. I mean, it always seems like far too much work even to just browse the web on the couch for a while.

    Any thoughts?

  2. ZenErik macrumors 6502

    Dec 22, 2007
  3. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Decide what's more important to you; the ability to easily move around, or the convenience of not plugging/unplugging things.

    Even if you had a desktop and had to move it, you'd still have to unplug everything.
  4. skiltrip macrumors 68030

    May 6, 2010
    New York
    Yup. Sell it and get a more powerful desktop for the money. Or just add a desktop to your other arsenal. No other option except to switch to a PC and get a docking station.
  5. kamalds macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2010
    You should get a bluetooth mouse and keyboard. Also, get a WiFi router and stop using LAN. This will reduce some headache.
  6. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    Away from you
    Buy a computer that's made to sit on a desk with a bunch of crap hooked up to it at all times. That's my suggestion.

    I take my MacBook Pro everywhere and have no complaints. Maybe the work I do isn't "serious" enough... :confused:
  7. mcmike100 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    Haha yeah - I thought I'd get the desktop suggestion. But I chose a laptop so that I'd have the option of taking it to different places like the couch or a coffee shop to do work. I guess that didn't work out, haha.

    What ever happened to docking stations? I remember years ago my Dad had a Thinkpad I think (some business laptop...) that just slid right into a docking station with all the peripherals plugged in.
  8. nastebu macrumors 6502

    May 5, 2008
    Why didn't it work out? You still have that option. You only complained about not being able to use it when you want to sit on the couch and use the internet. So you have the right computer.

    If you really feel the need for using the internet on the couch, and that's all that's lacking, the iPad is a good choice, no?
  9. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Does this help?
  10. jazzfish macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2010
    Outside Washington DC
  11. Erasmus macrumors 68030


    Jun 22, 2006
    Hiding from Omnius in Australia
    You know, you don't have to bother with safe ejecting if you shut your computer down first...

    And it saves a small amount of battery in transport.

    I don't understand why your use would require having external speakers plugged in, or why you would always need an SD card plugged in. Also, how far does the SD card protrude? Do you have to remove it?

    You could also try getting a wireless router instead of your ethernet.
  12. redkamel macrumors 6502

    Aug 29, 2006
    Get a good wifi router from Apple
    Make whatever you can wirelesss (keyboard, mouse).
    Get a Airport express so your speakers are wireless. Get a wi-fi printer so your printing and scanning is wireless (if you need scanning, since airport express doesnt do that, GRRRRR). Use disk inventory X to look at your HD and ditch stuff you don't need (if you can).

    I did that to mine (~1.5 TB of stuff): Movies: 600 gigs, and I don't watch those all the time. Aperture library: 200 gigs, half of that is actually the vault. Music: 64 gigs, plus some movies in there. Videos and junk from college/goofing off: 10 gigs. Review videos from class/audiotapes: 10 gigs.

    It all went off into a storage drive I use only when needed, except for: 100 gigs of photos, a few movies, and 65 gigs of music.

    Obviously you do different work than I, so if you have lots of templates, files etc you need access to all the time, then thats different. But the airport extreme and express support networked discs, so you can keep things you don't need rapid access to or on-the-go there...for example, I don't really NEED my music on my laptop, the 30% of time I don't work at home either I don't listen to music or Pandora does just as well.
  13. engaged44 macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2011
    i use my macbook pro as a desktop most of the times..i am a college student though so i need a notebook.

    i hook it up via hmdi to a 22 inch samsung tv (use it as a moniter).

    i also hook the sound up to the tv and have the apple wireless keyboard and mouse.

    i love using it as a desktop because i feel it is more comfortable to use.

    when i go to class when i need my computer i just unplug everything even though it's a pain in the ass and then plug everything back in when i get back.
  14. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    I do it similar to you, and don't find it a hassle at all. The only hassle to me is wrapping up my power cable each time, but it's not a big enough hassle to make the cost of a second power adapter worth it.

    I have one suggestion to possibly speed things up. If you're like me and have multiple hard drives, select them all, right click, and hit eject. They all eject at once. If you have drives with multiple partitions they'll eject together without the "do you want to unmount just this partition, or all partitions" prompt. Alternately, if you have a single drive with multiple partitions, select one drive, hold "alt," and the option to eject turns into "eject all" - it will unmount all partitions without prompting. (You can also do this trick with the partitions from a Finder window, clicking on the eject buttons.)

    Rearrange your desktop so that all drive icons are mounted in a way so that it's easy to select them all. Also consider rearranging your physical desk so that the cables are easy to pull out and push in.
  15. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
  16. calaverasgrande macrumors 65816


    Oct 18, 2010
    Brooklyn, New York.
    there are a couple of docking solutions for macs, but honestly the issues you are having are true of just about all Laptops except Thinkpads, some Dells and HPS. I dont think Sony or Toshiba has Docks (though I could be wrong).
    Most developers I know get wireless keyboard/mice and hook up to the net by wifi. Heck Apple makes a monitor that has your USB-Power-Video on one cable. About as close to a dock as you will get from apple.
    ME? I use a Mac mini for pluggin all my peripherals into. My MBP only gets plugged into the lan, and then only when I am uploading/downloading liek crazy.
  17. miata macrumors 6502

    Oct 22, 2010
    Silicon Valley, Earth
    I have power, display, 2xUSB and ethernet and sometimes FW800 and even FW400. You just get used to it.

    I'm not sure if this is what you are doing, but you can use USB for audio out (iMic) and SD card readers all plugged into a hub.

    I guess you can argue that the PeeCee docking stations are more efficient, but the people that I know who use those things have weird crashes all the time. I think that the Mac is really, really stable with online removal of stuff -- as long as you don't have a file system mounted.
  18. mcmike100 thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2005
    That Henge Dock looks great, thanks - I'll look into it!

    That's a good point about using an Airport for networked drives and audio.

    And yeah, I realize this problem isn't limited to Macs. I was commenting on laptops in general.

    I find it strange that computer-makers haven't developed a better solution yet for ejecting devices. It seems like there should be a physical button on laptops that you could push and it would automatically eject all external devices. If one was locked due to files being transferred it would stop the transfer immediately. It's amazing to me that there isn't even a simple one-click solution in OS X and Windows to eject all external devices.

    Anyway, I think that's my primary annoyance, more so than the cables themselves.
  19. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Dell tried years ago with the "Hot Undock" option. It was a disaster.
  20. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    I had it on a Dell and it caused numerous system crashes. I had an Inspiron with 2 bays that could take batteries in each, floppy drive, Zip drive, CDR, DVD Rom (different piece actually), dummy piece, etc. It was promoted as the new way to switch mediums without having to shut down the system. When I also was hooked up to a USB scanner, 10/100 LAN PCI Slot card, LPT1 printer, and other random stuff, it would rarely work right. I'm sure it is better now but it was a nightmare back then.
  21. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Honestly OP you sound like a 2 computer type person. I used to only do the laptop thing (I had no choice since I didn't live where I worked) and it is a pain being a desktop user who has to use a laptop only.

    Now that I don't do the same work I used to I have my Mac Pro desktop with all my stuff plugged in and have a Macbook Air to take with me for travel. Its a perfect setup.
  22. leftywamumonkey macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2010
    I use a Macbook in desktop mode too and find it annoying to take out all the connections, so I never do. I hope to solve soon when the new iMacs come out so I can sell this Macbook and buy a Macbook Pro. Then I would be quite happy with a 2 computer setup. You seem like you would be more happy with a desktop and a MBP or MBA. I guess you could get a dock, or a router with usb connectivity as a cheaper option.
  23. Aatos.1 macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2010
    Sadly you have a very serious problem.

    Fortunately you can do what I did, stop at your friendly Apple Store, buy a Mac Pro, a big gorgeous display and the other goodies.

    Problem Solved!
  24. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Take a look at this page:

    Mac OS X Tips: Run Applescripts with Keyboard Shortcuts
    Specifically script #3, Eject All Disks.
  25. devilstrider macrumors 6502a

    May 12, 2010
    Why get a laptop when you really want a desktop?

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