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  1. #1
    Connection Options For Macbooks?
    Hi all,

    I'm considering a new Mac laptop. Let's assume for now a MacBook Air.

    I'm hoping you can educate me on how these machines are to be connected to other devices. So far my needs seem to be:

    - connect 2 external monitors
    - connect external keyboard
    - connect one or more USB drives

    I also need to target mode large files from an old iMac (firewire) to the new laptop regularly.

    On my old Macbook I can do all this using the built-in ports. Seems for the new laptop I'll need to buy extra stuff and learn the new connection system.

    Thanks for any advice, much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Connection Options For Macbooks?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    The MBA has 2 USB-C ports, so your external connectivity depends entirely on the type of USB-C hubs you purchase. Most of them will come with one HDMI, a couple of USB-A ports and SD slot. To support 2 monitors, you'll need 1 hub and one HDMi->USB-C converter. For keyboard, you can go wireless if you wish or use the hub's USB port to connect a wired keyboard, the same for other USB drive/devices.

    If you are going to be using a lot of external devices, you should consider a hub with enough ports to support that use.
    --
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    ...Ashwin


  3. #3
    Thank you, appreciate the advice. Ok, so I just need to shop for a USB-C hub, seems easy enough.

    I use target mode to move files from an old iMac to my old laptop (firewire to firewire). To target mode to the new laptop I need a firewire to USB-C cable?

  4. #4
    Connection Options For Macbooks?
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
    Thank you, appreciate the advice. Ok, so I just need to shop for a USB-C hub, seems easy enough.
    Indeed, and you can even purchase a couple of hubs and plug them into the USB-C slot, you'll want to ensure that they have at least 3-4 inches of cable length so that they don't interfere with each other. For example, the official Apple USB-C adapter has a USB-C, USB-A and HDMI connector on it and comes with about a 2 inch cable meaning you can plug two of them in and support two monitors and up to 4 USB external devices.

    Quote Originally Posted by Felasco View Post
    I use target mode to move files from an old iMac to my old laptop (firewire to firewire). To target mode to the new laptop I need a firewire to USB-C cable?
    Target Disk Mode requires the use of Firewire cables and the USB-C connector on the MBA is actually Thunderbolt 3, so technically a USB-C to TB2 adapter should allow you to continue to use it in target disk mode, but you might want to verify that before plunking down cash for that adapter since I don't use this feature.
    --
    Regards
    ...Ashwin


  5. #5
    Thanks again, helpful.

    For the benefit of myself and any others who may arrive at this thread, here's some useful information I found about target mode.

    First, a basic how to explanation:

    Understanding the Applications for Target Disk Mode

    Next, the adapter I will need to connect firewire on the old Mac to thunderbolt on the new laptop:

    Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter - Apple (UK)

    ---------------------

    All that said, if anyone wishes to suggest other methods of moving large chunks of data from one Mac to another please do. I know how to use our local network, and that's good for a few files, but too slow for my taste for gigs of data.

  6. #6
    Connection Options For Macbooks?
    ferrarr's Avatar
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    I usually use a portable USB hard drive, not a flash drive, but something about 320 gigs or even larger.
    -- Bob --
    Please backup. Everything has a life cycle, unexpected and warning free. Nothing will last as long as you want it to.

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