I lament this age of laptops without proper network jacks.



I'm surprised that nobody has done Ethernet through the USB-C.

(Actually, more seriously, I'm genuinely surprised that nobody's come up with an alternative smaller Ethernet jack that fits on the knife-edge of a modern laptop.)

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@silverseams @suetanvil @CarlCravens i don't know if i ever actually broke one of those, but i always _felt_ like i was going to break them

@brennen @silverseams @suetanvil Same. That always felt like a "I am in a hotel for a couple days and need to read my email" connector and not "I am going to plug this thing in when I get to my desk every day."

@silverseams @suetanvil I think maybe manufacturers figured out we don't want something so fragile. Or they just figured out that _everything_ is now a dongle, so we can just buy a dongle. (I bought a dongle.)

@CarlCravens @silverseams @suetanvil

The age of laptop network jacks turned out to be surprisingly short.

My first laptop had ... a PCMCIA slot and maybe a phone jack? (I'm holding "network" here to mean Ethernet & not PSTN)

I'd say it was broadly a thing for maybe ... 15 years?

@idlestate @silverseams @suetanvil That's right, early on we had to use PCMCIA cards to get network connections. Which, of course, had a dongle or flimsy pop-out connector for the RJ11 connector. Depending on a USB dongle is just going back to our roots.

@CarlCravens @idlestate @silverseams @suetanvil Once again, Apple is ahead of the curve, nary a RJ45 in sight for... years?

I also got a dongle, but it has USB-A and HDMI in addition to RJ45


first PCMCIA connectivity I bought wasn't even for my own laptop

it was a modem card for my spouse's PowerBook or something of that era

I don't remember using it much though. I think I just felt better knowing I could connect it to something else.

(might have foundered on getting drivers installed, as one does. This is the advantage of factory-installed ports: In principle there exists some configuration that works.)

@CarlCravens @silverseams @suetanvil

@idlestate @pagrus @CarlCravens @silverseams

Huh. IIRC, my first laptop (a used 486 Thinkpad) had one of those. It was a flat card with a really fragile-looking dongle-and-cable to connect to Ethernet.

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