[FoRK] Mac Mini makes me ask: When does 12vdc become power standard?

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 17 16:34:43 PST 2005


The Mac Mini comes close to the personal server
that I imagine will start to cut into the laptop
market. You can have large monitors at work
and at home, and a portable display and keyboard
for on the road. It's still a bit too large. It needs
to fit in the shirt pocket.

It seems to me that Apple (and the rest) are
missing another large issue: power source.
These small computers are ideal for use in a
mobile environment: car, RV, plane, and boat.
The standard power supply for these, the world
over, is 13.2 volts DC, which standard derives
from six lead-acid cells. Now yeah, of course,
an inverter can be used to supply AC devices.
But then you're using 12 vdc to generate 120
AC, which is rectified to some DC voltage that
actually drives the device, that wastes juice,
introduces complexity, and makes the device
less portable. It seems to me that mobile
devices should be designed to work off 12vdc
as a standard, and then when you're "on the
grid," you just use a power cord with a built-in
transformer/rectifier. (That's the clunky cube
that makes it difficult to fit the plug into a
powerstrip.) The cord that charges your cell
also charges your ipod, powers your computer,
charges your flashlight, and powers your GPS.

Mobility. Simplicity. Modularity.




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