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

damien morton fork at bitfurnace.com
Mon Jan 17 16:47:15 PST 2005

Not 12v but instead an intelligent power cord whereby the device can 
communicate its voltage needs to the adaptor.

> 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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