‘Finally, 1 cord to rule them all!’ [Setups]


Maybe "1 cord to rule them all," but not replace them all.
Photo: NGRoachClip@Reddit.com

You’ve got to love somebody bragging about getting their computer setup’s cable management down to one cord, because it’s never really one cord. They don’t mean it literally. It’s just that one cord to a hub or dock helped reduce their previously tangled mess of cables splaying out all over the place.

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Such is the case with Redditor NGRoachClip’s setup post, entitled, you guessed it. “Finally, 1 cord to rule them all!”

Just to nerd out for a sec, the full bastardization of J.R.R. Tolkien’s lines from The Fellowship of the Ring would be, “One Cord to rule them all, One Cord to find them, One Cord to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

That’s a hell of a cord.

But, of course, it’s a fantasy. It’s never one cord. And in NGRoachClip’s case, you can easily see in the photo it’s not one cord. There are definitely several cables in that picture.

1 cord plus Thunderbolt 3 dock (plus some other cords)

What’s he’s talking about is the Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which allows one cord from a Mac’s Thunderbolt 3 port to link up to a whole bunch of other stuff.

The dock brings USB-C and USB-A ports, HDMI, an SD card slot and a 3.5mm audio jack. It’ll let you run dual monitors and more. That’s especially easy when your MacBook Pro is powered by an Intel chip, as NGRoachClip’s is.

Recent Intel-based Mac laptops can run two displays when connected to a USB-C or Thunderbolt 3 docking station. M1 MacBooks don’t natively support more than one external display, but you can make it happen with DisplayLink tech and an adapter.

“Are you using a single cable to output to 2 monitors each showing different screens? Or is there another computer I’m not seeing,” came an appropriate question from a Redditor. “I thought that with macOS the single cable can only mirror that same screen — not show 2 separate/different screens.”

“So it’s a single Thunderbolt 3 cable to a Corsair TBT100 Thunderbolt 3 Dock,” replied NGRoachClip. “The dock provides power to my MBP, inputs for both monitors (not mirrored) and powers the keyboard, Bluetooth for the mouse and powers the switch!”

Using smartphone as a webcam

A couple of Redditors noticed NGRoachClip’s unusual webcam affixed to the top of his monitor. It’s actually a smartphone.

“It’s my old Samsung [Galaxy] Note — figured if it’s just going to sit in a drawer as back up I may as well use it as a pretty nice webcam and avoid buying one!” he said.

Naturally, folks wanted to know how it works.

“I just downloaded the app iRiun Webcam on Android and on my Mac — they sync up and boom, phone as a webcam!” NGRoachClip said. “It’s the only one I could find that worked well with Mac. If you want it for PC, apparently DroidCam is the go-to!”

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.


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