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the new missing sock

We are probably all too familiar with the perils of the missing sock. You put on two, you take off two, yet somewhere between the hamper and the dryer, one sock goes missing. It is an age old issue that like the common cold, may not have a cure short of going barefoot or buying some sock clips to keep your pairs matched.

Oddly enough in the world of technology, there seems to be another type of missing sock phenomena, that of the unidentified or mismatched charger. Let me walk you through this to see if this scenario is familiar to you too.

I believe you would be hard pressed in any home today, to find all electronic equipment paired nicely with their corresponding plug ins, adaptors, usb’s and computer connections. Unless of course it is still new or just out of the box, and you haven’t yet cracked the spine to the user manual, more often than not, once the camera, the phone, the ipod, the nano, the video-recorder, the xbox, game boy, or nintendo have been christened with their first usage, the burning question pops up when the power bars dwindle down dangerously low…..”hey, did anyone see the charger for this???????????”

When asked of you, you may quickly jump to respond. You know you’ve seen one or two on the kitchen counter, or perhaps still plugged into the wall, maybe it’s a junk drawer frequent flyer, or you spied one in that large decorative bowl you keep by the front door….inevitably though the first 2 or 3 chargers you lay hands on will NOT be the one you need. It may look like it, it may even lull you into a false sense of connection, but sure enough, when you try to fit the female and male parts together you will end up with a goose egg and no power.l

How does this happen? Plagued by the surplus of adaptors, chargers and connectors, I took a quick count and inventory of my current electrical adaptor accessories. Lying around my house I found 17 miscellaneous, forgotten, chargers and adaptors for devices that have somehow been misplaced, misguided or misused. But here their power partners all sit in one jumbo size basket waiting for their rebirth and reuse.

The burning question then is, now that the status of each of these electronic devices is somewhat nebulous, why is it that despite getting new and improved technology, it is so difficult to get rid of our old chargers and adaptors? Why do we keep them, month after month and long after their rightful partners have been replaced – do we think, that like the missing sock, that someday, somehow the two shall meet again and function as the manufacturer intended? Or is it that we simply cannot accept the fact that the adaptors functionality can’t cross other platforms?

I’ve had 5 phones in the last three years, and among these three different blackberrys….all were with one carrier but yet each one had a different adaptor. Why is this? Why isn’t their one standard blackberry adaptor that can work with multiple models? Why is such customization needed other than to line the pockets of the manufacturers as they make a killing on accessories after giving away the phones for free??? Phone companies and manufacturers….can you hear me now?

So what to my wondering eyes when I realized that my new phone actually could power off of the same charger as my Blackberry Bold! I was stymied and utterly excited at the streamlined simplicity of carrying around one charger that could double dip for me. Spectacular! We need so much more of this!

Double kudos for the recent discovery that my Samsung Camera had not only a standard USB adaptor that was immediately recognized by my SONY Vaio laptop computer, but that also had a built in connector that changed the USB cable into a plug in power cable. Amazing! Now I had the option of juicing up the camera from the laptop or by plugging it in directly. I’m in heaven with options!

Recently, I made a trip to Best Buy in preparation for a trip overseas. I needed, you guessed it, another adaptor. This one would be like none other in my adaptor bag of tricks. It would be used to convert all of my electronics so I could use them abroad. Unfortunately, the sales team was not very helpful other than to direct me to a large end cap of electrical adaptors where I spent a half hour reading and re-reading the backs of the packages to see which adaptor would fit the bill.

As a point of reference, I left the store with a $30 adaptor that promised me the wonders of power upon touching down and connecting to the Australian grid, however, when used in real life application, I broke the plug first time out of the gate mistaking a non moving part for a moving part. But fear not, for certain, this adaptor though partially broken, will remain in my home collection for years as I contemplate the lack of ROI and like a long lost friend, wait for one of the missing parts to show up again so I can use it in the right SOCKet.

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