Your MacBook as the Digital Hub - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

Apple came up with the idea of a digital hub, whereby your MacBook acts as the center of an array of electronic devices. By using standardized cables, power requirements, built-in software, and even wireless connections via Bluetooth and 802.11x wireless, the MacBook — along with its operating system, Mac OS X — goes a long way toward simplifying your interaction with all the electronic gadgets that you use.

In today’s overloaded world of personal electronic devices, people can try to juggle as many as five or six electronic wonders. Each device typically comes with its own software, power adapter, and connectors to the outside world.

Although managing one or two devices isn’t terribly difficult, as their number increases, so do the headaches. When you have a half-dozen cables and power adapters to cart around, the digital life can become pretty bleak. (And quite heavy. You’ll need more than a backpack to lug all that gear around.)

Given the hub terminology, think of the digital hub as a wagon wheel. At the center of the wheel is your MacBook. At the end of each spoke is a digital device — and, naturally, the spokes themselves are Apple’s innovative iLife applications.