Every Mac comes with a long, bulky power cord and a small 2-prong nub. You can interchange them, but both are far from optimal for travel and field work (i.e. conference/convention blogging). Here’s my fix: use a power cord from a Sony PlayStation. There are other cords that will also fit into the Mac power brick, but the PlayStation cord is easy to find. Where the Mac power cord is too thick to easily coil or toss in a bag — and has a ground prong* so it’s limited to those types of AC outlets — the PlayStation cord is ostensibly perfect. It fits into the Mac power brick, coils up nice and small and has two prongs. Plus, you can leave your giant Mac cord at your desk back home and don’t have to deal with dust bunnies every time you get ready to go out the door. I always keep one PlayStation cable stashed in my bag, so I only have to transfer the brick to the bag. This trick’s good for any Mac laptop from the last 4-5 years, I’d guess, if not longer. In the last four years, I’ve used it on a 12 inch PowerBook, 13 inch MacBook, MacBook air and 2 MacBook pros. There used to be a video game where you had to fit shapes into brackets before an entire rig blows up. Can’t remember what it’s called, but that mindset is kind of how I first recognized the shape on the Mac plug.
– Brian Lam
*NOTE: using a ground prong is a safety precaution; although it’s generally not advisable to switch to a two-prong, this has worked fine for me for years and if you’re in a pinch, I highly recommend it.
Sony PlayStation Power Cord
Available from Amazon
Manufactured by Sony
Related items previously reviewed in Cool Tools: