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Marathon Computer RePorter

Port relocator and extender for Macintosh systems By Dave Nagel
You have to love a simple answer to a nagging problem. Take, for example, the compromise between beauty and functionality that results in most of your computer's useful ports being stuck on the back of your machine. If you need to access these often--as I do--it really is a pain to yank the computer out of its cubby or clear off the workspace and deal with tangled or crisscrossed cables in order to swap out devices. Fortunately there's now a simple and affordable solution to this: Marathon Computer's RePorter.

What it does
RePorter solves the problem of rear-facing ports by simply transferring the ports to an external housing. It is, essentially, an extension to the rear panel of the computer, providing access to the ports that you're likely to need to access most often. These include:

? Line in (via 1/8-inch stereo minijack)
? Line out (via 1/8-inch stereo minijack)
? FireWire 400
? FireWire 800
? USB (dual USB 2.0-compatible ports split from a single port)

So there are six ports total.

These connect to the back of the computer via five individual plugs, which, in turn, blend neatly into a single thick, shielded, 5-foot-long cable that, in turn, connects to the main port housing.

Now, I already know what you're thinking, and, yes, before you ask, I have pondered the alternative to the RePorter: heading over to Radio Shack and buying my own adapter cables to create a homespun version of of this device. But RePorter is superior to this approach in two ways. First, the cables--assuming you want quality components--will actually cost you more individually than the complete RePorter setup (say $80 to $100 for male-female audio in, audio out, dual USB 2.0, FireWire 400 and FIreWire 800, depending on what's on sale at your local retailer). And, second, the homespun version will lack the outstanding design on the RePorter: You'll have loose cables dangling out the back of your computer, as opposed to the attractive, tidy and palm-manipulable hub of the RePorter.

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Related Keywords:marathon, reporter, port extension, macintosh, g5, firewire, usb

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