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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs Laptop Macs
I like that Apple provides little caps for the various laptop cables, but I am always afraid of losing the caps. This is especially important for my Powerbook's power supply cable. Since I throw the power supply in my bag, I was concerned that the prong (tip of the connector) would get damaged, so I use the plastic cap for protection.

My little solution for tethering the caps is pretty simple. All you need are the supplied cap, some dental floss, and a safety pin. Here are the steps:
  1. Using the safety pin, make a small hole in the top of the cap.
  2. Thread the dental floss into the hole made with the safety pin. You can use the safety pin to help push the floss through the hole.
  3. Once the floss is through, make enough knots to prevent the floss from sliding out the hole. Trim any excess floss for neatness.
  4. Tie the other end of the floss to the cable.
When done, it should look something like this:


Now the cap is tethered to your cable and available to protect your connector whenever you need it. I don't have a MacBook Pro, but I understand that those caps are similar to the iPod connectors, which can also be tethered without any problems.

[robg adds: Clearly, this isn't an OS X hint. However, I thought I'd see what the reaction was to running it, as I've lost more of those darn caps than I care to count -- I'll be trying this project this weekend! Use the rating system and/or the comments to let me know if you find this sort of hint useful, even though it's not directly related to OS X.]
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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs | 29 comments | Create New Account
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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: daGrimm on Jul 28, '06 08:44:39AM

Although I consider this hint quite helpful my problem is that I keep loosing those caps almost instantly... So I was wondering if anyone knew where one could get knew caps eg for the magsafe power supply - I do know that my question possibly belongs to some forum, but as the hint itself kind of doesn't belong here (see original post) I thought it might be okay... So if anyone knows if and where you can buy those plugs, I would be glad if he/she told me. Thanks in advance!



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: Mac112 on Jul 29, '06 01:18:18AM

I have never cared about these caps - but this hint certainly prevents what happened to one of my customers. He left the cap on the palm rest of his four day old iBook and closed it - cost him a new LCD-panel…



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: GlowingApple on Jul 30, '06 06:50:05PM

Not sure where to buy caps, but maybe check at a local Apple store. I was able to get a few screws from there at no cost when there were a few Mactops at my work missing some.

---
~Jayson <www.kempinger.homelinux.net>



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: brycesutherland on Jul 28, '06 08:58:44AM
Although I consider this hint quite helpful my problem is that I keep loosing those caps almost instantly...

Yes, I think we're actually in need of a hint that keeps us from losing the caps in the first place! ;-)

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great idea!
Authored by: j-beda on Jul 28, '06 09:07:10AM

I think that it is a great hardware "hint".



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: alblue on Jul 28, '06 09:12:37AM

I think this is a great hint, and as soon as I can be bothered, I'll be doing this for my connectors :-)

There's probably even a marketplace to sell these things on eBay ...



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: Deut3221 on Jul 28, '06 10:02:18AM

what about this for an idea -- pitch the cap in the trash; why bother carrying them around? Guess i'm missing something here.



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*facepalm*
Authored by: rspeed on Jul 28, '06 12:15:50PM

To protect the connectors, perhaps? Magsafe connectors seem pretty rugged, but the old jacket-style connectors get squished very easily.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: bedouin on Jul 29, '06 12:16:00AM

Whenever I'm moving my laptop the power cord is wrapped around the brick's holder and the adapter fastened to the wound up cord via the small piece of rubber provided.

I'm not sure how one would smash the adapter while it's in a bag and wrapped around the brick, and I doubt that measly piece of plastic would stop any serious damage in the first place.

I do keep these plastic pieces though, simply to add to resell value psychologically (i.e., "Wow, he even kept those things! Probably a was a careful [read anal] owner.")



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: rspeed on Sep 17, '06 12:49:15AM

The plastic cap is rather rugged, actually.

Trust me, I've seen many power connectors that got squished in bags (I've been a certified Apple Technician for the last 2.5 years). It happens more than you'd think and often kills the adapter.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: belanger on Jul 28, '06 02:28:19PM

Great idea. I was just wondering what to do about those caps.

Another more durable and aesthetically pleasing approach would be to use fishing line.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: whoadoggy on Jul 28, '06 02:36:11PM

Maybe fishing line is more aesthetically pleasing, but with this approach if you ever need an emergency teeth cleaning, you know where to look.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: gilburns on Jul 28, '06 03:13:03PM

The first thing I do when I get a new Apple power adaptor is remove the plastic caps and throw them in the garbage. That way I won't ever have the problem of loosing them, I always know exactly where they are. ;-)



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: DEMON on Jul 28, '06 03:18:00PM

So simple, but so usefull.... great hint and solution :)



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: mkr on Jul 28, '06 11:19:39PM

I am wondering if it is possible to cause a short-circuit if the connector touches a metal surface. Of course I did not try it and so I assume it could be helpful to use the cap to avoid such a short-circuit when the power supply unit keeps connected and I take away the notebook.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: tirerim on Jul 29, '06 09:39:11PM

Since the cap is tethered to the outside of the cord, which is insulated, and dental floss is not conductive to begin with, there's really no chance of a short.

If you decided to remove the insulation from your power cord, and then decided to make the connector out of copper, you might have something to worry about.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: wgscott on Jul 29, '06 07:46:27AM

This hint lacks some crucial details:

1. Do we want regular, mint or cinammin flavor?

2. Should we use round, ribbon, or tape?

3. Is it better to use floss after picking corn on the cob out of your molars, or before?

4. No mention is made of toothpaste. I am Crestfallen.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: GlowingApple on Jul 30, '06 06:57:20PM

1. Regular for Ti-books, cinnamon for iBooks and Macbooks, and mint for Powerbooks and MBPs.

2. Round; it binds less through the safety pin hole.

3. If you floss your teeth then you can't taste the corn anymore. Why would you want to do that?

4. It's best not to use toothpaste around computer hardware. While it works, it's not quite as good at thermal paste.

---
~Jayson <www.kempinger.homelinux.net>



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: doogie125 on Jul 29, '06 02:33:30PM

Along these lines... but different, I use the USB caps that Apple includes with accessories to cover the USB plugs on my thumb drives. I have lost the included caps and by replacing them with the Apple caps that have a cable clip, I am able to keep them clipped to the key ring that holds the thumb drive when the dirve is in use. I seem to have a few of the Apple USB caps lying around most of the time anyway, if I do happen to lose one someday.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: Mikey-San on Jul 29, '06 06:29:37PM

This is the WEIRDEST hint ever, but hysterically cool.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: windhover on Jul 30, '06 08:16:47AM

I have cables I travel around with and use the plastic caps to stop them getting damaged. I think this is a great idea. So simple too! Wish I'd thought of it.



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Works on flash drive caps too!
Authored by: hoodsmom on Jul 30, '06 01:57:11PM

Wonderful hint, especially for folks who lend their stuff to irresponsible people. I used fishing line.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: deeranp on Jul 30, '06 06:18:33PM
I've done this as well, but using fishing line (looks neater). Heating the pin over a flame makes it easier to poke the hole into the plastic cap. I did this way back in 2002 on my first iBook and have done this for friends and family since. It prevents the tip of the power connector being damaged and breaking off inside your notebook. See http://cultofmac.com/?p=160 for what could happen if you don't.


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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: mnop on Jul 30, '06 10:15:31PM

Good tip. I used the same technique for securing the caps for usb flash drives, but I found it frayed and broke after a relatively short period. I replaced it with 10lb fishing line, using a heated pin or small drill to make the smallest possible hole in the cap, tying the knot "inside" the cap, leaving a loop out of the hole to then secure to the lanyard. Keeping it short as possible helped to prevent snagging.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: asterpin on Jul 31, '06 01:10:07AM
Effectively good tip, but not really new...
In french on my website:
there http://sterpin.net/CapuchonTransfo2.htm sinds 6 may 2006, and this one http://sterpin.net/CapuchonTransfo.htm before, but I don't remember the date...

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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: Lutin on Aug 13, '06 08:02:54AM

To do the hole, I used a nail.
Holding it with a clamp, I heated it with a lighter.
And then, it was pretty easy to make a thin nice hole.



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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: teacher24_70 on Sep 06, '06 09:40:20PM
I think that the poster means that if you DON'T keep the plastic caps on when not being used, it might be possible to short-circuit. Thus, the reason to keep and use these caps.

---
G4 Powerbook-12 inch
OS 10.3.9

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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: teacher24_70 on Sep 06, '06 09:48:20PM
Sorry, my last post didn't get attached to the message I was replying to. I love the idea of using fishing line instead of floss, but wouldn't the knot slip through (unknot itself) much easier with fishing line? I've used fishing line for a variety of other purposes, but because the line is so slippery, knots don't seem to hold very well. Especially if you need to cut it close enough so that it can be completely INSIDE the cap.

---
G4 Powerbook-12 inch
OS 10.3.9

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Tether plastic caps to Apple's laptop plugs
Authored by: timada on Sep 09, '08 06:06:09AM
This should really be a standard thing that the caps come attached with apple notebooks { http://www.sec2004.org/notebook.html } Maybe you'll be able to sell this idea. I'm going to go and make my own now, I've got at least 10 various cables with caps that I could do this to :P You're a genius.

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