#101 Blitz Q: What’s the boxy-thing in the middle of a laptop power cord for?

I’d been wondering about this weirdness for a while, and not just laptops, but other computer systems. Apparently, from what I’ve managed to find so far. they’re adapters that help convert voltage and not put too much power into the hardware too fast.

Okay, but at the same time, why does it seem to come in two pieces most of the time (at least, with my computers it always seemed to). I think it’s a bit weird that the cord leading from the computer to the adapter is one skinny cable (with this weird cylindrical thing near the computer end), the box, then a fatter, traditional flat wall outlet cord.

Why not have it one seamless cord? Can you replace half a cord if you are in a hurry packing and lose half the cord?

Sounds a bit complicated.

Very very weird.

But I did get a few articles to browse.

Even tired as I am, I can’t help asking weird questions, questions a four year old might ask (or you might in passing, but not rack your brain as hard as mine.

Time to put in some practice on the guitar, then head to bed.

Are there any weird looking technical parts or familiar stuff that you can’t figure out why it’s there and it’s bugged you?

Floor’s yours…

11 thoughts on “#101 Blitz Q: What’s the boxy-thing in the middle of a laptop power cord for?

  1. bobcabkings says:

    In case you haven’t found the answer, the boxy thing is a transformer and power converter that steps the voltage down from 120v to 12v and converts from AC to DC. It is not built into the laptop because it is so bulky. Most desktop computers, the big box kind do have the thing built in, but mini size units also have the external converter. The chargers for phones and tablets do the same thing with the smaller box at the plug-in end.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ally Bean says:

    Most of the buttons on the TV remote control are a mystery to me. I have no idea what they do, nor do I want to know. I’ll just get ticked off about how stupid and pointless they are. A remote control should be as simple and minimalistic as possible, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I get annoyed–Other than the number buttons (if you actually know the channel you want instead of scrolling), you might use 5 other buttons our of the 40 or so on the remote. So senseless, and don’t lose it–scary how TVs can’t operate without a remote anymore…. unless you wanna torture somebody as the designated “up and down’ channel-button presser. Try scrolling through a couple hundred channels that way (shudder)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. AdjunctWizard says:

    There are many items that are commonly used without understanding the underlying science or engineering. But being an engineer (retired now) myself I marvel at the things and services that we use without thinking. Electricity for example is a force in the universe but we all use it and grump if it goes off. Global GPS – thanks to the American military wanting to know where their stuff is. Google Maps (and Earth) – holy cow the shear size of the database must be phenomenal – and it takes such a trivial amount of time to discover where you are and tell you about where the best eateries are nearby in case you wanted a pint or some chips. What made fidget spinners come and go so fast as a fad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I always hated those fidget spinners. I understood the initial idea and knew some students that could use them, but then they started getting more fancy and colorful and all. Um…how is a fidget spinner supposed to help a kid get over distractions if they’re decked out in bright colors and LED lights?
      Somebody wasn’t thinking. I don’t think anybody uses ’em anymore.


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