The Case of the Missing Dongle

I love teaching at UW-Madison’s Writers’ Institute. This year was my third time, but my first time using a projector. Everything was taken care of in advance: conference rooms, projectors, screens. Nothing was left undone.

Imagine my surprise when I went into my first room, set my laptop on the podium and wondered, How on earth do I get what’s on my screen to “talk” to the projector so it can show the audience?

I ran to Laura Kahl. She’s like a kick-butt, young faerie godmother, and MacGyver combined; she’s the maestro that keeps everything and everyone in harmony! 

Way too polite to point out that I was supposed to have brought an adapter, she immediately pointed out one of the Madison Concourse Hotel IT guys. “He’s got a dongle,” she said. My eyebrows shot into my hairline. “He’ll get you set up.”

A dongle is an adapter that connects to another device to provide it with additional functionality.

I approached the handsome young IT guy and said, “Pardon me, do you have a dongle I can borrow?” He answered with a great big smile, “I’d be happy to loan you my dongle.” And we both burst out laughing!

That little piece of equipment is what kept my audience connected to what was happening on my laptop screen. At the end of the conference, I returned the adapter to the technician. The first thing I did when I got back to Boise was to purchase a dongle of my own at the Apple store. 

What keeps you connected?

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