I love Apple. I've actually never owned a PC, and have been a convert since buying my first laptop with my har won savings in graduate school (one year a laptop the next have my wisdom teeth out). Anyway I always thought the plugs Mac makes are quite ingenious. It's the same in any country apart from a neat little bit you can interchange which goes into the plug socket (and which I'm sure has a cool name). Great I thought - if/when I move country all I have to do is buy that little bit.
But Apple, ever after their "iMonopoly" only sell those little bits in packs of 6 including every an adapter for every region - and that pack costs something like $30. That's right - you spend money to buy again the same plug adapter that came with your computer (along with one for every other region in the world - but still). You can't buy them separately.
But postdocs - ever ingenious - have come up with a solution. We move around a lot - all over the world. And we buy computers often. After our transatlantic move I had 2 US plugs, but not the kind I needed.... I offered to swap (via dept. wide email) - and within minutes (literally) had 3 offers. You can't use more than one at a time I suppose. In the end the person didn't even want my spare US adapter. But recently another postdoc asked for it. Well not so recently I suppose, but I recently got around to finding it and giving it to her. And in return - I am to get a European adapter. Somehow this neatness and recycling has given me so much satisfaction I wanted to blog about it - plus I'm stuck on a plane going to a conference (without little one) so I have time on my hands!
Since moving I have bought a new computer - so now I have 2 UK plugs. I'm sure one day this will be useful and I will swap with a grateful postdoc just moving into the country, or perhaps a frequently travelling Mac loving astronomer.