The demise of one obscure adapter has vintage Mac fans in a mild uproar because it's the only way older devices can connect to modern digital displays without a hardware swap.
It's the adapter you've never heard of, and whose name trips off the tongue — the Belkin F2E9142-WHT ADC to DVI cable. But its importance is such that AppleInsider forum members were clamoring for it a decade ago.
Long out of production, the tiny adapter currently commands prices of well over $200, when it can even be found on sale. Consequently, a petition has been launched on Change.org, calling for its return to manufacture.
"As a passionate member of the worldwide vintage Apple Mac community," wrote petitioner Grant Woodward, as first spotted by 404 media, "I am deeply concerned about the discontinuation of the Belkin F2E9142-WHT ADC to DVI cable."
"For those unfamiliar with its significance, this cable allows vintage Apple Macintosh computers to connect with more recent monitors, breathing new life into these iconic machines," wrote Woodward. "It is an invaluable tool for restoring, collecting, and preserving these pieces of computing history."
History of the popular adapter
Apple's ADC connector was short-lived. It was another Apple attempt at an "all-in-one" connector that carried power and data, in one cable. Unlike today's Thunderbolt, it carried power from the host computer to the display.
The most famous product, or infamous depending on your point of view, that used it was the Mac G4 Cube.
The only other alternative on older hardware that lacks a VGA port is swapping out the video card for one that has a VGA or DVI port. But, that too is a costly endeavor.
Most — but not all — of the video cards used on the Blue and White G3, and assorted G4 towers also had a VGA connector. But, monitors that have a native VGA port are few and far between in 2023. And, going from a VGA video card to a HDMI monitor requires an active and powered converter versus a $7 cable.
Notably, this ADC to DVI adapter is uni-directional. The DVI to ADC adapter allows a ADC monitor to connect to a DVI computer, and it is a much larger adapter incorporating a power supply. Complete, it too can get expensive.
Urging for the adapter's return
Woodward says that the petition is about "urging Belkin and other tech producers to recognize the demand for the Belkin F2E9142-WHT ADC to DVI cable or a suitable alternative."
At time of writing, the petition has been live for a week, and has been signed by 25 people.
We've checked our sometimes deep cable stashes, and while we have AAUI adapters, an assortment of PhoneNet connectors, HDI-45 dongles, SCSI terminators both active and passive, and even some USB to ADB connectors, we don't have any of these. Sorry.