has anyone seen my dongle?

“Has anyone seen my dongle?”

If you are like me, you’ve just made a perplexed face and had visions of pay per view porn.   Imagine the face I was making when my teenage son came storming through the room, bellowing that question at the top of his lungs, and proceeded to pick through every drawer, basket, and assorted container in the public areas of the house searching for said “dongle”.  I had no idea what a dongle was, but I was fairly certain if I had seen one, I would have known!   “Mom, seriously…I left my dongle in here and you must have moved it!”  Red flags were flying up behind my eyes faster than corn popping in a hot skillet.  I wanted to say, “Maybe you should have kept your dongle where it belongs!”   The smart ass in me was struggling against the urge to make some snarky comment about the appropriateness of having one’s dongle out in public, but this was my son, and as funny as that may have been…I was fairly certain it had nothing to do with a dongle.  At least not today.  So, I asked the question you are probably asking right now, “What the hell is a dongle? 

According to Wikipedia, a dongle is a small piece of hardware that connects to a laptop or desktop computer—or in our case, connects a Playstation 3 to a Rockband guitar.  And apparently ours is missing. 

I knew what a Rockband guitar was.  I had seen it in various places throughout my house on any given day.  It was a smaller plastic version of a Gibson electric guitar.  It was also relatively expensive for a guitar-shaped video game controller—essentially what it was.  It was a video game controller that only worked when remotely connected to this dongle thing. 

After hours of searching with no luck, the solution seemed fairly plain to me. Simply get a replacement dongle.  How much could the little cord thing cost?

The little cord thing costs exactly the same as a whole new guitar…because you have to buy a whole new guitar to get one!  They don’t sell a replacement part!  The internet is littered with searches for replacement dongles and the response is the same on every search.  Not available.  The Playstation people don’t produce spare parts.  Apparently people who play Playstation don’t mess around with their dongles!

And so the quest began.  My son works at a video game store, so he had the inside track on any dongles at large.  As it turns out there are infinitely more guitars in need of a dongle than there are dongles in need of a guitar, so we were back to square one—the internet search.  EBay was no help.  Neither was Craigslist.  I even scoured the bin of lost cords at the Goodwill in hopes of finding the Holy Grail of video game equipment.

Three strikes and I was out.

At this point we had given up all hope of finding a new dongle and we would have no choice but to spend the money and buy an entirely new guitar.  But I wasn’t ready to give up hope that we would find the missing dongle somewhere in our house, and frankly, I wasn’t willing to pay $80 for a new guitar!   

That was over a month ago, and still no dongle.  Which brings us to today.   Mike and I were on a completely different quest—to find a car for the teenage drivers in our house.  I’m sure they will make for countless entertaining stories in the future, but not today.  Today was all about the car. 

Today was all about Guitar Center. 

We gave up the quest for a car and settled on a quest for guitar strings for Mike’s accoustic guitar.  It was less expensive for sure, but hardly as exciting.  We perused the fancy guitars for a while, picked out strings, listened to the future rock stars on their borrowed instruments, and then it was time to go.  As we were standing at the checkout aisle I saw something familiar out of the corner of my eye.  A rockband guitar—on sale—at the real guitar store!  It even came with a game. The best part was that the cost was less than what I would have guessed I would pay for the little dongle, if it was possible to buy just the dongle.  And it even had a whole guitar with it.  There was only one left, so of course I bought it.  I may regret it before long.  My house has been vibrating with the sounds of the Legends of Rock since I got home this afternoon.  Oh well.  That’s what they make cotton balls for, right?  As it happens, I still have an extra guitar if anyone has a spare dongle and no guitar to go along with it.  I may put an ad in the paper. 

Wanted—one slightly used dongle…will pay premium price if dongle is in good working order…can’t seem to play without it…discretion essential.

I know…I could get arrested for that ad, but it would definitely make for interesting blogging!

Until the next time…I’ll be looking up words that rhyme with dongle.

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Posted on February 15, 2010 .