Cables, so many cables

Cables and their management

I would love to show you some pictures of beautifully managed cables. Precise lines bundled together with ninety degree turns and no loops or sags. Color coded, plastic wrapped wire, secured with coordinated Velcro and zip tied to tracks. Cable routing planned and executed with no second thoughts or change requests. I would love to do that, but I don’t have any pictures with that kind of elegance and refinement.

I’ve had a few chances recently to cleanup and reroute cables in my office, as well as in my wife’s office. It has resulted in lots of Command Strips to affix power bricks to the underside of the desks and the little hooks to hold up cables. Velcro has become a decoration, but not in the style of Picasso. More of The Dogs Playing Poker by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge style that just turns things a bit sideways and is surreal.

The trouble is, cables are not neat. Just like life, they get out of control and make things a mess. Like the bundle of leads for the charging area on the shelf for all the various electronics (USB A, B, and C, with the full size, mini, and micro variants, plus Lightning, because everything wants to be different and unique). Then you have extension leads on the top of the desks for easy access, because the shelf is too far away for convenience. Of course, one of each isn’t usually enough and then you have to have the loose ends long enough to reach … the ends which get wrapped around each other and pull something over when you tug on it to get enough room to plug in the tablet or camera.

And then you run out of ports on the computer, so you add hubs, but then you have to wonder have I put too many things on the same USB chip inside the computer … so you think about adding extra PCIe cards to avoid bottlenecks …

But, you forget all about that because some cables are only good for USB 1.1 or 2.0, if you want to get the full power and speed out of USB 3.x, you need a different cable with the extra pins. Sometimes the cables are marked, others, not so much.  Wikipedia has some good charts for you to memorize. I’ll email you a test later (putting a USB A plug into the socket on the first try gets you extra credit).

Is my work area in perfect order and alignment? No. But it is a work in progress, much like the rest of my life. I will continue to improve it and bundle things together in orderly runs whenever I can, be they cables or anything else.