Friday, December 18, 2009

Cable chaos

In some ways, my computer makes my life a lot more organized. My work can be done almost entirely with electronic files sent back and forth between me and my client, so my desk doesn't get buried under stacks of paper. I can receive and pay most of my bills online, do my taxes electronically, and use the Internet to find articles on just about any subject. And storing it all in little folders on my hard drive takes up a lot less space than storing it all in real, paper folders, and makes it easier to search, as well.

However, in order to keep everything on my computer organized, I need to have it connected to a monitor, a printer, an external hard drive, a cable modem, a set of speakers, and probably some other things I don't even know about. As a result, the space under my computer is a mess, as you can see from the attached photo. I've done my best to coil up the excess lengths of cable and keep them out of the way, so now instead of a mass of tangled-up cables, I have a mass of coiled-up blobs of cable. But I can't help thinking there has to be a better way.

I have seen products for organizing cables, but none of them seems like quite the right thing for me. For example, IKEA sells a little basket that attaches to the underside of a desk, but that's only useful if all your cables are going from the same place to the same place. I have cables from point A to point B, from B to C, from C to D, from B to D...it seems like I'd need one basket for each direction. This doohickey called the WireMate looks a little better, but can it really send all the wires in every direction I need them to go in? And can it handle the multitude of different cables, of all different thicknesses? And even if it can do all that, is it really worth 20 bucks? It seems like there ought to be a cheaper, more elegant way to accomplish the same thing--but I must confess, my creativity is failing me.
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