Cable clutter reflects a tethered world (wireless not so much)

In this `not as wireless a world as we like to think,’ I am being strangled by cables. I trip over ones around my desk and just organized a tangle of more than 200-250 cables that have accumulated over the years.

Call it cable clutter. USB, audio and video, Firewire, power cords, RJ45, coax, serial cables…and more than 40 DIFFERENT power supplies and cables.

Power supplies are particularly annoying because they are all different, restricted to working with a single gadget or computer model.  Two years ago, I wrote about the long overdue Universal Charging Solution, which I reported back them was supposed to be widely available by Jan. 1, 2012. I checked and it looks like it’s USC is still on schedule, but that’s just for mobile phones. At least it’s something: I must have 15-20 different phone chargers – all no longer needed.

So the cables will just keep on accumulating. And here’s the rub: them more I coil them up with plastic ties and organize them, the more cables I find. They’re all over our house and even our car (GPS and iPod audio cable).

Recently, I spent hours tying them off with plastic ties and tossing them into boxes – power, A/V, computer and a miscellaneous gadget boxes. Then we had new rugs installed in the kids’ rooms (kids are grown and gone)  and had to move four surplus desktops and two broken notebooks into my office over the garage. That meant about 20 or so more cables collecting like snakes on the floor.

To put cable clutter into perspective, it’s a minor problem relative to other world problems. What’s striking is such accumulation speaks to how large electronics have become in our lives. And how fast models become obsolete, leaving behind their cable legacy.

A wireless world? No, it’s still a cabled world: after all, wireless devices are enabled by cables. Marketers and your cell phone bill just like to make us think it’s a wireless world. Could some of what’s cabled today become wireless? Some of it, but power will likely remain corded for the foreseeable future. What about disposal? All electronics, cables included, are a problem.

Is there a cable charity…like there is for cell phones? Yard sale!

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4 comments On Cable clutter reflects a tethered world (wireless not so much)

  • I just switched my land line connection, voice and DSL, to a wireless provider. Didn’t loose any phone cables but added two more network cables and two more wired ‘wireless’ devices and two power supply’s. Being in the AV industry I get asked while setting up a multi room system integrated with all of the networked products now a big part of it, “When is this stuff all going to be wireless?” all the time. The client gets a proper answer but if it is the same sub on the job asking again while I am wiring up racks, they usually get the same stupid look.

  • LOL Just the other day I was looking at 3 large boxes of tangled cables. I just walked away from the mess.

  • They just keep accumulating!

  • Hi John, how did you integrated Google Search into green rectangle on the right side? And is that rectangle image or CSS?

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