A plethora of cables

Published on 4 May 2009 in , , ,

I’ve had a computer for years. How many years I don’t know, but the first one was a family owned Dragon 32 when I was in primary school, and there’s been one near me ever since.

These days there’s three in the house (two laptops and a desktop) and a plethora of accessories – scanner, printer, speakers, graphics tablet, microphone and so on. And a hell of a lot of cables and bits.

wires and cables..

Wires and cables by jACK TWO. Used under licence. n.b. my own cable draw didn’t look this bad!

So many that there’s a draw in the spare bedroom just full of them – full to bursting. All tangled up, and with no idea what was what.

As such, an obvious bank holiday task was to actually sort it out. And looking through, I was amazed at what there was in there. For one large draw managed to contain:

  • 1 Pace Freeview set top box and remote control – formerly the main set top box and now retained purely to hook up to the computer on very rare occassions.
  • 1 ADSL router – used before we went wireless
  • 1 router – used for the home network before we went broadband!
  • 4 ethernet cables – two beige, one black, one blue.
  • 3 standard USB cables
  • 1 USB extension cable
  • 1 mini-A USB cable – goodness know where that came from
  • modem to modem cable – the kind for dialup modems, not broadband ones. I have absolutely no idea why I’d ever want this, but HP seem to give you one with every laptop you buy along with countless other useless and random cables you never see anywhere else.
  • 1 four port USB hub – from my old desktop PC which never had enough USB sockets
  • 1 card reader – used again on my old desktop PC. My current one has an integrated reader.
  • 1 PC power cable
  • 5 (yes, count ’em, FIVE) standard coax aerial cables. Where on earth do these things come from?
  • 1 2m long coax aerial cable – gold plated. Must have been feeling flush when I got that one.
  • 5 pairs of in ear headphones – three Sony, one Nokia, one iPod.
  • 2 3.5mm stereo jack connectors. One is gold plated.
  • 1 stereo hifi phono lead.
  • 1 3.5mm stereo jack adapter – the one for making the headphone socket bigger.
  • 1 SCART to hifi/video phono adapter – used with the Pace set top box.
  • 2 mice. Computer. Not alive ones.
  • 2 figure of eight power cables.
  • 4 power adapters for, err, things.
  • 3 travel adapters
  • 1 cube shaped plug adapter.
  • 1 ADSL microfilter
  • 1 USB to Serial cable
  • 2 white pieces of plastic that came with iPods and are probably something to do with docking
  • 1 FM aerial that came with the TV.
  • 1 IDE cable
  • 1 random computer cable that I have no idea what it does, but know I’ll need it one day.
  • 1 SATA cable that was about 2cm too short for what I needed so I had to buy another.
  • 2 hand held fans.
  • 3 timer plugs.
  • 1 silver front plate for a CD/DVD writer.
  • 1 Roberts tri-band radio I bought when I went to Russia in 2003 and haven’t used since.
  • 7 envelopes for sending off inkjet cartridges for recycling, with money going to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Given I go through about two cartridges every 18 months I might have these a while…
  • Assorted batteries.
  • AA and AAA battery recharger.
  • CD cleaning kit.
  • Cable tidy kit.
  • Strange piece of plastic. Might be a stand for a router or something.
  • 2 floppy discs – nostalgia! I think one actually contains Catherine’s dissertation (there is a CD copy…)

And that’s just the stuff being kept. Amongst that being discarded is a serial cable from my long disposed of serial external modem and which is absolutely no use as none of my PCs have serial ports; 2 PS/2 to USB adapters; slide rails from my old PC; a broken pair of headphones; and a telephone to dial up modem cable.

Cables packaged neatly in a box

But what’s to stop the mess starting again some other time? Well to try and keep everything under control, I’ve tied everything up with cable ties and bagged them up in sealed plastic sandwich bags. The whole caboodle now takes up about half the space it used to, and as such has been relegated to a box on top of the wardrobe.

After five years of life, the cable draw has gone.

The Now Empty Cable Drawer

Now I just need to work out what to fill the empty space with…