Computer component organization for a neat freak

October 23, 2010

I’m a bit of a neat freak and don’t like clutter around my house and especially in my home office. I can’t control what my kids, dog, and wife do with most of the rooms in our house, but my home office space is my personal kingdom. As such, I don’t like all the wires, cables, power outlets, etc. that come along with all the various computer components and gadgets that I have currently in my office. I was able to reduce much of this by switching to a fully integrated iMac Desktop system, but I still have the following components to deal with:

  1. External backup hard drive (for use with Apple Time Machine Software)
  2. Comcast digital set top box
  3. EyeTV HD video recording device
  4. Touchstone charger with USB cable
  5. Work Laptop charger

Considering that my office has basically a single desk (floating in the center of the room) and a small side-board cabinet just off to my left side, I don’t have a lot of space for electronic accessories. Of course, I could put theΒ  mentioned components inside my side cabinet, however, I didn’t want to purchase extension cables and have them run from the side cabinet over to my iMac system sitting on my main desk. Thus, I designed a method to store all of my components under my main desk.

What I did, was buy a pegboard (normally used for hanging up tools in a garage) and cut it down to a 2-ft by 4-ft piece. Using three small hinges, I attached one end of the pegboard to the bottom front side of my desk so that it could swing up and under my desk. This way, I could easily attach the three previous mentioned computer components to the pegboard using plastic zip ties and swing it up and out of the way under my main desk surface. What is nice, is that I could also neatly wrap and tie all the associated power adapters, cables, and wires to the pegboard so that everything is out of sight. I also included a powerstrip so that all these accessories could be conveniently plugged in under my desk as well.

Now if you walked into my home office you wouldn’t notice any of these extra components connected to my iMac (sans the few USB cables coming from the back of my iMac disappearing around the underside of my desk). If I ever need to check any of these components or add something else, I just swing it down and viola I have instant and easy access.

The under-the-desk trick should work for anyone who has a desk with a reasonably hiding area beneath it. I highly recommend using pegboard as it has pre-drilled holes which the plastic zip ties can conveniently wrap around. And if you’re a super-neat freak you could also strap in a small light which you can turn on to actually see what you have under your desk! πŸ™‚

The Usefulness of Forums

October 12, 2009

Over the years I’ve visited various forums in search of answers to my questions and issues. Most of the time, someone else had the same question or issue I have, and I can often find a good solution. However, it seems that most hardware and software-related forums are turning into “fanboy” sites, where people want to pat themselves on the back and feel good about whatever hardware or software they own. For example, the two Palm Pre Forums that I frequently visit are filled with such fanatics who love their Palm Pre and are blind to any hardware or software issues it may have. If anyone posts anything a bit negative about the Pre, they are immediately engulfed with hateful responses, most of which are accusations that the original poster is an Apple iPhone fanboy spreading negativism. What’s strange, is that these posters are using the term “fanboy” as something evil and negative when in fact THEY are fanboys themselves (in this case, a Pre fanboy)!

It seems that a lot of people don’t want to read or hear about what’s wrong with their hardware device or software package because it might make them appear foolish in purchasing that product. As such, these forums have turned into “Fan Clubs” more so than helpful forums. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Mother’s Day

May 10, 2009

mother_dayI wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all those wonderful Moms out there! We just finished a Mother’s Day Lunch at my house today with my family and my Sister-in-Law’s family, and everyone had a good time. I hope you all have a great day! πŸ™‚

Treated Like Royalty

April 25, 2009

royaltyOn my trip to Phoenix this week, I really lucked out and was upgraded to 1st class for both my outbound and return flights. I made MVP last year (because I traveled over 20,000 miles), and as such I can get upgraded to 1st class if seats are available 48 hours before the flight. The best part of being in 1st class is the wide seats, extra leg room, and having enough space to work on my wide screen laptop. The free food, booze, snacks, and coffee are also nice too.

Once you’re spoiled like that, it’s hard to go back to a cramped coach seat. The only thing that was missing was a power outlet for my laptop… good thing I had an extra battery installed!

Now, I know what you’re thinking– you lucky dog. Well, I wasn’t that lucky because I was going home to a sick 5 year-old who has a fever and has been vomiting all over the house. I’ll be spending my weekend cleaning the carpets and comforting my little boy, and believe it or not, I’d rather be home doing that than flying around in 1st class.

I Come Across The Strangest Things…

April 25, 2009

strangeHere’s an off-the-topic story that I’ll share with you. I was waiting in the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, and as I was typing on my laptop I noticed something strange out of the corner of my eye. It was a small dog be led by its owner on a leash, walking on its back legs. So, I thought it was pretty cute, that the dog was walking up-right on its hind legs like a circus act. After a while, I noticed that the dog was walking like that for a really long time, and I thought, “either that dog really likes to walk up-right or the owner is playing a cruel trick”. After about 10 minutes of walking around, the dog got closer to me to where I notice it had no front legs! I guess the dog was in an accident and had its front legs amputated. Whatever the case, this dog happily followed its owner around using just its two back legs. Sounds like something for the Guiness Book of World Records… πŸ™‚