Monday, October 7, 2013

That Box of Cords and Wires

Every electronic / computer nerd have these weird hoarder tendencies.

We have stacks of flattened boxes for software and hardware we bought years ago, some of which we no longer have, sitting in our basements.

We keep a huge library of instruction manuals that can be found online tucked into our overflowing CD binders with copies of Encarta '98 and a DVD manual for Windows ME.

And the biggest identifier of this nerd is the box of wires, cords, and adapters that are dragged from house to house for decades.

I'm trying to downsize the sheer amount of crap I have. I don't want to have to move all of this stuff ever again. One of the larger (and heavier) boxes I have is the box filled with cords.

This is a third of my complete box.
I'm shedding some of these cords. In the age of HDMI and USB, most of these will never be used again.

Here are some of the greatest hits from my collection:

  • Cable TV: About 60 feet of coaxial cable. I've not had cable TV in 6 years, yet I've hauled this ugly monstrosity to five different homes.
  • Printer: USB to fire wire. I have literally not seen anything use fire wire in 10 years.
  • ???: This thing to the right that appears to be A/V to 3.5 mm cord. That would essentially mean, plug a video (yellow) and mono-sound (white) into a headphone jack. How does that even work?
  • Speaker: I have four different gauges of speaker wire. If I were to tie all of this speaker wire together, I probably have about 200 feet. I could run a speaker from my receiver to my garage and have some slack left. 
  • Electrical: I have six of those two prong to three prong adapters for old houses that don't have grounded outlets. If I ever live in a house that outdated again, I've done things wrong. 
  • Internet: I have fifteen CAT 5 Ethernet cords varying from one foot to twelve feet in length. That doesn't include the dozen or so Ethernet cords in use around the house. 
  • Old Computer Crap: I have an IDE to SATA power cable. It's nearly impossible to find an IDE hard drive anymore. 
  • MP3: I have six Microsoft Zune cords. That's right, my Apple dislike was strong enough that my family owned four different Zunes, one of which is still in use.   
The worst part about this box is no matter what cord you actually need, you don't have that in the box. So you load up Amazon, buy the cord, and add to your collection. 

Since everything seems to be moving to universal connectors (USB, HDMI, MiniUSB) the nerd's cord box is in danger of disappearing. There are kids born now that will never know the sense of accomplishment of untangling the giant ball of hell and using twisty ties to organize them.