Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Technology Wednesday--A First World Problem

You might recognize the tangle of cables pictured above as a fairly typical cluster of power and connection cables for computers, phones, cameras and other electronic devices that we have all come to depend on. You might also think that I need to organize said cables, which I tried, but it didn't help much. So I keep the ones I use most frequently plugged into a power strip, and the ones I use less piled in a shoe box. I dumped the cables out of the shoe box onto the floor for dramatic effect.

Yes, I know this is a first world problem and I should either get organized or shut up, but it occurred to me that it would be nice if manufacturers of electronic devices could agree on some standard plug-ends for these cables. The USB (the U does mean universal, after all) comes close, but there are also mini-USB's and 1/4 inch plugs and 3.5 mm plugs and RCA plugs and plugs I don't know the name of except they're not like any other plugs.

If standards seem impossible, manufacturers did agree on standards for the LP record, the (shudder) eight-track cassette, the cassette audio tape, the VHS video tape, the CD and, I suppose, the .mp3 format. So it is possible. So what do ya say, manufacturers? You can name it anything you like or you can name it after me. I won't mind a bit. Just a plug for standardization.


  1. The only thing that keeps mine straight is a grand little 8x10 board covered in some black fabric that has a wide elastic band across it, stitched down at intervals. You can figure-eight your cords and slide them into their little elastic band holder section. The other side even has a stretchy pocket that I slide my camera into when I'm traveling. Pick up the board and you're ready to go. If you were TRULY conniptive, you could even label the spots for each cord, but if I have phone, camera, iPad, and laptop cords, I am okay. It may have come from Levenger's: my died-and-gone-to-heaven store/catalog.

  2. But I must admit, I have a biscuit tin for the pile of 'whatever' cords that seem to materialize in every drawer in the house. I save them because, sooner or later, the thing they attach to will show up.