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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Mega Useful!

I remember the days when a desktop computer with a couple of internal hard drives would serve us well for years of storage and backups. Well, with all these huge megapixel cameras and most of our music and some video residing on our computers, gigabytes are no longer enough and terabytes are the order of the day.
The Signum with a mains extender and AC adapters
Once our computers are full, we then start to add external hard drive after external hard drive. At present, I've got nine hard drives connected to my Mac Pro! One thing that becomes very clear, is that the cables become an absolute mess! Even though half of these are daisy chained FireWire 800 and the others are all connected to a FireWire 400 hub, the cables are still a mess and when you add the mains cables, the mess turns into a nightmare! Anyone who has tried to Dyson (I don't have a Hoover!!) under their desk knows what I'm talking about. The same problem arises when you try and remove or add a piece of hardware; gaining access becomes a nightmare.
The other Signum used, just after fitting 
So, to get over this, I came up with the idea of attaching as much of the cables to the desk and also putting a mains surge protector socket expanders onto the desk too. By complete coincidence I found a perfect thing to help tidy up some of the mess of the cables and mains transformers at Ikea; the Signum is absolute genius! I've fitted two of these to one of my desks and it has cleared up so much of the mess. If I need to get to the back of the desk, all I need to do is pull it out as there's no longer a huge pile of cables anchoring the desk to the carpet beneath.
A Belkin Surge Protector attached with sturdy cable ties. You need to be very careful when attaching with cable ties as its not really the most secure way; I'm still looking for a better alternative. use at your own risk.
So, my suggestions would be to try and do a similar thing and see how much tidier and user-friendly your workspace becomes!


  1. Thanks for your tip! When I think about (and see) cables I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my gut.

  2. Pleasure. Who knew Ikea could be so useful in the office for cable issues!!

  3. You also forgot to mention the Gorilla that must come in overnight, and, even though when fitted ALL cables are straight, untangled and attached at both ends - somehow this gorilla manages to twine the wires together... of lifes conundrums!

    Great articles.

  4. Nine hard drives!! Ouch, you soooo need a Drobo!

  5. Simon, nah... see my comment at:

    Love the look of the Drobo, hate that it doesn't have RAOD 01!