When deciding to buy or upgrade a computer or peripheral, be sure to consider the number of additional cables the device will add to your workspace. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you reduce computer-related cable clutter:
- Laptops will usually only require a single power cable. Also, they can be easily stored out of sight when not in use.
- Opt for bluetooth and wifi enabled peripherals over those that require cords. This is a great way to get rid of cables for your keyboard, mouse, and printer.
- If you use a bluetooth keyboard and mouse, an iMac will also only require a single power cable. This is a good alternative to a laptop if you need a larger display. An iMac also affords the benefit of an integrated webcam that won’t require any additional cables.
- Many newer peripherals are able to receive power over either USB, Firewire, or Ethernet. Not only does this help you reduce the number of cables, but it also can spare you from having to deal with those large and heavy wall-wart transformers that are usually required.
- Opt for multi-function devices over an assortment of specialized peripherals. Buying an all-in-one scanner and printer can cut the number of required cables in half. If you’re still living in 1988, you can take comfort that these machines usually have fax capabilities.
- Don’t leave infrequently-used peripherals connected when not in use. My Canopus ADVC110 video converter is great, but I only use it every few months. It’s easy enough to just connect it when I need to use it.
- If your work requires the use of multiple computer platforms, consider using virtualization software (like Vmware Fusion or Parallels Workstation) to reduce the number of computers on your desk. Less computers means less cables.
- If virtualization won’t cut it, use a KVM switch to share a single display, keyboard, and mouse between multiple systems. Molded cables are available to bundle USB and video connections between the CPU and switch. That reduces two cables to one.