Somewhat Entangled or Carefully Entwined?

Somewhat Entangled or Carefully Entwined?

It is only a matter of time before everyone casually walks around with a laptop tucked under the arm; if laptops still exist at all, that is. Meanwhile, if you are like me, you are reading this on a screen that is closely related to a tower, which in turn is closely related to a somewhat entangled maze of wires.

If you are moving with a slightly antiquated machine, joining the space age may not be an immediate priority, especially if your computer serves its purpose very well as is, thank you very much. In this case, your immediate priority could be to exercise a bit of patience, as you become a momentary expert wire-weaver.

Before you touch anything, stop! Do not pull any wire yet. No. Not even that one. Count every wire and cable that is attached to the back of your computer tower. Multiply by two. Keep this number in mind. Get in the car, or better yet, go online and order at least that many cable flags. You will also need small adhesive labels, such as those colorful dots people use to mark yard sale items. Small ones will work best. Once you are thus equipped, turn on your favorite music (proper mood is of the utmost importance), make sure Fido is all set and will not interrupt for personal business, set a good cup of tea nearby and sit on the floor, facing the back of your computer tower (it’s just fun to sit on the floor). The game plan goes this way:

  • Mark the adhesive labels 1, 2,3,4,5 and so on.
  • Stick a label next to each connection at the back of your computer tower that has a wire or cable currently plugged into it.
  • The order is irrelevant, but it helps if you can make it somewhat logical.
  • DO NOT remove any wire/cable. Try to work around them or pull one at a time just while you place a label near where it plugs in.
  • Once the back of the tower is marked, mark cable flags using the same numbers, but adding the letter “T” in front of each number.
  • This identifies the end of the wire/cable that plugs into the back of the Tower.
  • Attach each cable flag to the end of the wire/cable that plugs in by the matching number at the back of the tower.

The beauty of this system is that you need not be an expert, know the names of the connections or cables, how they work or why they are connected in this or that way.

  • Repeat above process at the back of the printer, using the letter “P” on the end of each wire/cable that plugs into this device.
  • Move on to the scanner (if it is a separate device), using the letter “S”.

As you can see, you can use the same system for your television and VCR. Once you are done, both ends of every single wire/cable, regardless of its shape or nature, should be wearing a cable tag. For electrical wires, the end that plugs into the wall is obvious, but make sure to mark the end that plugs into a device.

All done? Pull the plugs! Once you reach your destination, connect the numbers, fire up the computer and email all your friends. Remember to attach the first pictures of settling in to your new home, including your grand, wire-weaving accomplishment.


Above process learned the hard way while merely moving the computer from one side of the room to the other.

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