Computers have changed the world.

Way, way, back in 1984 I worked at Arizona State University in the Agriculture Department in a pool of secretaries.  One of the professors had a computer he used to write his papers.  This was so long ago.  I mean nearly eons ago when floppy disks were inserted in drive slots to make the dumb box come alive.  Without the operating disks the computer couldn’t do anything on its own.  Things have changed since then and the computer has taken over homes and businesses all over the world.

When desk top computers first came out they were lauded by many.  This was to be the answer to PAPER!  Uhm, it has been my experience that computers CREATE more paper than any typewritten letter or memo with accompanying carbon copies ever did.

Along with the mounds of paper these machines spit out they also come with another massive headache no typewriter ever did.

More wires

Cords and wires!  It is astounding the number of cords necessary for the different electronic devices I use in my business and personal life.  There are, a minimum, of TWO cords for each device.  None of them are marked by the manufacturer.  If a person disconnects these devices without knowing which cord goes with what device it is a nightmare to sort out the tangled mess.

Just a quick side note here.  I started this deep cleaning campaign on December 12th.  It was December 17th when I arrived at this section of my living room and the cleaning process.

Back to the area at hand.  The computer cords.  There are many products you can purchase to help you keep track of all the cords that go to your devices.  There are also some cheap ways to do the same thing.

There are cord tabs you can purchase from office supply stores.  I bought these two from The Container Store in Denver, Colorado when we were visiting family about 5 years back.

Blank cord tabs.  You can write on the white space the name of the device the cord is attached to.  A pen or a sharpie marker work well.

Blank cord tabs

Labeled cord tabs can be purchased as well.  These were, originally, for the entertainment center but as you can see I haven’t used them yet.

Labeled cord tabs

Each of these cost about $2 a set.  The prices range from $2 to $7 depending on where you buy them.  If you have a lot of devices, as I do, this cost can go right up there.

The cheap way you can do this is with Scotch Tape and a sharpie marker.  Pull a length of tape from the dispenser, wrap one end securely around the cord then fold the tape tail back on itself.  This “flag” will be the place for you to write the name of the device with the sharpie pen.  Make sure to flag both ends of the cord if it disconnects from the device.  You’ll see what I  mean later.

You can also use a Label Making device.  This particular one is no longer available.  We’ve had it since about 1998.  I don’t even know if we can find the tape refills for this machine any longer 😦

Label maker machine

Joe shows you how to attach the label to the cord.  You would do the same thing if using Scotch Tape.  I had to get cranky with him to hold still so the photo is a bit wobbly.  Secure one end of the sticky label, or tape, to the cord then wrap the remaining label, or tape, back on itself to make a flag.

Wrap the label around the cord

Just like that you have a tag you can see and read.  You will also know what that cord belongs to if you ever have to remove it from the device.

Done!  Labeled cord

I have three outlet strips to power all the devices I use.  Most of them were on my desk and took up so much space I had crap falling off my desk all the time.  Some of the cord plugs, the larger ones, were warm to the touch and I was always fearful I would have a fire.  I am paranoid about fire in my home since we live in a mobile home and they have a tendency to flash burn in a second.  A little exaggeration there but not by much.

Joe used his handyman skills and his tools to hang my power strips on the wall behind my desk.

Power strips mounted to the wall

Am I ever thankful for my many talented husband 😀

I have a Lacie External Hard Drive as one of my devices.  This little sucker has quite a number or cords.  One cord goes to the wall outlet, another cord goes to the external hard drive itself, yet another cord goes to the computer from the external hard drive.  That is from just one device!

The power cord for the Lacie Drive is labeled near the plug thing-a-ma-bob.

Power cord

All of the cords leading to, and from, the device are labeled.

The device cords


More devices, more labels.

Other devices labeled

These labels are for the connecting cords to the internet router and where all they get attached.

The internet router

Some cords get connected directly into the back of the computer.

Devices that plug into the computer

Each device has a power cord.  The “Hub” is a little thing that connects to the computer and allows all the other devices to be plugged into one area and talk to the computer.

Power cord to the "Hub"

The “Hub” and all its tentacles.

The "Hub" connecting the cords to the computer

After getting all the devices dusted and cleaned, clearing off my desk and cleaning it well, then putting everything back and reconnecting all the wires and cords Joe got out his stash of wire ties and went to work securing that tangled mess of wires to my desk and getting them out of the way.  More tidy and less of an eyesore.

Wires all labeld and contained

That looks so much better!

This small, and final, wall section of our living room didn’t take the full four hours to complete the deep cleaning ritual I had been on.  It has taken a full five days to work my way round the room CLOCKWISE from entry way outward and back.  I’ve had to make a dumpster run daily to clean out my vacuum cleaner.

Dust and dirt collected.

Filthy dust and dirt contained and outta here!  All that is necessary  now for this room is to do a daily vacuum of the open floor area, which hardly takes any time at all, and a quick swipe with the Swiffer Duster.  Spic and Span living room and I feel so much better.

Tomorrows post will be about mini blinds.

Cleaning mini blinds


  1. Goal setting in small areas of your home at a time keeps you sane.
  2. Small amounts of time, even one hour, make a huge difference in how you feel about what you are accomplishing.
  3. At the end of your cleaning time STOP right there.  Don’t go any further with the cleaning.
  4. Tomorrow will be another day to work on more of it.
  5. Be kind to yourself and make sure to acknowledge your hard work as you move through the room to see the work you have accomplished.
  6. Depression can be triggered by doing TOO MUCH WORK and you will end up bashing yourself over failure to complete the task.
  7. Setting a time goal will allow you to be with your family or doing things you really love to do.  You will accomplish more by doing less.  Truly you will.
  8. The ultimate goal is to get you back into your family’s loving embrace and not being avoided because you are cranky.
  9. If you do become cranky, allow yourself a small amount of time to be cranky.  Then get over yourself and go do something fun.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

5 responses to “Computers have changed the world.

  • JasmineKyleSings

    NICELY ORGANIZED!!! Mine are in limbo!!! I want to put ALL CORDS in the wall from now on. We need an access panel. I’m DONE with cords!!! I’m googling it now! I need a folder for good ideas to draw from when we get a house.

  • gardenpinks

    Those endless cords/wires drive me nuts! I have a laptop and there are still lots of trailing wires. Today our daughter took me food top up shopping and there was a very special offer of a wireless printer – one of those all in one machines of photo copier, scanner and printer and NO cables!! I have one on my wish list. It is a brilliant piece of kit and has its own email address too so you can email it a photo and it will print it out ready to see when you get home 🙂 Love those new techno toys 😀

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xxx

    • Message In A Fold

      That printer sounds AWESOME! That would be a real treat for you. Finally someone is doing something about all the flaming cords. About time!

      Hope you enjoyed your grocery shopping trip with your daughter. Maybe not so much the grocery part but I bet you enjoyed the daughter part.

      Love you – Leslie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: