The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Monday, July 11, 2011

DIY cable managment system

Growing up, my maternal grandmother lived with mom and me. And she was always worried that snarled mess of cables beneath my desk (having two computers means twice the number of power cords, keyboard cables, video cables, mouse cables and serial port cables—a real rat's nest of cables) would spontaneously combust and kill us all in a huge conflagration.

Fortunately, that never happened, but still, it's very unsightly and recently, it's been bugging me.

[It's also a nightmare to sweep under there]

It's been bugging me since I came across this article about using a rain gutter as a cable management tool. It looked simple enough to implement (and it doesn't hurt that my desk has a wood surface) and why not?

All it took was a 3′6″ section of rain gutter:

[Fear the mighty gutter!]

$5.23 for a minimum 10′ section—they even provided the tools necessary to cut it to size, so I have enough gutter sections to do two more desks. And then some other associated hardware:

[The rest of the equipment]

Two rain gutter hangers ($2.35), two screw hooks (62¢ each) and two rubber grommets (98¢ each—wow, they're expensive!). Drill a hole through the hangers, use the grommets to line the holes:

[Instant hanging system]

which will be used to suspend the rain gutter beneath the desk:

[How the pieces fit together]

Then it was a process of screwing in the hooks on the underside of the desk and installing the rain gutter.

[We slide everything into place …] [… and instant cable tray!]

From start to finish (and this includes the trip to Home Depot during rush hour traffic) it took only four hours. It took longer to run the cabling than it did buying the items, but then again, there were quite a few cables (a couple of which I forgot what they did—I hate when there are extra parts after putting everything back together again).

[Look Ma!  No more unsightly cables!] [The Hanging Cables of Babylon]

Much nicer now. And easier to sweep under the desk. Not bad for $15 (and some sore knees).

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