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Saturday, 8 May 2010

A Tangled Web

We were looking for the power adaptor for my son's mobile phone today. After searching all the obvious places, I reluctantly opened the drawer where anything remotely cable-like gets put to rest once we don't need it. It was a real mess.

This wasn't surprising: it usually is. But this time I decided to sort it all out, and chuck away anything that clearly would never get used again. It took nearly ten minutes to completely untangle the mass of wires, leads, and power cables. How does this happen? Logically, every time I add something to the drawer, it must end up sitting on top of everything else. So how do the leads tie themselves into knots? A mystery that may never be answered.

Anyway, now everything is separated, cables are folded and secured, and I'm deciding what to throw. My AKG wireless headphones, for a start. Plug the base station into my hi-fi, and I could enjoy listening to my CDs anywhere in the house or garden, with just the occasional crackle or hiss. And yet now superseded by so, so many different technologies. Trying hard not to remember how much they set me back 15 years ago. Still, I haven't used them for nearly a decade, and never will again, so out they go.

And why do I have four different sets of earphones squirrelled away (on top of the two sets I actually use)? Well, answered that: two leak sound, one sounds awful, and the fourth only works in one ear. Goodbye to the last two of those.

This illustrates another problem: my reluctance to get rid of something if it could conceivably be used again, even though it almost certainly never will.

One item is almost certainly an old fax cable from my last PC. I no longer fax, and my new PC doesn't have a modem anyway. Still, you never know. It can go back with all the USB and network cables that are so neatly wrapped, they clearly have never even been used at all.

And when did I ever need a cable with stereo connections at one end, and a microUSB connection at the other? I can only think it used to belong to the USB radio receiver I once owned. This would generate gigabyte-sized .wav files if I even tried to record a half hour radio show, and then became completely irrelevant once internet streaming radio caught on. The receiver's long gone, but the cable remains. Well, you never know.

There's our old battery recharger. Why did we buy another one to replace it? I can't remember, and I haven't got the time or inclination to experiment with it, so that one survives another day.

Finally, the sorting is over, the drawer is as tidy as I could wish for, and I'm left with a single power adaptor. Not, unfortunately, the one for my lad's mobile phone.