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Fuquay Varina, North Carolina, United States
A guy finding out if life really does begin at 50.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mission Accomplished!

You might have noticed that I didn't post to my blog yesterday. First day I missed posting. Missing a day had to happen sooner or later. I was on a mission yesterday – I need to fax some documents and my fax machine (networked attached) is in one room and the network is in the other. Modesty and possible fire code violations prevent me from posting a picture of the temporary network strewn across my bedroom floor that allowed me access to the internet.

I like hidden wires. Notice I didn’t say I must have hidden wires. The design of the computer desk I have allows for hiding most of the wires, if a bit of engineering is applied. Using some scrap schedule 40 PVC pipe I started engineering. Schedule 40 is the heavy thick PVC not that thin schedule 20. I drilled holes for and installed super size cup hooks in the pipe and mounted it to the desk. I did this because the cup hooks threads don’t hold well in melamine which is what the desktop is made out of. I also didn’t want to drill through the metal desk frame. Using nylon cable ties captured between the desktop and the metal frame I secured the pipe.Why you ask? So I could mount my UPS which weights ~15 lbs and hang cords and those power packs from the hooks. The UPS has a bank of outlets that are surge protected only, and another bank that is battery backed. The surge protected only bank is what the power strips plug into. The battery backed bank of outlets only handle the cable modem, router, sip (VoIP), and the telephone handsets. You do know that most of the telephone handsets require power to operate? I have one old Western Electric phone line powered handset in a closet. The ringer on it can't be turned off, so I don’t have it connected. But I know where it is in case of prolonged power outage.

I mounted three power strips using the same captured cable ties technique, and screwed the super size cup hooks into the melamine. The hooks will be supporting a pound or two so the threads can grip the melamine well enough for that light load. As I’m sure you all know most electronic equipment now days use power packs that are wide and their width (or depth) means you get to use about one out of every three outlets in the strip. I solved that waste of outlets by using handy Y cords that I got mail order. You’ll never see these in stores because if they sold them in stores then they would reduce power strip sales by 75%. One six outlet power strip would support 12 power packs instead of three. I paid under $2 each for the Y cords.

One end of the desk is now very visible and that corner of course was scuffed badly.But my sister Gale on one of her visits introduce me to “Magic Eraser”.It’s one of those cleaning products that really work as you can see from the after picture. I’m sure this is not news for some folks, but just in case you didn’t know about them I thought I mention it.

Well the proof is in the pudding. Here are the before and after.

Here are the almost no wires showing.

The one small loop is a miscalculation on how far down the X10 appliance module descends. The X10 appliance module allows me to remotely turn off ALL the power strips without crawling under the desk or unplugging from the wall. I’ve used these X10 devices for years. Long before X10 became famous for using the pop up or under adds that we now have pop up blocks to suppress. The other wire is for the HI-LO-Off switch for my under desk heater which is the flat panel you see against the wall. This heater is one of those things I wished I would have purchased years ago. The front of the panel gets warm but the back stays cool so that you can mount it to the wall or desk. It’s in its stand right now until I use it enough to know exactly where I want to mount it and then I’ll mount it upside down so the wire exit the top which will then be hidden by the desk so that will be one less visible wire.

Well doing the office relocate allowed me to rearrange my bedroom so I can go on and get my new HD Flat panel for the bedroom. Just have to decide. Another 50 inch one or maybe a nice 5 footer?

While I decide I’ll give you a peek at the next indoor project - Garage cleanup. JB is coming soon and it would be good for him to have a place to work. I’ve finished one page in my book over the last two nights. I’ll need to catch up to get back to my 10 pages per night average.


Maryann Goldman said...

Yes, Don, all your women readers (especially with kids) know about Magic Eraser;-) Debbie showed up with a gift of them not long after Joey arrived. They've saved me a few times.

No wires...impressive. We won't talk about the 'crap' under my home office desk. There's just enough space for my feet to move a bit without powering off something by kicking it. Oops!

Major Mom said...

Ya know, I bought all this conduit and clippy things to nicely arrange all the wires under our desktop on the 2nd floor of our house. All those things are still in an NCSU Bookstore bag from when I purchased them at the same time as Dave purchasing his first books his first August 2005. And all of our wires are in a pile on the floor under the desk. So it's now 2 1/2 years later and I may as well wait till we get to NE and just use the items them.

More than once Timmy has been attracted to the little red light that doubles as an on/off switch on our UPS. Oh, and how 'bout that computer power switch with a green glowing circle around it! How's that for attracting the bugs, I mean, the kids?