I threw away the palm pilot this morning. It still worked if I took it to bits every six weeks and reassembled it, a voodoo which restored the touch screen to touch sensitivity, but I have just got a new phone which will store as many addresses and is smaller. Along with the Palm, I threw away its mains charger, its USB charger for connecting to the computers, and four different widgets to connect the mains charger to the wall in different countries. It was a start. However, as the man who gets to recharge the family’s batteries, and I am speaking without any metaphorical intent, I still have on the floor chargers for one music player, five mobile phones, two laptops, and two cameras. Another camera charger has gone missing.
Then there are the cables to connect all these things to the computers. All the phones, of course, have different connections: that’s five cables straight away. None of them will fit the cameras or the music player, so there are another four USB cables for that. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. That’s why none of them fit any of the sockets for the other ones. On the other hand, they are almost all of them black, to make them harder to distinguish from each other.
Elsewhere on the desk there are two sets of small headphones, both black, but terminating in different and incompatible plugs.
I know I could, and will, get rid of the fifth mobile phone, though it goes against the grain to throw away something that works perfectly well. The other four are all necessary – one is my foreign (unlocked) phone, and one is my domestic one; the other two don’t belong to me.
But this still leaves the problem of how to sort all these cables. All I want is to be able to see and collect quickly the cables that I need when I go away. Would ziploc bags, neatly labelled, be the answer? The true zen method would be to buy one more of everything, and keep the spares in my backpack. This doesn’t appeal either. Does anyone have a system that works?