Monday, April 02, 2007

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Cable Tidy

Product Number: 122
How much: £4.99 RRP
Where can I buy one: JML, ASDA, Woolworths and Wilkinson.

Everybody hates wires. From the first ever infra-red remote control to the wireless controllers of the PS2, Xbox 360 and Wii it seems every new product we make is marching towards the removal of our messy little friends. Although the march of change has freed up the wires that connect to our hands there’s been little in the way of solutions to remove the clutter of wires that remain hidden behind our TV sets, music systems and video games consoles. In my flat this has led to all sorts of overly elaborate routines such as hiding wires under sofas, and down holes in a desk but after a few weeks the wires somehow find a way of sneaking out in to the open again and scaring off my house guests.

So when the Cable Tidy arrived on my front door mat from JML I can be forgiven for going a little crazy with it. Wanting to hide as many wires as possible with it I unplugged my Mac and attempted to fit as many wires inside its shell as I could. Unfortunately for me this didn’t quite work out how I had planned.

Essentially a 1.5 metre long strip the cable tidy is designed for holding a few small wires in place and keeping them out of view. To use it you simply attach a clip to a few wires, slot the cable tidy on top of the wire and pull. All it takes then is about a minute of pulling and you should have all the wires in place in one handy long wire. All you need to do then is connect the wires at both ends back in to their devices and you’re done. No mess, no clutter.

This all works great unless you insist on trying to fit as many wires as possible inside the strip. In my case I wanted to get rid of the above clutter and so tried to squeeze four rather big wires (including a fat monitor cable and a fat plug cable) in to the clip. Although they fitted in the clip, when trying to pull the cable tidy over the top I found it was too much and the whole thing popped open revealing the wires inside. Realising my mistake I replaced one of the fat wires with a thin speaker wire and successfully found the cable tidy fitted everything in nicely with no unsightly bulges or exposed wires.

In terms of other things to watch out for there’s not much else to say. Naturally if your power adapters have rather big power blocks attached to them then you’ll find the tidy can’t cover all the mess, but there’s no reason you can’t weave the power wire out of the tidy when it hits the power block and then weave it back in once the wire starts again. Although the cable tidy takes only a few minutes to use you’ll probably find it takes 30 minutes of your life when you factor in the time you'll spend experimenting with finding the best possible set up for your jumble of wires.

Success! With 30 minutes experimenting behind me I finally settled on the above outcome. I think you’ll agree everything appears a lot nicer although there are still a few fiddly little wires that I didn’t manage to fit in the cable tidy but a few tie handles and they’ll be cleared away for good. Clean, tidy, manageable wires for a fiver? Bargain!

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