Some people go to great lengths to keep their work space clean and free of clutter. This may not characterize your habits, but I think we all can agree that a mess of cables on your desk not only looks bad, but can constantly get in your way. Lee Valley added two promising cable management boxes earlier this year that warrant a look.
The first is a 6-1/8″ by 4-1/4″ surface mount box that protrudes 1-1/2″ above the surface of the desk. Made from powder-coated steel, it can be mounted on the side, back, or top of the desk. It has two 7/16″ and three 1/4″ cable ports lined with plastic grommets to protect the cables. A hinged metal lid covers the cables ends when they’re not in use and is held in place by a rare earth magnet.
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Fixing computers can be a puzzling business, especially when faced with odd startup behavior and intermittent power issues. One of the most common causes of computer hardware problems is failure of the power supply, yet many technicians and do-it-yourselfers aren’t aware of the possibility, pointing instead to a dying motherboard or faulty RAM as the cause.
Manhattan manufactures a slick little tester which can take some guesswork out of computer diagnosis. It’s designed for testing every type of connector you’ll find on a modern power supply, from the 24-pin Molex motherboard connection to three-pin fan leads. Both types of graphics card power connections (6-pin and 8-pin Molex) are covered, plus motherboard auxiliary power connections, and finally SATA power connectors and normal 4-pin bodies. Not bad for $28 from Frozen CPU.
ATX 2.0 Ultimate Power Supply Tester [Frozen CPU]
Toolmongers lucky enough to have a computer in their shop (whether for CNC, CAD, simple word processing, or to satisfy that Twitter addiction) have probably gotten crap in the board at some point. If you’ve ever wrestled with an aluminum chip stuck under your spacebar or tried to type with fingers doused in 5W-30, you probably know what I’m going on about.
You can keep your keyboard intact with a plastic overlay, but those tend to get really nasty over time, and finding one to match your specific keyboard may be a struggle. But Adesso has a cheaper solution: the waterproof, fully-sealed AKB-230. We see them a lot at the auto repair shop or the steel shop. Those guys swear by them.
At $23, it’s priced reasonably, even if you probably can’t write an email in the Marianas trench. Dust and contaminants are no problem, since there are no recesses for crud to fall into. It’s flexible enough to roll into a neat cylinder, which is a useless feature for shop use, but it does make the board very portable if need arises. If the sucker gets dirty, all it takes is a spritz of Simple Green to give it that new-rubber luster.