1. ## Lateral thinking solutions

I would like to open a thread on how we solve problems using lateral thinking.

This sort of thing comes naturally to me and I would like to share some ideas that you may find useful.

My girls were fighting today, as usual, about their computer power supplier. The little \$h1t doesn't know where hers is, as usual, and stole her sisters. Of course it's open ware fare which amount to loud announcements that the one is a "cow", the other a "bitch", then its "stuff you" etcetera. So I got a bit tired of it all and applied a lateral solution that I've been using myself for a while now. Buy a container full of various coloured small cable ties. Each person in the family gets to choose a colour. Then tie the cable tie to each end of each of their cables. Now there is simply no argument. Each cable is marked and nobody gets to steal anybody else's cables. I take this a bit further myself. I have many devices on my desk and of course three block plugs in a row. My primary colour is yellow. So, each of my device cables gets one yellow cable tie. Then a colour is selected per device, if you have numerous devices you could select a pair of cables to designate a device. So, a PC may be yellow yellow yellow and another PC may be yellow yellow green. Again, tie all the cable ties to each end of the cable. Now, if you are anything like me then you would want consistency in the rest of the series, so, add a red cable tie to each end of your power cables, say a black one for monitors, a green one for printers etc. When I now climb under the desk to pull out a cable I simply look at the back of the device and find its colour code and simply pull out the corresponding cable. The idea works like a charm for USB cables because the damn things are usually all black which leads to much cable tracing. Lets say, again like crazy me, you have an active hub connected to your laptop with a myriad of cables coming off it, you simply look at the device colour code at the device and pull out the corresponding plug....easy as pie and it has saved me lots of frustration.

Another thing that works extremely well is coloured heat shrink. You will be surprised at what you can do with the stuff like mark devices, secure frayed rope and ever give it to the kids to end off their little projects neatly. My youngest daughter likes to weave using ribbon, its a long story, she decorates a thing called a brow band that a horse wears on it head...don't ask, anyhow, getting the ends to look neat is quite difficult because the glue tends to show through the ribbon and of course superglue is too hard. So, she glues the ribbon down and leaves a bit of glue on the outside of the area to be heat shrunk. She then cuts a nice piece of suitable size and colour heat shrink and shrinks it over the end and glue. It never comes off again and because of the glue it also cannot slip off.

You see, lateral thinking goes a long way to solving problems elegantly, it's not always a case of "a boer maak a plan" the solution could be functional and look good too.

2. My son is a live sound engineer and cables are his life, and also the bane of his life, because they are frequently appropriated by other engineers. His firm discovered clear heat shrink, so they insert a label into the sleeve, then shrunk, and now they are nicely identified.

Of course it did nothing to stop the misappropriation, but at least they are able to reclaim it at the next show.

3. Good idea, Adrian. I've been using the cable colour code identifiers for some time now. I have also installed my block plugs against the wall above the desk, so that I do not have to crawl under the desk with my arse in the air to plug/unplug.