Debra Carlson, Technical Advisor, CVC Computer Club, CO
Cords – Whether tripping or kicking (and disconnecting) them …
or getting the contents of your desktop lost in the shuffle …
cord / cable management is both a convenience and a safety issue.
Some basic principles:
Hint: When you get a new device, unplug the power cord from the device and attach the outlet end of the new device to this with a twist tie (or tape). Pull the old cord from the outlet end and it will fish your new cable to the surge strip or outlet. This doesn’t work in a “mess of wires” but is good for many setups.
If you have many peripherals intermittently connected to your machine (a couple of cameras, a scanner, an external drive), consider a cable management “toy” for that as well.
Voice – You may have a microphone built into your webcam (or the webcam in your laptop), part of a headset, or a separate microphone. Settings are most often tested in an app that uses the microphone (e.g. Skype). External units may connect to your machine by audio jack, USB cable or Bluetooth (wireless). Two things are important:
Sound – The biggest issues with speakers – USB, audio jack, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi is accidental muting. This may happen on the speaker – especially if the on/off switch is a button rather than a knob control OR …
Your sound is muted (see the X next to, or on top of the megaphone)
If not muted, the volume may be too low.
Your YouTube or other video may need either unmuting or volume adjustment (YouTube shown).
You may need to adjust the speaker volume AND the volume of the audio/video – setting both of them to maximum can interfere with sound clarity.
Other hazards –
Old program CDs make good drink coasters, wind chimes, or decorative hangings / picture frames. A couple ideas to make your desk area manageable and clear some clutter.