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Friday 27 June 2003

The weirdness wires [lurks]

You're one of two kinds of bloke. One that thinks a wire connects devices A to B up and that is the only consideration there is. Then there's the noncy type that goes in for facial products and the like and thus takes inordinate care that these wires are hidden from view and tidied away with a few ample flicks of the limp wrist.
As far as I'm concerned the only way you know you have a nicely specced computer system or home cinema set-up etc is if there's a reassuringly large bush of cables just behind all the operator bits. You can shove it with your feet every now and again just to make sure it's there, it's comforting.
Now given my Telewest debacle, I'm ripping out cable modem and the analog cable TV right. That means I had to delve into the birds nest behind my lounge set up and remove these devices and their associated wires. Well, in the process I discovered rather close to 20 redundant wires, power leads and DC plug packs and spent the last hour carefully extracting them. So given this is what it looks like now, you can imagine what it was like before.
There is, of course, a wider issue. Something which I believe hints at some form of divinity at work which has hitherto gone unnoticed. When you plug stuff in, surely you just take a wire and put it into a device and into another and the wire sits on top of all the other wires. Why then, when you go to remove a wire, does it randomly go in and out of loops (where did they come from?!) of other wires including the first wires that you ever plugged in?
Think about it. It's not logically possible. Quite clearly when no one is watching, the cables tangle of their own volition. Yet this effect can be demonstrated in any environment where the slightest interruption of electrical conductivity would have recordable effects. So how do the wires tangle themselves up if they cannot unplug themselves? Now the question that will really bake your noodle, would the cables tangle if you watched them 24/7?
Then ask yourself this, why is the most common cable, your typical cat 5 network cable, seemingly designed like an arrowhead so that it cannot be easily removed from the birds nest without catching on every other single wire in the bundle? I can only concur this is because the cables want to be tangled.
There's a message in here my friends. One only has to decipher it.


  1. Seems I missed one. See if you can see the cable/thing which isn't plugged into anything else in the second photo.

  2. I hate to break it to you Mat, but this phenomenon is not a new discovery. Every time I've moved or modified my PC/TV cabling, I've made a point to untangle the cables as best I can, yet when I go back to them, they're always tangled.
    I call this the 'Tangle Principle': any wires not secured by cable ties will progressively make themselves more and more tangled, the degree of tangle-age being directly proportional to the time the wires are left undisturbed.

  3. Which sounds suspiciously similar, to the word, to what I said in channel a long time ago :) 'Break it to you' indeed whippersnapper! I was tangling wires when you were gurgling at rattles! The cheek!

  4. I was thinking about doing a thesis on this strange phenomenon. I've been known to sit up all night waiting for the wires to come alive (playing EQ while waiting).
    Its real bad here cause even with cable ties they tangle themselves. I even tried mounting my extension sockets on the wall and that didnt work either....spooky!

  5. You're a woman, aren't you Houmous. Admit it. Facial products and cable ties, what more proof does one require? :)

  6. Wall mounting extension sockets has a direct correlation with taking cock up your shitbox. It's been scientificially proven.
    I've fitted a new rack into my server room at work recently. Normally it'd be PC's on shelves with a satisfying and very complex looking haystack of cables behind and a matted clump of multicoloured tangle into a patch panel. But this rack enforces tidyness. It's got a digital switchbox linked into a draw mounted keyboard and tft. Its got power lined into its sides. It's got little moving arms that carry the cables all striaght and rigid when you slide the servers in and out on its smooth runners allowing (get this) easy access! I swear since I installed it I've had an overwealming desire to carry a handbag and get my highlights done.

  7. Thank god someone has spoken out about the cable elves who work thru' the night to tangle your kit. I'm going to run home at lunchtime and photo my longue because you really ain't seen nothing yet... :)
    Anyone know of any home AV racking system like the server rack Slim was talking about? I've got a requirement to put all my av stuff and consoles into a single cabinet in an alcove. Trouble is, once in how do I fiddle with the wires/add new stuff. Rarely we do we settle on a final config. I'd like something with shelves on runners but coupled with a cable straightening thing would be teh w1n. Any help?Oh the pain. I checked out my tangleageCan you spot the 3rd party SNES controller?
    Lookee! A SNES, a DC and a PS2 none of which get used very often.
    All because my lovely US cube keeps me warm at night.
    This however is the pay off to all that cable cackYummy!
    Shame about the wall colour eh?

  8. From the look of that plasma screen you clearly have too much fuckin money mate....

  9. 1) Lurks:at least I'm not posting bread making recipes!
    2)Plasma screen owners of the world unite and take over....lala (apologies to the Smiths). I've noticed a theme developing on recent blogs that if you own a plasma screen you are 'stinking'. While this may be true in my case I am sure there are many poor plasma screen owners out there who would be really offended by this sweeping generalism...
    There is actually a slightly funny story behind my pioneer gear..I recruit a young guy for our marketing department about 12 months ago. We are driving to a meeting one day and I ask him what his dad does. Oh he says he works for Pioneer. Oh I say can he get stuff cheap? Oh yes he says...about 2/3 off. There is a noticable reduction in my speed as I turn round to look him in the eye...errrr could he get some stuff for me? ( do want to get on in our firm dont you? )
    One 42inch plasma screen, AX10 AV amp and chipped DVD747 player later...
    The funny thing was he left about a month afterwards...haha

  10. I like the tacit 'yes well I am minted'! Where's Brit when you need him- we need some wageist cockfighting here - I've lost me place since themissus gave up work. But anyway, 2/3rds off of Plasma screens? What ashame you aren't coming to the beers on Friday in St Katherin's Dock.The lads could have found a lovely dock to push you into.....

  11. I'm not minted either, I'm choc-chipped.
    The cost of living oop north is far less, hence the quality of living is higher :)
    Still, my missus is also giving up work in July, so my minted status is waning. God knows what she'll do with herself, she's got no hobbies and hates compooters. She likes watching films, mind, and oddly, I think, for a woman, she likes rewatching them whilst listening to the audio commentaries. I've got that four disk LotRs, that should keep her going for a bit :)

  12. That sounds horrible, why is she quitting work then? To make babies?

  13. we need some wageist cockfighting here - oh dear god, last time that happened, amusing as it was, I ended up drinking JD slammers with one of Am's city chums. Dear god. It's quite simple, having a plasma screen means piss all. Having 12 on the other hand... muwhahahaa :)

  14. She's giving up work... because she wants to. It's a scandal I tells ya.
    Her argument is that she's worked for the NHS as a nurse for 15 years, woman and girl, and she's just fed up with the ever increasing bleating from patients, their families, overworked staff, the government and the media, that only ever points out bad things with the NHS.
    She doesn't seem to understand that it's only fair that I give up work too. BAH.

  15. I've been trawling the web for an explanation as to why cables tangle themselves and I stumbled across this site. It's a conspiracy! I've never been a big believer in physics, finding it far too abstract on the most part. I was hoping to be proven wrong by discovering large bodies of work had been going on to document and explain this scientific phenomenon but NO! THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IS SILENT ON THE CABLE TANGLING ISSUE - surely one of the biggest challenges of our time. Until the marvel of cable-tangling can be scientifically proven to exist (which it surely does, but we only have circumstantial and anecdotal evidence to back it up) and can be fully explained, I will have no faith in the world's scientists. WE NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE.

  16. But what if the cable gremlins revolt and, agreived by this unwanted attention like a young prince in a nutclub full of paperazzi, they decide to teach us a lesson. Why they could begin unplugging the cables before they tangle them with their magical powers. Then where would we be?
    Perhaps this is a case of just accepting the status quo of such phenomena, lest we break a bargain that medieval scorcerer Laurence E Cable made with the devil 650 years ago in order to avert the Black Death destroying mankind? I feel one should tread carefully.