In days gone by, the measure of a man was perhaps in his hunting prowess.
Going out into the wilderness, facing daily danger to bring food back to his tribe and family.
As the years have gone by, the measure has changed. With the advent of shops and supermarkets, modern man no longer has to stalk and hunt his prey.
So other measures have variously been used; His educational status, the money he earns, the clothes he wears, the car he drives. You name it.
Now I reckon there’s a new, modern-day candidate for the measure.
How big and comprehensive his box of wires is.
“Box of wires?”, I hear some of you say, “What do you mean box of wires? Who the hell has a box of wires?”
However, I’m willing to bet the majority of the modern men reading this will be nodding their heads right now, and those that are not may be feeling a little bit inadequate.
I asked this question in work recently and it would appear that I’m not in the minority to have a box stashed away where I put any superfluous, unused or redundant wires and connectors into.
I’ve got two boxes of wires and related tech paraphenalia, including PC mice, headphones, microphones, sound cards, modem boards and various kinds of USB (Type A, type B, Mini, extensions, male-male convertors) cables. I’ve got cat-5 network cables of various lengths and colours, old serial, parallel, Centronix and RS232 wires and connectors, male and female D-plugs, ribbon cables, floppy and optical CD drive wires, monitor cables, playstation cables, audio, video and SCART cables.
Not forgetting telephone, speaker & mains wire and of course a stack of power cords collected over the years. I’ve even got a coiled Symbol barcode scanner cable which splits to also connect to a keyboard (of course I don’t have the scanner for it). I’ve had it for many years and hung onto it just because you just never know when it’ll come in handy.
The test of course is when you, or someone you know, is looking for a wire or plug to connect something to something else. Then it’s time to impress. I did this recently by managing to concoct a Heath-Robinsonesque connection between two stereos without having to go down to Maplin.
My box of wires is, of course, tidier than the one in the picture.