Tip of the Day

This might sound completely obvious to some, but if you’re upgrading a perfectly functional electronic device, put all the electric adapters and cables in a gallon size Ziploc bag immediately after taking it apart.

For example, you might have a perfectly good 802.11n router that you’ve decided to replace with a brand-new 802.11ac router. Maybe you want faster wireless speeds from 802.11ac, or maybe 802.11ac will provide better range and speed with your home’s construction. Whatever the reason, you still have a router that works, you just want something better. So when you set up the new router, put the old router in a large Ziploc bag along with its power brick and any cable(s).

The reason I mention this is because I’m often amazed by how many people have a big box of adapters and cables, and in most cases have no idea which adapter goes with which device. I suppose they’re used to the “old days”, when companies actually went to the trouble to put their logos on things like power bricks. Nowadays, this is somewhat rare. Of the last two routers I owned, one had the name of the adapter’s manufacturer on it, while the other one had no manufacturer name at all, just the legally-required electrical info. And the power brick for my Dell netbook is actually branded by LiteOn.

There’s another benefit to doing this if you are your family’s “IT Guy”. Having a router or switch ready to go in a plastic bag means you can just “grab it and go” if there’s some kind of IT emergency that needs your help. More than once I’ve had to reach in my closet and get my trusty old Linksys WRT54GL to help a neighbor or family member diagnose a connectivity issue!

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