As is usually the case with trends, they bring with them accessories and side effects that we could never imagine. Take the computer, for example, sure they allow us to process data quickly, store it securely an even browse arguably man’s greatest invention, the internet, but they also came with many side effects that the computer’s inventors and popularizers never would have dreamed of. Take carpal tunnel syndrome, for example, or fancy fashion cases for laptops. Another thing that computer users probably never bargained for was the sheer of amount of computer cables owning even one computer brought into their homes.
They have been the subject of a house cleaner’s nightmares, of a designer’s sleepless nights, and of many an inventor’s invention. They are computer cables and they are, unfortunately, everywhere. These snake’s nests of cables generally found hidden away behind the computer can cause all sorts of problems. They are a haven for dust, for starters. And when they cannot be contained in an out of the way place, computer cables become a dangerous tripping hazard. They also simply look bad. There is nothing worse than having a completely neat office only to see cables springing out from every which direction. For this reason, many inventions, from the simple to the complicated, have cropped up and promise to help homeowners and office managers deal with their computer cable clutter.
There are several different common types of computer cables. The following list touches on just a few of the many available computer cables out there.
Printer Cable – this cable is used to carry data between a computer and a printer. Types of print cables include serial cables, parallel cables, FireWire cables, and USB cables. Parallel port printers though, have been widely phased out. If you own a parallel port printer, chances are you use a USB cable to plug into it instead.
USB Cable – USB cables are not only used to connect to printers to computers. They are used for a number of purposes. These computer cables have an A connector and a B connector on opposite ends. The way the USB cable works is simple. A-connectors can only connect to their counterpart A-sockets, and B-connectors can only connect to their counterpart B-sockets. These sockets all come in three versions: standard, mini and micro. These types of cables are used to connect all sorts of peripherals to computers, including printers, scanners, keyboards, mice, fax machines, portable hard drives, digital cameras, and portable media players. The maximum length of a standard USB cable is 5 meters, or about 16 and a half feet, though their maximum useful distance (before using them becomes prohibitive to speed), is about 3 meters or 10 feet.
Networking Cables – This is not one type of cable, but several that can all be used for the same purpose – to network computers to one another or to the internet. Network cables can be different types of computer cables, including coaxial cables, optical fiber cables, or twisted pair cables. While wireless internet is gaining extreme popularity, many computers still use one or more of these types of computer cables in order to connect to the internet.
Twisted Pair Cables – These computer cables are two cables twisted together. This allows them to cancel out electromagnetic interference from external sources.
Optical Fiber Cables – These computer cables contain one or more optical fibers, elements which are typically coated with plastic layers. This means that optic fiber cables can be used in areas that are generally inhospitable to other cables. Places where optic fiber cables are used include underground and exposed to the elements.