Label Your Power Supplies

By Deane Barker on June 11, 2004

If I can be so bold, here’s a tip for my fellow geeks to make your life easier: label your power supplies.

When you get a new toy that comes with a power cable that has a converter in (either in the middle or built into the plug) slap a label on it explaining exactly which one of your hundreds of devices this works with.

I have a “workshop” in my office. It’s sort of a server room, sort of a place where all my geek crap can accumulate. I inherited a box of about 100 different power cables, convertors, and supplies. I can only tell you what about a third of them are actually for.

Last month, some of the guys wanted to stick a bunch of laptops in the conference room. Ignoring the wireless connection (and me, since it was late at night), they rummaged around the workshop, found a hub, and rummaged some more until they found a power supply with an end that would fit. Too bad it supplied twice the voltage that the hub needed — some sparks and noxious fumes later, I can scratch one hub.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to dig through a pile of cables for 30 minutes to try and match up amps and volts between a device and a power supply. Now, whenever something new comes in the mail, the first thing I do is slap a label on the supply or the cable. It’ll make your life easier, trust me.



  1. I’ve tried, but my brother labels don’t stick reliably (to the usually textured surface) unless I add scotch tape.

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