It’s like a cruise ship’s engine room.
A company’s data center.
A power station that drives the Metro North trains from Connecticut into New York City.
If the behind-the-scenes infrastructure doesn’t work, your day goes south pretty quickly.
The same is true for your home’s little ecosystem…
Everyone knows if your power or heat fails, you’re in big trouble.
So they pay attention to those details.
Why then do so many of us ignore the healthy operating conditions needed to support your technology-driven home life?
Perhaps we simply get lulled into a type of digital daze.
Until someone says…
“Why is the wireless network down?!”
“The cable’s out, and the game’s on!!”
(Where’s the IT Guy!?)
Suddenly, everyone’s paying attention to your delicate gear that’s driving your digitally dependent home.
Your Magic Boxes
Usually, we’re talking about the health of those fragile blinking boxes:
- Your wireless network router
- Your cable modem, which also may be controlling your
phone and internet
- A couple of external computer drives
- And an army of power-supply cubes that just seem to keep multiplying like tribbles!
In Search of a Home
Where are all those little ‘magic boxes’ and their power ‘minions’ supposed to go?
Well, I bet a lot of this critical tech is scattered about your house right now:
- Treated like a second hand book, jammed into an already crowded bookcase or cabinet
- Plugged into the most convenient power supply
- Hidden away…without much rhyme or reason
- Or just sitting on the floor somewhere
Yoda would say,
“That is why you fail.”
Now, I’m not suggesting this clutter is all your fault.
Most of us don’t have the opportunity to create your own expandable tech closet with nicely dressed cables and an ample supply of wall plugs.
You’ve got to make due with your house’s current terrain.
But you should also do what you can to protect this gear and make sure they’re easily accessible when they go on the blink.
The biggest mistake you can make is stacking one box on top of the other to save on space.
They’re simply not designed to become load-bearing structures.
They’ll overheat with the reduced airflow, and that, in turn, will lead to inevitable disaster.
And guess what?
I found myself doing exactly that.
(Yes, even Barrett is not a Tech Jedi… yet!)
Angering the Tech Gods
Recently, we relocated some furniture around the house as a result of my three- year-old’s growing footprint.
And four of my magic boxes suddenly needed a new home.
It was actually a great opportunity, as they had been languishing in a sub-optimal corner on the floor in my office.
So I stacked all of them, including my Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station and Cablevision modem, on top of a three-legged flowerpot stand.
(It was all I could find in the basement to use!)
Then, I placed this teetering monstrosity behind a desk where my magic boxes would now be living.
Talk about a disaster waiting to happen!
Fortunately, the tech gods granted me some time to remedy the situation…
Buy a Proper Tech Stand
Everyone needs a sturdy and safe shelving unit for their magic boxes to live in.
What I really wanted was an equipment rack like you’d find in a TV station’s control room. But one small enough to fit in Mini-Me’s bedroom.
Something as small as a nightstand but stacked with lots of little shelves.
Remember, each box doesn’t really require that much space…
Of course that’s not a piece of furniture your average Joe rushes out to get.
But after a thorough search on Amazon, I came up with one wooden standing shelving unit that would do the trick…
It’s an itty-bitty 3-shelf unit from Winsome Wood’s “Leo Collection.”
The dimensions are only 29.2”x 13.5” x 11.2.”
I can’t imagine what use it would have for most people.
But it would be just about perfect as my new magic box house.
Its three-shelf structure wastes some vertical space, but at least it can provide plenty of breathing room for gear!
As a bonus, its height matched the desk it would be shadowing almost to the centimeter, and the coloring was a close match too!
Two days later, I slipped it into place.
(and unceremoniously discarded the flowerpot stand)
Then I moved my magic boxes moved in.
Their lights blinked with cozy joy.
They were home.
May the Force be with You!
I highly recommend finding a permanent abode for your magic boxes.
It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space or require an expensive solution.
Nobody else even needs to know its there.
But Yoda will…