Tame hairy cables gone wild — or don’t [Setups]

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"Honestly that's how it is supposed to be," one comment said of the cable mess. "Bushy just like the 70s."
Photo: dentalala@Reddit.com

A recurring theme across computer setups everywhere is the need for better cable management. It’s all about how well the careless, disheveled slob throwing together the gear — here we’re referring mainly to ourselves, not you — deals with the thorny mess of electrical cords and connectors that help make the workstation go.

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It’s a constant headache for many people. Some go to great lengths to make it look like no wires are involved at all with their computing, somehow, while others let them fly all over the place. Many try and fail to tame the cable clutter to varying degrees.

A headache almost everyone suffers

Redditor dentalala’s delightfully sarcastic setup post title reads, “Check out my awesome cable management!” The effort noted is, of course, anything but “awesome.” The 27-inch iMac-centered setup may not feature the most catastrophic nest of cable snakes ever, but it’s kind of a mess.

“Honestly that’s how it is supposed to be,” read one Redditor’s somewhat racy comment. “Bushy just like the ’70s.”

“Paint the wall black,” offered another. Now that’s practical advice (if all you care about is whether or not you can see the cables in a photo of your setup).

“I’ve tried countless methods, like raceways, Velcro straps, and some other stuff too, but it just turns out worse,” related another hapless cable combatant.

Taming cables gone wild

That last comment gets at some of the methods used to deal with messy cables.

Cable raceways are channels you can run wires through that essentially match surroundings, hiding the typically high contrast of the black cables against neutral-colored walls, desk and floors (see the paint-it-black comment above).

Velcro straps can help gather up several cables under a desk, keeping them from flaying all over the place. Trays installed under desks are another popular choice to help conceal cables and the hardware they spring from, like USB-C hubs and power strips.

Some people even use hidden wall and attic space to run cables out of sight. That’s pretty next-level cable management.

Recent Cult of Mac articles’ tips for clearing cable clutter

All the above tips and more can be found in recent Cult of Mac articles. Some offer detailed information. If you’re willing to spend a few bucks and put in some effort, you can have a tidy, photo-ready setup without all the unsightly cable outgrowths. Check out the articles below.

On another subject: an alternative webcam

Finally, it’s worth noting one other element in dentalaya’s setup (in addition to the list of cool audio gear in the list below).

A commenter wondered about what looks in the photo like an iPhone or other smartphone mounted atop the iMac display.

Detalaya uses an app called Camo to turn their phone into a capable webcam. If your computer’s built-in camera isn’t up to snuff, it can be a good way to up the quality of your video calls, adding zoom, filters and more.

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If you would like to see your setup featured on Cult of Mac, send some high-res pictures to info+setups@cultofmac.com. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup, and fill us in on any special touches or challenges.