Cable Management: It’s a Necessity, Not an Option

Let’s face it, nobody likes to take the trouble to organize all the cables that run between their computer peripherals. But failure to do so can make it difficult to troubleshoot or replace equipment that fails, and also lead to a nest of cables that you can hook with your shoe all to easily, which can result in unplugged devices and even damaged cables. Then there are the extreme cases, like the time I was called in to unscramble a mass of cables running over and under a tabletop. That mess, which had been growing for years, was hiding cables that went nowhere, obsolete equipment and even old network hubs that should have been replaced with switches over a decade earlier. The result not only looked neater and made for easier service, but also improved network speed and reliability considerably.

Fortunately, organizing your cables doesn’t have to require anything fancy. Here is an article from that shows how to do it with inexpensive hardware items and even things you might have lying around the house.

Windows Wednesdays – “Folders” On the Windows 11 Start Menu

If you liked the Choose Which Folders Appear on Start settings in Windows 10, then you will appreciate today’s tip. I am going to show you how this feature was implemented in Windows 11, and how it makes use of otherwise wasted space on the Windows 11 Start Menu.

By default, the Windows 11 Start Menu has a line of empty space along the bottom, outlined in red in the picture below:

The good news is that you can fill that space with shortcuts for things like Documents, Pictures, Network and Settings, just as you may have had in the left margin of the Windows 10 Start Menu. To do that, start by opening Settings. There are a number of ways you can do this, but one good way is to right-click on your Start button and then (left) click on Settings, as shown below.

This will open the Settings window. From there, click Personalization.

From Settings -> Personalization, scroll down (a scrollbar will appear along the right edge if you hover your mouse pointer over it) until you see Start in the right section, then click on it.

From the Start subsection, click on Folders.

You will now be looking at the Folders subsection.

On my computer, I then need to scroll the right section of the window down a bit (again, there’s that hidden scrollbar along the right margin) so I can see all the folders. If your screen is large enough, you might not need to do that. I then click on the Off/On toggles for each “folder” I want to appear at the bottom of my Start Menu, like this:

Note that these are the items I like to have at the bottom of my Start Menu. Your preferences may vary. When you’re finished, simply close the window; there’s no Save button to click. Now, when I click my Start button, my Start Menu looks like this:

The red rectangle won’t appear on your Start Menu. I just added that to highlight my new, useful icons. But here’s something that will appear: If you hover your mouse over one of your new icons, the icon will highlight and a fly-over description will appear. Here’s an example in which I hovered my mouse over the Documents icon: