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by Phil Ball

Q. My tower computer is fairly new and works fine. But my desk looks messy with all the wires. Are wireless and USB via Bluetooth really an effective way to remove cable clutter?

A. You won’t be able to get rid of all the wires (you’ll need power cords and a monitor cable at least), but you should be able to make a dent in the clutter by taking some or all of these steps. First, look for a wireless keyboard and mouse. They are frequently offered as a package, both locally and online. This will immediately remove two cables from your desk area. Next, do you use a headset, for instance with an online phone service such as Skype, or do you use headphones when you play music on your computer? If so, you can pick up a Bluetooth USB adapter, along with a Bluetooth enabled headset and/or headphones, and eliminate a few more cables from your computer.

If you have an RJ45 cable connecting your system to a router in your home office, you could install a wireless Ethernet adapter in your computer, either as a PCI adapter, or one that plugs into a USB port. One more possibility – if you like to run an external USB attached hard drive for backups and security (a good idea), you might take a look at the new Imation Pro WX Wireless USB Hard Drive. Clearly you won’t get the performance of a directly attached USB 2.0 drive, but for overnight backups it might work just fine.

Published: Courier 3/21/10 - Page 7C