You know what’s an undervalued skill? Good cable management. I mean, just look at the insanity running through my PC setup in Studio 1.

This desk and the PC that powers it are collectively called the Ops Desk, and I named them that because I clearly need more friends. The Ops Desk sits in the center of my home office. It has everything I’ve ever wanted. Thanks to the Amazon Echo, I can clearly hear audio from this PC anywhere in the room. Its 24-monitor sits on a turntable so that I can stare at notes or watch footage from studio cameras anywhere. The Ops Desk has Logitech Bluetooth accessories that connect to both my Surface Pro and the circular PC below it. Push one button and you switch from each device.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is where I work on the site’s systems, play Planet Coaster and enjoy Halo Wars 2. I write most of my pieces for The en at this desk.

As you can see from the photos, the Ops Desk has become an unwieldy mess. I made a number of mistakes when building the PC, and those have caused the cable management situation to deteriorate.

To get as small a footprint as possible, I decided to stuff a Gigabyte motherboard, 16GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5 Skylake processor, and a GeForce 1050TI graphics card into a case the size of a small trashcan. That left me no room for a second hard drive, hence the USB hard drive that’s sitting on my floor. Then, if that wasn’t dumb enough, I bet on Microsoft adding Alexa support within the window they said they would. Their failure to do so, plus the mediocre audio coming from the monitor’s speakers made it necessary to add an Echo to my setup. I added a USB extension cable, a Surface charger and Philips Hue LED strips to the Ops Desk over the last four months or so, forcing me to also add a power strip. That thick green cable is an extension cable that supplies power from the closest outlet in the room. I compounded this problem by getting the longest extension cable I could find on a whim.

I plan on dealing with all this before I post a video tour of Studio 1 later this week, don’t worry. Still, I’m in awe of how quickly my clean, organized work center morphed into an unwieldy visual disaster. I suppose this has become a running them with Travis in Real Life: Don’t be like me.

Trav in Real Life is a collection of random musings.