Office optimisation - Week 2

Our FireWire/USB cable bin, post reorganise

For the past 11 days I have been going through a process of trimming the fat from the office. Reorganising cable boxes, stripping out unnecessary and tangled cabling, rebuilding databases of equipment, attempting to rid the office of kit that we don’t use anymore and haven’t for some time. This is what I’ve learnt.



  • We had a lot of extraneous things lying around


  • Sandwich bags are genius inventions


  • iPhones are powerful things.



Step 1


Process began with the assistants room. I would call it my home away from home but frankly I spend longer here than I do at home so I think that qualifies it as home-base. The purpose of the assistants room is a kind of hub of information. Everything that comes into the building should come through us. As such it is full of stuff. At the start of the process my desk alone had 4 computers attached to it. They serve a variety of purposes: Laptop does most of the admin work, aural entertainment, emails etc; Assistants rig 1 Media ingest, conforming, conforming (yes they are two processes) and general legwork for a show; another system was being rebuilt and a final system was cloning drives. I have successfully ridded my desk of system 3 and 4, leaving just my laptop and the main system.
The downside of having all those systems attached to one desk is that a whole heap of cabling comes with them. VGA, DVI, USB keyboards/Mice, Ethernet cables, power cabling and associated wall-warts, firewire drives etc. There was also a 32U rack unit full of Betacam SP, DAT, DA88, VCR, SCSI drive bay that also took up room and added cabling. Stripping that rack out freed up space, as well as allowing removal of BNC’s, Jack looms, power cables etc.

Step 1A

SO, once those were stripped back I had another dilemma: our cable bins!! Ahh! A few years back we had embarked on a similar project to thin out and make things easier to find, over the course of the last few years the solutions we found then have become a little unwieldy and after pulling out all of the now redundant cabling I had to figure out where to put it. Cable bins needed to be resorted. This is where the sandwich bags come into their own.

We now have the same bins as before but now instead of cables being cable tied , they now reside in individual sandwich bags. This means that when going to the firewire cable box you no longer get a mass tangle of cables coming out but rather, grabbing a single bag means one cable comes out. beautiful. I’ll take some pictures to add later.

Step 2

What to do with extraneous kit? Sell It!

Selling specialised kit is not something that ebay tends to specialise in. Have you ever tried to find a betacam SP player on ebay? Doesn’t exist. There is a site exactly for this purpose though. Within a couple of days got interest on a Mackie HUI that has long since gone out of our usage.

More to follow, but this has taken me three days to publish as it is.