Growing need for powerboards

I have been trying to find somewhere accessible to plug in my mini-notebook in my office and I’ve run out of power points. Again. How is this possible?

Let’s count them. My office at the moment has two power points in the wall, on opposite sides of the room. One has a single, 6-point power board, into which is plugged in:

  1. a desk lamp
  2. old camera battery charger (the batteries are never the same, are they!)
  3. cordless phone charger No 2. (No. 1 is in the other office)
  4. phone connection for the cable TV (so we can order pay-per-view movies)
  5. empty at the moment, but the old laptop is usually plugged in here.

I seem to remember removing a phone that needed power when I decided against the job where I’d need to wear a headset.

The power point nearest my desk has a 4-point power board with surge protector, into which is plugged:

  1. Bose Wave Radio
  2. desk lamp
  3. new camera battery charger
  4. 5-point power board with surge protector

This second power board has:

  1. laptop
  2. external hard drive
  3. laptop stand
  4. MP3-player charger
  5. empty at the moment but likely to get the floor lamp back now that it is no longer needed for a guest bedroom

Fortunately I don’t have to accommodate the printers, cable modem and the old desktop computer, which are in the other office with their own spiderweb of cables and power boards.

Finding enough power points is a constant struggle. Why do we have so many electrical appliances?

Phones didn’t used to need electricity, and now they do. The cordless phone has 4 handsets, and we can usually find one when we need it, but they all have their own chargers that need power.

Speaking of the other office, it has a single 4-point powerboard on the wall. Into that we have:

  1. an 8-point powerboard with surge protection
  2. a 4-point powerboard
  3. cordless phone base unit with answering machine
  4. kept empty for visiting laptops

These two powerboards have in no particluar order:

  1. the old black-and-white laser printer
  2. the more recent multi-function-printer that also scans, copies and faxes
  3. the flatbed scanner
  4. the slide-and-negative scanner
  5. charger for the husband’s PDA
  6. desktop computer
  7. the monitor for the desktop computer
  8. wireless router
  9. cable modem
  10. desk lamp
  11. empty

Our phone chargers, one for each phone because they change over time, are downstairs in the bedroom where we are more likely to remember the phone when leaving the house. The bedroom, of course, also requires two desk lamps, clock radio, mozzie zapper and air filter.

Never mind the mess of cables and power boards behind the TV, catering for the cable TV receiver, DVD player, and home theatre system! We got rid of the record player, cassette deck and the VCR.

No wonder we use so much more electricity than we used to! It makes me wonder how many of these appliances are on standby, drawing power when they’re not being used. The desktop computer certainly does, it’s on all the time because the laser printer is plugged into it. The cable modem and wireless router are always on. The cable TV receiver is always on, even when it’s off. Clock radios, phone chargers, battery chargers… how much power do they draw just to keep that little light turned on?

Probably a lot more than we think.

Do we really need all this stuff?