Whenever possible go wireless. Excess cables are hard to hide from small hands, providing children with ample opportunity to pull something heavy down on their heads or accidentally breaking something expensive. Each powered device offers the disadvantage of an additional item requiring a power connection, which further increases the risk to curious little people. By eliminating cables from the equation, you eliminate clutter from the work area, keeping both your child and PC safer. As an added bonus, performing upgrades and moving hardware is considerably easier because there are fewer cables to untangle behind the PC.
Wireless Input Devices
Keyboards and mice both come in Bluetooth and RF wireless varieties. While there are numerous manufacturers, the most widely recognized human interface devices are manufactured by Microsoft and Logitech. RF input technology is more mature than Bluetooth, with most of the kinks worked out. RF also happens to be about 50% cheaper than Bluetooth. Particularly for keyboard and mouse solutions, the wait time for Bluetooth to come online is about 7 seconds after your PC boots, compared with almost instant recognition for RF devices. Bluetooth offers the advantage of requiring only a small fob plugged into a USB port (or on board support from newer machines), compared with a much larger RF receiver. Bluetooth reaches almost 30 feet, giving you remote access to devices located in another room, while RF devices are configured to operate at only about 6 feet, to prevent interference with other devices.
WiFi Internet connections render Ethernet cable virtually obsolete. With the 802.11g standard, 54 Mbps transfer speeds are fast enough for sending video across the home network, making it possible to record television programs remotely, print to a printer in another room, or work from a laptop on the patio. These are affordable conveniences, which make the work place safer, while providing more versatility to enjoy working from home. I have been known to look up phone numbers and movie times using my Pocket PC and my home wireless network while sitting in the driveway outside my home.
In some instances, using Bluetooth for printing makes more sense, especially when trying to eliminate the most cables. Bluetooth printer adapters attach to the parallel port connection, eliminating the need for the cable connection between the printer and your PC. Several adapters are available for converting printers to Bluetooth, with prices starting around $169.
Read More from Creating A Child Safe Home Office:
- Consumer Electronics Child Safety
- Keeping Watch on Children From Your Office
- Childproof Your Trash
- Hidden Costs in Childproofing a Home Office
- Create a Child Friendly YES Environment