Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Speedcabling - Untangling For Fun and Profit

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-gotta-be-kidding-me dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 138

ibnsuleiman writes "A new competitive sport is emerging amongst IT professionals and hobbyists. Speedcabling tests the ability to untangle the rat's nests that grow inside and outside of the beige boxes that pervade todays homes and workplaces. The first public competition was held in an LA gallery for a $50 gift certificate to a local Italian restaurant. The winner, LA web developer Matthew Howell, had to untangle a dozen ethernet cables in record time leaving them in working order to win."

cancel ×

138 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hmmm... (5, Funny)

hbean (144582) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405536)

finally a sport where steroids wont help you!

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405632)

As if a $50 gift certificate would pay for the steroids anyway

Re:Hmmm... (5, Funny)

explosivejared (1186049) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405752)

finally a sport where steroids wont help you!

I can see the doping scandals already... Loser: Check his inhaler! I know he's taking stimulants! Look on the inside of glasses I know he's got a hologram of Natalie Portman to keep him relaxed! HE SO CHEATED!!

Re:Hmmm... (1)

Sfing_ter (99478) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408558)

Dood, everyone knows that Holograms of Natalie Portman do not keep you relaxed, they keep you stimulated and distracted...

Re:Hmmm... (1)

joaommp (685612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406154)

No, but this will: http://www.thinkgeek.com/caffeine/candy/6b77/ [thinkgeek.com]



What? No one yet wrote a comment about how In soviet russia cables untangle you?

obligatory (1)

Zidane-The-Dom (905967) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406470)

hey, i bet nobody thought of this......

in soviet russia, cables untangle you!

Well, makes more sense than curling (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405548)

Apologies to my Scottish and Canadian friends. But, really??

Re:Well, makes more sense than curling (1)

evilklown (1008863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405562)

Sounds like something from a Dilbert strip.

Re:Well, makes more sense than curling (4, Funny)

RabidMonkey (30447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406508)

Curling combines the skillful art of hitting things with other things, ice, and beer. What more could you desire out of a sport? Sure, theres a lack of bikinis, see ice for a reason.

Re:Well, makes more sense than curling (2, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408754)

I have a feeling there'll be a decided lack of bikinis in this "sport" too.

Re:Well, makes more sense than curling (2, Funny)

Peter Cooper (660482) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407484)

Curling makes as much sense as bowling. That's really what curling is.. ice bowling.

Next on... (5, Funny)

airedalez (743328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405568)

ESPN 8 the ocho!

Re:Next on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22405982)

someone tagged this theocho - pure brilliance

Re:Next on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407408)

Is this going to bump competitive cup stacking?

Limited real-world relevance (5, Insightful)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405600)

The trouble is, the techniques that help you disentangle a bundle of cables not attached to any equipment are not applicable when some of the cables are plugged in and need to stay plugged in, as usually in real life. They need a variant of the sport where there are thirty cables, some plugged into various patch panels at both ends, some at one end only, and some free; your task is to extract the loose and dangling cables and leave the working ones.

Re:Limited real-world relevance (5, Funny)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405810)

They need a variant of the sport

What they really need is a life.

Re:Limited real-world relevance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407288)

What they really need is a life.

Yes, the "game of life" has a whole new meaning if your a nerd living in your mom's basement dreaming of girls.... just dreaming of meeting them that is!!

Still I guess the outside world will just see this as the nerd equivalent of speeddating. Hmm, not many girls around here so what can I date that I have lots of and do actually come into regular contact with.... ah cables! Brings a whole new meaning to the name cableguy as well!

Re:Limited real-world relevance (1)

FatJuggles (1206940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405824)

The cables will be plugged in when this game reaches the X Games.

Re:Limited real-world relevance (5, Funny)

MT628496 (959515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406140)

You mean that you don't just rip the switch out of the rack and throw it up in the air? I thought everyone untangled like that!

Irritating Wire, the Japanese version (4, Funny)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406726)

Some of the cables will be live and have shorts in the insulation.

Re:Irritating Wire, the Japanese version (1)

Grrreat (584733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406874)

Yeah, that would be more realistic. It makes it much more challenging that way. It takes a steady hand(Operation TM).

Re:Limited real-world relevance (1)

timelorde (7880) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406884)

Isn't this part of Cisco's CCIE exam?

Re:Limited real-world relevance (1)

tboulan (266562) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407000)

The CCIE exam would be to create the tangled mess!

Re:Limited real-world relevance (4, Funny)

nmg196 (184961) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407410)

> They need a variant of the sport where there are thirty cables, some plugged into various
> patch panels at both ends, some at one end only, and some free; your task is to extract
> the loose and dangling cables and leave the working ones.

It's called Network Administration.

Re:Limited real-world relevance (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408070)

I concur, the event needs real routers and it has to stay working at the end to be a real "sport"... as much as it could ever be a real sport.

Must be a slow news day (1)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405602)

Geeks untangling ethernet cables is not new.

Re:Must be a slow news day (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405666)

Yes, but as a spectator sport? That takes innovation. And a lot of really easily-entertained spectators.

Re:Must be a slow news day (2, Insightful)

Igarden2 (916096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405914)

It can't be any more boring than most 'reality TV' we've been seeing since the writers' strike started.

Re:Must be a slow news day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406236)

It can't be any more boring than most 'reality TV' we've been seeing.
There, fixed that for you.

Wow (1)

GodCandy (1132301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405612)

Where was this contest when I worked in web hosting. We had one cabnet with over 1000 cables comming into it. It was a mess. I dont think there was a way to fix it...

On another note... do we think that this will make the summer olympics??

Re:Wow (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408110)

On another note... do we think that this will make the summer olympics??

Maybe the specialolympics.

I was nearly with you until... (5, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405642)

From the blurb: The winner, LA web developer Matthew Howell, had to untangle a dozen ethernet cables in record time leaving them in working order to win.

Working order? Man, there's a catch to everything. I guess I can put my weed whacker with it's steel blades back...

snapping off the locking tabs (2, Interesting)

hedley (8715) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405648)

My normal failure mode with a cable jumble, that reassuring crack as it breaks off ensuring a lurking connectivity problem when its used in the future. I suppose those tabs need to be maintained in the contest FTW no?

Re:snapping off the locking tabs (2, Informative)

wc_paladin (989918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407720)

wrap some tape around all the cable ends, holding the tab down. I used to have the same problem. I was wasting time and money putting new tips on cables, until a friend of mine showed me this.

Cup stacking for nerds? (2, Funny)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405670)

I'll bet the national championships will end up on ESPN2 during the middle of the night... just like those tweens stacking cups.

Another sport that deserves a WTF? award.

Just part of my job (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405676)

This is what one of our wiring closets looks like [earthlink.net] . Untangling cables to have some sense of order is just another job duty.


And in case anyone is wondering, yes, those are punchdown boxes you see. It would be horrible to run the cable directly to the switch without having boxes and patch cables on each end.

Re:Just part of my job (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406588)

If ever you have to send a guy in to untangle the mess, make sure he's all greased down in marinara sauce in case he collapses from the effort.

Re:Just part of my job (1)

Ctrl-Z (28806) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406746)

I wouldn't want to claim ownership of that in a public forum. Are you looking for pity?

Re:Just part of my job (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407360)

he certainly isnt looking to impress prospective employers.

Re:Just part of my job (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407574)

It's better than this [networkboy.net] (not mine)
This [networkboy.net] is one of mine as is this [networkboy.net] and that [networkboy.net]

-nB

Re:Just part of my job (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408314)

It's not mine per se. It's where I work. That's the way it looks after I've done a small amount of organization to the cables.

One of the first things I asked if could be done when I started here was to go through each closet and try to get them organized. Make sure they cables were wrapped around each other, each cable was labeled, etc. Obviously my request hasn't been acted upon.

At least I've been able to document what device is using what cable number connected to what port on a switch. Granted, others haven't been keeping up with the changes but at least I try.

Re:Just part of my job (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408210)

You fool! You've exposed His Noodlyness for all to see!

You're in a heap of trouble, boy.

Oooohhh, can I use a truck with a trailer hitch? (-1, Offtopic)

swschrad (312009) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405680)

can I, huh, can I can I pleeeEEEzzze?

(cables suck)

How do they standardize the nest? (1)

SCHecklerX (229973) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405688)

But how can it be fair if somebody gets a worse ball of clutter than another? Or do they do best x out of y?

Re:How do they standardize the nest? (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407088)

By hiring a sailor to make a proper job of tying them all the same!

Bah, make it tougher (2, Funny)

SpaceLifeForm (228190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405696)

Throw in power cables, phone lines, and mice to make it more realistic.

Re:Bah, make it tougher (1)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407414)

And it doesn't even really matter which kind of mouse, I've seen both. . .

Re:Bah, make it tougher (2, Funny)

sjbe (173966) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407880)

Not to mention that it should be done under a poorly lit desk with insufficient room for more than one arm at a time while someone tries to do work around you during the contest.

Are there rules? (4, Informative)

msauve (701917) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405756)

I mean, is this legal [polywater.com] ?

Re:Are there rules? (1)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405986)

Oh man, he's juicin'!

Re:Are there rules? (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406034)

Not in Texas.

Re:Are there rules? (3, Funny)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406628)

I mean, is this legal [polywater.com]?
Provided that everyone involved is of the age of consent, I'd say yes.

This week, on the Ocho! (2, Funny)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405758)

The Japanese still have us beat on wacky game shows.

heh (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405774)

I like the way that they set them up for the competitors - shove them in a clothes dryer for 3 minutes and let them tangle naturally. That explains my girlfriends socks and stuff after each wash around my house.

Re:heh (2, Informative)

ImpShial (1045486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406624)

That explains my friend who is a girl's socks and stuff after each wash around my house.


There. Fixed that for ya' This is Slashdot, after all.


Sport? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405790)

More like, people with too much time on their hands.

his secret? (4, Interesting)

Sidlon (103096) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405834)

I hear he spent a lot of time training with this [nonoba.com] .

Re:his secret? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407146)

Pure evil. I hate you.

Re:his secret? (1)

tj2 (54604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407544)

As do I.

The goggles.... (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405894)

meow!

Speed Cabling (1)

Mickyfin613 (1192879) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405936)

Stick to chess, four-eyes.

Missing a key part to this competition (1)

tscheez (71929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405950)

You should have to untangle the cables with a minimum of down time.

Re:Missing a key part to this competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406468)

No way, you should do it before a tcp timeout. thus without down time.

Oh noes (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22405968)

When you unplug the cable to untangle it in the game, you unplug it IN REAL LIFE!

This isn't going anywhere... (2, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22405996)

...since this is precisely what I do in my sleep, after all the MCSE weenies who weren't allowed to touch the cables in class have left for the day.

Now, a hunt for the loose terminator in a Thinnet network, or the forced-duplex port in your Cisco stack, or the one Linksys VPN router with different firmware out among the 50+ telecommuters, or even the splitters over the ceilings in your Localtalk network at the elementary school, or any number of real-world-ish scenarios.

Bah. Like playing pool for money. Too much like real work. And playing for beer makes you pee too much.

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (0)

qoncept (599709) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406266)

Looks like the countersink flange went out on the CD-7 unit multiplier, knocking out hydraulic torque to the electric heat riser. That's right. Loser.

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (1)

erzeszut (656145) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406390)

hunt for the loose terminator in a Thinnet network...
Errrrg. This just gave me an unwanted flashback.

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (2, Funny)

EtherMonkey (705611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406408)

Thinnet? LOCALTALK??? Are you stuck in the '80's?


Next thing you know, you'll be talking about memory optimization for Win3.11 with QMM, filtering SAP advertisements on the WAN, or configuring TCP/IP packet drivers so you can use this new Internet program called "Mosaic."

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22407320)

That's QEMM; and I believe there was a version for win95?

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407786)

Next thing you know, you'll be talking about memory optimization for Win3.11 with QMM, filtering SAP advertisements on the WAN, or configuring TCP/IP packet drivers so you can use this new Internet program called "Mosaic."

Have you heard of this new "token ring" invention? It is quite a promising development.

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (1)

creeva (1021101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408184)

Token Ring - you mean there is something newer then thinnet with lantastic's native proprietary protocl? I still waiting for the day I can get to google via netbui

Elbinian networking (1)

wsanders (114993) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408840)

We just installed a new POP in Elbonia. It was either thinnet or a very sad-looking donkey.

Re:This isn't going anywhere... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408574)

I've cabled Pixar, Sun, Yahoo, SGI, Solectron, Intel and a few others whose toilets you are not worthy to clean.

And I have an MCSE.

So go eat a bowl of dicks, fag. Your a idiot

OT: What has happened to slashdot? (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406020)

It's changed its logo.. it's no longer 'news for nerds' and the look of the entire story has changed. Just seemed to happen with this story - previous ones come up normal.

Re:OT: What has happened to slashdot? (2, Informative)

vtscott (1089271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406174)

The change only seems to be on stories in idle.slashdot.org [slashdot.org] . Maybe taco is testing it out before letting it loose on the rest of the site... I hope not though, because I'm not a fan of the new theme.

Re:OT: What has happened to slashdot? (1)

ardin,mcallister (924615) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406232)

its cause this is idle.slashdot.org

Re:OT: What has happened to slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22406430)

idle.slashdot.org

Are people going to comment about this every time a story from this section makes it to the front page?

Re:OT: What has happened to slashdot? (1)

u38cg (607297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406914)

Don't worry, Idle has been like this for a while. We agree it looks hideous; complaining about it is a recognised spectator sport.

The sport is misnamed (1)

presearch (214913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406030)

It's not speed cabling, it's wireball.
Speed cabling (hooking the wires up) would be round two of the geek triathlon.

Round three: ???

Round 3: Hack the results. (1)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406136)

The winners of Geek Triathalons never bother with round 1 or 2. They compete only in round 3. In round 3, the competitors hack into the result tracking database and alter the results in their favor.

Re:The sport is misnamed (2, Funny)

veganboyjosh (896761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406224)

Round four: Profit!

Basic Skill for Sailors (1)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406050)

One of the first things you learn on a sailboat is any line left unattended will soon tie itself into a knot - usually at the worst possible time.

I've noticed the same thing with networking and power cabling both at home and at work.

Re:Basic Skill for Sailors / Sound Engineers (2, Informative)

Matheus (586080) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407676)

As much as I love a good round of detangling the ether.. I'm not exactly doing that everyday. Every sound gig resembles the following: Find the boxen/buckets of mic/power/adapter cables, untangle the mess left by the wank the night before, make a bad band sound good then untangle all those same cables from their gear and the beverages they have spilled throughout the night and just early enough that it has begun to congeal and stick and properly wrap to try to be nice the next shmoe unlike said wank from the night before.

Add to that a mix of christmas lights that some band thought would look cool and the raw wiring that's frays grab each other like teeny-boppers at a rave and you have a whole pile of fun on your hands 8}

Re:Basic Skill for Sailors / Sound Engineers (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 6 years ago | (#22409028)

Not just spilled beverages either. I had a cable heap (containing mic, speaker, lighting and god knows what else) to untangle which had been polluted by both beverages and the inevitable result of massive overconsumption of beverages... Good thing I was able to raid some surgical gloves fro the first aid kit.

Can't be LA (1)

angus_rg (1063280) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406092)

A contest based on cables and speed would have to be held in the Valley.

I can't believe... (4, Funny)

RealErmine (621439) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406272)

that there is finally a story where my following formalization of the process of wire entanglement is on-topic.


Kevin's First Law: For any number of wires, strings or similar objects, the probability of complex entanglement between them increases exponentially with the inverse of distance. Time required to entangle is also affected in a similar fashion. This phenomenon can be observed in consequence, but not in action.


Also, for those who are interested, my second law is formalized thusly:


Kevin's Second Law: There exists no robot that cannot be improved in form or function by the addition of a flamethrower.

Re:I can't believe... (1)

orielbean (936271) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407060)

I found these great Velcro tie wraps at Home Depot the other day. You get like 50 of them for about 5 bucks and they stay tethered to the cables. They are great for cabling.

Re:I can't believe... (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407476)

Roman's corollary: Those robots that already have 1 or more flamethrowers can always use another one.

Sure it's all fun and games now... (1)

clickety6 (141178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406404)

..but wait until some Geek called Alexander takes out his light sabre and just cuts all the cables in one go...

THE sport for Asperger's (1)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406518)

In my younger days, before they finally figured out what the issue was, I would spend hours untangling knotted balls of string. I got very good at it and still derive a certain pride from turning a tangled mess of cabling into a cleanly laid-out network system.

The focus required to see which cables are tangled up where and to identify the loops that, once pulled out, will free up a myriad of other cables is just the type of ability you see in Asperger's and other high-order autistics.

spaghetti cable? (1)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406638)

The first public competition was held in an LA gallery for a $50 gift certificate to a local Italian restaurant.
I'm going to guess that after a day of speedcabling, the winner probably won't order the spaghetti.

Hard Drive Units (1)

kcbanner (929309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22406988)

"To get them to replicate the conditions of the wires found snaking and choking their way around hard drive units, monitors and printers in offices worldwide..."

Hard drives, eh? So your ethernet cables are inside the case, or what?

Re:Hard Drive Units (1)

lazarusdishwasher (968525) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408378)

Hard drives, eh? So your ethernet cables are inside the case, or what?
No, the hard drives are outside of the case.

Ancient Boredom Buster (1)

contraba55 (1217056) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407134)

Ever been on a fishing trip where you had to wait a couple of hours of sailing with nothing to do and no tech to distract yourself with? Try and tie a knot in a rope that your mate can't untie. This ethernet cable game is just a newer version of the same old thing.

"Ethernet Cables"? (2, Informative)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 6 years ago | (#22407578)

untangle a dozen ethernet cables

What the hell are 'ethernet cables,' anyway? Ethernet is a protocol. Back in the good ol' days I set up Ethernet LANs with 10BASE-2 coax cable.

Re:"Ethernet Cables"? (1)

creeva (1021101) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408212)

maybe they are doing rj-11 - possible RG-58?

Bah 12 cables? (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408228)


lol, we used to dye rolls of stockinette for a customer. Do you have any idea what happens when you put a 75ft long sock in the washing machine? in the dryer? you really have to see the knot it makes to believe it ;) 30 min in washer and 30 min to untangle it, rinse and repeat...err repeat to rinse actually.

I like the idea of having some live and having to remove the free ones tho :)

Italian restaurant? (1)

cheesecake23 (1110663) | more than 6 years ago | (#22408346)

The first public competition was held in an LA gallery for a $50 gift certificate to a local Italian restaurant.

I assume this was because the restaurant owner needed help untangling spaghetti?

FUBAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22408458)

Anyone know why this one particular article's layout is completely fubar?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>