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As every adult has said many times, kids have it way easier than we did. When we grew up adhesive loose leaf reinforcement labels only came in white. Now they’re available in bright colors.

I noticed that the Avery neon loose leaf labels are colored yellow, orange, green, and red. It’s Avery part number 6754, but the packaging is very confusing. The part number is on the back of the package. The front of the package says 924 –the number of labels in the package. While these aren’t the same shades as the standardized color codes now used on most computers they’re close enough to be useful.

I was kidding about colored loose leaf labels making life easier, but kids really do have it easier hooking up computers because of industry standard color coded connectors. Different manufacturers use the same color designations for different connectors making it much easier to hook up cables with similar connectors. This is especially true with sound cards. On early sound cards the three jacks for line in, line out, and microphone were all the same color and generally only had tiny labels stamped into the metal, or even worse - icons. Now it’s incredibly easy to identify the standard connectors – light blue is line in, lime green is line out, and pink is the microphone.

Coincidentally loose leaf rings are almost exactly the right size for 3.5 mm. (mini) jacks. I use them to label older sound equipment without color identifications and using them to make jacks clearer on some computers where the color coding is not as visible because of the design of the jack. Unfortunately there are no blue loose leaf rings (line in) but if I leave that one empty it’s easy to identify by process of elimination.

Step 1: color coded sound card

Here I’m using red and green labels to identify the microphone and line out jacks on a fairly old sound card. The line in jack is the only one which is left bare. While it’s unlikely that I would ever want to use this old a card as a sound card in a high end computer, it is useful when I need to add an old style Game I/O port to a computer.
Great idea Phil. For years, I've been straining to make sense the gazillion connections behind the tuner in my home theater, where everything terminates. Trying to read upside down and backwards from a severe angle has resulted in many missed-wired components... I'm off to Staples:)<br><br>Good luck in the challenge.
Never would have thought of this.. Very inventive, if that's a real word ? CHEERS!

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Bio: Writer, engineer, techie. I've been using computers since the original Apple II in 1978 and have always been interested in technical topics. Check out ... More »
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