Inside computer hard-drives are one or two super powerful magnets. Probably worth a couple dollars, potentially useful, or just fun to have. Inside the hard-drive, the magnets are usually glued to metal brackets that have holes in them. You can put screws through these holes to attach the brackets to a wall, and then you’ve got a wall mount for any metal object, such as a tool, that you want to keep handy.
You can find instructions online that tell you how to take apart a hard-drive. It’s easiest if you have a set of Torx screwdrivers. Helpful hint: hard-drive manufacturers often hide some of the screws under labels or in other hard-to-find locations. Getting the magnets out of a computer hard-drive is a fun project to do with a kid.
Our computers’ cameras are like the seeing stones in The Lord of the Rings: “We do not know who may be watching!”. Here’s a way to make a camera blocker from something you probably have in your office.
Turn the screen off. Really. When you know you’re going to be away from your computer for more than a few minutes, turn the screen off. For desktops it’s easy; there’s sure to be an on/off button on the monitor. Laptops are a bit more idiosyncratic, but there’s usually a way to turn off the screen.
I don’t believe the “disadvantages” of plugging a keyboard into the back of the computer and seeing the cord on the desktop (the real desktop, not the computer screen) are so bad that it’s worth paying $20 more to get a wireless keyboard.
The wireless keyboard is an even worse deal when you consider that it has the disadvantages of
- needing batteries that will have to be replaced and disposed of and could die in the middle of the night when getting replacement batteries is inconvenient,
- being sometimes slow to respond, having a slight delay between pushing a key on the keyboard and seeing a letter appear on the screen, especially for very fast typists (this is something I’ve read in online reviews),
- using radio signals that might be susceptible to interception by a wireless keylogger. (see “Hackers Can Spy on Wireless Keyboards From Hundreds of Feet Away“)
I use my computer while I sit at a desk. How far away do I need to be? It’s a keyboard, not a phone!