La Cage Nut aux Folles

Cage nuts

Cage nuts

Apparently I’ve been in IT too long because it doesn’t sound at all weird to me when I say something like “I’m supposed to get cage nuts with this.”  My wife, on the other hand, thought it was some new fetish she’d never heard of.  Problem is, it took a while before we realized we were having two completely different conversations.

“What are cage nuts?”

At this point I’m thinking “Wow, she’s showing an interest in my work!  Maybe she relates better to hardware than to software.  I should have tried talking to her about this sooner.”

After 30 years I should know better but I keep thinking prolonged exposure to me will eventually pique her curiosity about something, anything, in my world.  She wants to know about server enclosures? Great!  I’ll happily explain.

“Cage nuts are the things that let you mount your equipment in your rack.”

“Where does the ‘cage’ part come in?”

“The cage holds the nut in the hole so you can use your free hand to hold the equipment up.”

“Your free hand?  What’s the other one doing?”

“That’s the one you screw with.”

“You hold your equipment in one hand and screw with the other one?”

“Well, yeah.  Unless you have another person around to help, in which case one person can hold the equipment with both hands and the other one has two hands free screw.  Of course, the person doing the screwing doesn’t really need both hands if the nuts are caged because the cage holds the nuts tight in the rail.”


“Yeah, there’s sturdy rails on left and right running top to bottom that you can attach to.  And in a 4-post setup you can put the equipment in from the front or the rear.”

“Well, that aint happening.  Where do you come up with this stuff?  On TV?”

“No, at work.”

“At work?”

“Sure.  This is how they do it in all the datacenters.”

“People have kinky sex in the datacenter?”

“Sometimes… Wait! What?  Sex in the datacenter? What are you talking about?”

“I dunno. What are you talking abut?”

“How to organize computer and networking equipment inside a ventilated steel cabinet.  What did you think I was talking about.”

“Megan and Matt said to tell you ‘Hi!’  What should we have for dinner?  You’ll never believe what happened down at Matt’s school today…”

About T.Rob

Computer security nerd. WebSphere MQ expert. Autist. Advocate. Author. Humanist. Text-based life form. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, G+, or LinkedIn.
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