Why can’t the engineers of the world figure out a standard set of power adapters and plugs? Every electronic device has its own AC adapter with a different plug and voltage. It’s stupid.

But we’re not going to get that problem solved in the next few weeks. So we live with piles of power brick (AC adapters).

One problem is like baggage, many adapters look similar. They may even have the same plug, but operate at different voltages. Plug the wrong brick into the wrong device and you may get snap, crackle, pop as the device fries itself.

I suggest that as soon as you open a box, you label the power brick with the make and model number of the device.I’ve used small round labels or a silver Sharpie pen to label the brick.

While visiting a hotel a couple of years ago, I was talking to a hotel staff person. He noticed myiGo universal power adapter(pictured left) and asked if I needed a spare. It seems that the hotel had a number of them left by guests in their lost and found. Given these universal adapters can cost $100+, leaving them behind can be very expensive.

There is a simple solution. I’ve put a return address label on my power bricks. That way if someone finds it, they can return it.