Can I put a large magnetic board behind my computer?
June 14, 2017 11:11 AM   Subscribe

I want to hang a large (4' by 6') magnetic board on the same wall as my computer desk. The desk is shallow, and the computer sits just a few inches from the wall. Can I do this? Will I ruin my computer?
posted by Malla to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
The board is magnetic?
posted by humboldt32 at 11:13 AM on June 14, 2017

Surely the board itself is not a magnet, it's just ferrous? Like so you can stick magnets to it? Hanging a big piece of metal behind your computer isn't going to cause you any problems.
posted by phunniemee at 11:14 AM on June 14, 2017

Yes you can and no you won't.
posted by flabdablet at 11:23 AM on June 14, 2017 [6 favorites]

The connection between large boards, magnetic/metal or otherwise, and IT is both ironic and iconic. The electro-magnetic charge required to flip a bit on a modern hard drive from a head that is floating microns away from the media itself is immense. Go in peace.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:33 AM on June 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Just don't put up your floppy disk containing your irreplaceable bill of materials on the board with a really strong magnet. Oh wait, floppy... never mind ;-)
posted by sammyo at 11:53 AM on June 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Putting a big metal plate next to your computer could affect your wi-fi signal, depending on where your wi-fi hub is.

A magnet will stick to any piece of ferrous metal, it does not mean that the piece of metal is itself a magnet. Your whiteboard is not a magnet.

You could in theory magnetize an entire off the shelf whiteboard if you constructed a large electro magnet from a loop of wire, ran a lot of current through it and moved the whole board through the loop (you might have to do this a few times), but I don't think anybody has ever been bored enough at work to do that.

The most destructive effect a whiteboard can have on a computing career is when a programmer is forced to write code on it during an interview. The struggle is real.
posted by w0mbat at 12:39 PM on June 14, 2017 [7 favorites]

Some desktop Macs use permanent magnets to securely hold the glass protecting the display on. Computer power supplies, speakers and electronics inside computers also create magnetic fields. Even the motor in a hard drive creates a magnetic field. So based on that, I'd say reasonable light weight "stick a paper on the wall" magnets are OK.
posted by hh1000 at 1:39 PM on June 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

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