Thursday, July 24, 2008

Why You Need a UPS

This post is about being smart with your computer investments (and shares a little bit about my clumsiness.)

Funny Story
Yesterday I posted to my blog and then sat relaxing with my coffee and started work on another post. BAM! I tipped my travel mug of coffee over. Being of superhero descent (OK, just kidding there, but I did respond quickly) I grabbed it before more spilled onto the desk. This was a great relief, I wiped up the small puddle which had missed the computer, the keyboard, and the digital camera - all of which were close, but unscathed. Whew!

Trying to be overcautious, I decided to flip on the desk lamp just to be sure that I had gotten it all. ZAP! The lamp flicked off and the UPS (or battery backup on the computer) started beeping and audibly telling me that the power source for the computer had failed. So I figured that the lamp had short-circuited and blown a fuse. Then I went out to the garage fussed with the fuse box, but just kept tripping the circuit.

Then, I raced back in and began inspecting...there was no coffee anywhere on the desk. Then I glanced down the side of the desk...hmm, a little coffee on the side of the drawers under the desk...hmm, more coffee on the UPS...hmm, in fact all down the side of it! As my husband explained, when I grabbed it I must have knocked a bit more out that then flew in an arc over the side of the desk without leaving a trail on the desk.

Moral of the Funny Story
OK, so I spilled coffee all over the UPS and caused a problem. Why does that mean you need to get a UPS? Because, if it wasn't there, the coffee would have gone all over the plug and short-circuited the computer, modem, wireless router, etc! We are talking loss of major investment!

Sounds like a freak accident...well, they happen. We already lost a computer to a freak surge that fried it and the other components that were attached. So, this is just a public service announcement...get yourself a UPS - your computer and peripherals are worth it. Oh, and the second service announcement is don't drink near your computer!

Above are a few sketches done while watching a video with my sons...just what was to hand.

Don't forget about the virtual sketch date...we have lots of new participation this time. Photos will be posted on Saturday.


Michael said...

Wow, close call. Several years ago my home network consisted of an NT 4.0 server with three Windows2000 machines connected to it. The server was connected to a cable modem for my high speed internet.

We had a really bad storm one night. I did the safe thing and I shut down and unplugged all of my computers. But when the lightning hit, it not only came through the electrical system, it came through the cable system.

First it hit the cable modem and branched out. One direction took out my brand new television and VCR (yeah, it was a few years ago.) The other direction hit my server and then branched out to all of my other computers. All in all I lost this equipment:

1 TV
4 motherboards
5 network cards
1 mouse (never did understand that one)

I said it came through the electrical system as well. For some really odd reason, the only thing that got hit that was plugged in, was the washing machine. It totally fried the control system. Go figure.

I can only guess that nature decided that since I was a computer geek I really didn't need to wash clothes anyway. :-)

Rose Welty said...

Oh don't make that sort of mistake more than once do you? Our first freak surge came through the modem line and passed it on to the I know how that can feel - we too thought we were safe.

This time we didn't hesitate to buy a new UPS immediately!

Valerie Jones said...

hmmm...I'm sitting here drinking coffee while I'm reading this blog....maybe I better move it.

Jennifer Rose said...

close call! Now that the warranty is up on my laptop I am paranoid something like that will happen to it, but I don't drink near it as I'm a clutz and am always knocking things over. :p I'm reluctant to eat near the thing but sometimes I just need chocolate :p

ouch Michael!! that happened to me in Alberta but it was only one old computer that got fried when I forgot to unplug the phone line (the joys of dial up :/) Gorgeous lighting storm though lol

Jeanette said...

Yes you were lucky on this one. I recall a power surge destroying a printer attached to the computer. Not fun.

I also remember my daughter as a teen spilling a can of Coke over the keyboard....icky.

I was told later for the surge that it would have been covered by household insurance, but I didn't think of even trying to go that route.

Jo Castillo said...

Hi Rose. Wow, close call. I spilled one drop of wine on my keyboard a couple of years ago. I sat the glass down and plop a drop went right on the corner by the connection. All work stopped! I dried it with a hairdryer and then turned it upside down for 24 hours, instructions from my daughter for a Mac. It worked! Now I sketch when drinking my wine and leave the computer work for later. :)