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Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Power cut

Gack - a power cut. I woke up this morning to find - no power. For most people, that's annoying. For me, it turns into a major problem if it lasts more than about 30 minutes.

That's because my UPSes start to give up after that time, and a few dozen computers stop running. Of course, when power comes back (as it did a few hours later), everything starts up again. Almost.

One computer wouldn't start up. I changed the power supply, and that seemed to fix it (on the third replacement I tried), but then I found out, the hard way, that it won't start up if I have a particular keyboard attached, but will start up if I don't. I wasted over an hour on that one.

Another computer claimed that a couple of its drives weren't working, but a bit of a shake and wiggle, and it was fine. And a few other computers just wouldn't start up until they got a bit of personal attention. I think they just felt lonely.

And then I had to start up the various things that are supposed to run on each of them. Some of that can't be automated, because I have to type in a password (and there would be no point in having a password if I automated that).

Eventually, I got everything working again, and I decidewd to order a few more spare power supplies from Bluepoint, a vendor I often use. But. Power supplies, £40. Delivery, £300. That should have been more like £8 (a power supply weighs less than a pound, and is the size of a few paperbacks), so I sent them an email explaining the problem they've got on their web site. I'll phone them tomorrow and see what they say.

Should I get a generator? I don't get power cuts very often - this one was caused by very strong winds around this area, and a tree fell down. Installing and looking after a generator is quite a lot of work on its own, I've been that route. So I think I'll continue to rely on the UPSes.

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