Thursday, January 10, 2008

The art of sidestepping power outages

I started blogging when I got a DSL connection. The always on and faster connection opened up the Internet in ways a dial up connection simply couldn’t do. I like how it let’s you interface with the Internet in a seamless manner. No need to worry about dialing up when you want to know something just pop open your browser and you’re good to go.

Unfortunately the modem requires electricity. And in case you haven’t heard there is a severe shortage of electricity in Pakistan. Some say it’s a move by the government to divert attention from its in competency. The simultaneous shortage of flour in the markets further confirms that theory. Thankfully I needn’t worry about the flour shortage however I do worry about the power outages.

As you can tell my modem will not work without a steady flow of electrons. And once the flow stops, there goes my connection to the outside world. I have put in place some backup systems. Like a generator which got fried from excessive use and the rainwater on the roads is discouraging the repairman from coming in and taking a look. (Trust me, this is loads of fun)

The second line of defense is a UPS that powers only my computer. However it will only last twenty minutes. Its got three sets of lights green, yellow and red. As I sit in the dark I keep glancing at these lights because as soon as it hits red, the sucker is gonna blow. I learned that as soon as it gave the yellow alert (I really do feel like I am on the bridge of the enterprise, hey what else do you expect me to do) a complete system shutdown was imminent. This is not to be underestimated because it will give me only enough time to power down the computer. If I don’t heed the warning and wait for a red alert my computer will crash. I don’t particularly enjoy throwing away money to replace burned out hard drives so I’ll be shutting down now, thank you.

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