All entries for Wednesday 12 July 2006

July 12, 2006

You know you're bored when…

Follow-up to Uninterruptible Power Supply from The randomness of tomorrow, today!

If my maths is right, my UPS' density is a little less than that of graphite…

Uninterruptible Power Supply

I've just got my second UPS (that's an uninterruptible power supply and is not to be confused with the United Parcel Service, which bears the same acronym…). This one is working much better than my first.

That's not to say the old one did't work – it did – it's just it didn't work with my PC; my PC is to powerful. I believe it was 650VA, which works out at a little under 400W; it didn't occur to me until after the UPS failed to work properly that my PC's power supply alone is 425W…

So, then, it's not suprising that when I connected everything to the old UPS and flipped the switch at the mains, my computer died instantly…
On the second attempt I decided to instal the monitoring software on my laptop rather than the PC. When I flipped the mains this time I could quite clearly see the Load meter shoot up to 100%; something I wouldn't have been able to see without the laptop as the PC keeps dieing when I turn the mains off… (that's just at the wall, obviously; I'm not stupid enough to kill the power to the whole house just to see if my UPS works… they're on two different floors of the house for one thing…)

It was obvious at that point that the old UPS was too small; it was also around about now that I found the "390W" written on the box and thought, "Ah, that's about 35W less than my power supply, never mind the monitor and a large amount of 'wiggle room'."

That was some time ago now – I think it was Christmas just gone, after all the power trips we had in the off campus house from dodgy wiring and fan heaters – and I've only just found one that's big enough (It weighs about twelve bloody kilos! I was knackered after carrying it up the stairs…). It's great; I switch the power off and the only difference it that the thing starts beeping at me to let me know I've just turned the power off, and I get a 2 minute timer on screen labelled "hibernate".

Speaking of the timer: I timed how long it takes my computer to hibernate, and it was only about 20 seconds. Then I timed how long it takes my computer to drain the UPS, and the monitor ticked down quite quickly ("Damn," I thought. "It's not going to last very long…") until it reached 50%, where it stopped. I got bored of waiting after 2 minutes, so I just set that for the delay for hibernating. 2 minutes ought to be enough for a short power cut, plus it's Hibernating not Shutting Down, so it doesn't really matter what I'm doing at the time…

So, now I can have hours of endless fun and entertainment turning the mains off and having my computer stay on.

It's the simple things in life you treasure…


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