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But Thunderstorms Bring Lightning

I said in our previous installment. Mr Lightning is not electronics best friend. He is more the best Fiend. He can raise holy havoc for your electronic devices so it’s a good idea to protect them.

Who is the protector! – Why Super U.P.S.!

What is a UPS you say? Well last week I told you that UPS stands for “Uninterruptable Power Supply”. In simple terms it is a device that you plug into the utility power in your wall. Into the UPS you plug your electronic devices into. Your Mac, PC, monitors, scanners, things you want to keep protected form power spikes. CAVEAT! You can plug your ink jet printer into the UPS to keep it going during blackouts and storms, but you never plug a Laser printer into a UPS. Laser printers drawn an insane amount of power and will drain the battery of your UPS in mere minutes.

Depending on the number of devices you plug into your UPS and the draw (amount of power) the devices use, will determine how much standby time you will get on your battery during a utility power outage. Both of my UPS’s will support my Mac, the monitor, and my inkjet printer for about an hour. Most UPS units come with software and a USB cable that will allow the computer to shut down “gracefully” before the battery expires. This will keep down or limit possibility of file corruption. If the power comes back from the utility, it can power the system backup if you want it to.

I currently use the APC brand of UPS. I don’t work for and I am not a paid endorser of APC ( I could be if you want me American Power Conversion or at least a tester/evaluator for new UPS’s ) but I have used their product for many years and they have a great product that works and an excellent support group. Their handy online wizard will help you select the unit to meet your needs.

There are other brands Tripp Lite is one that comes to mind.

The initial cost for a good unit may seem a bit, but the peace of mind is worth it. When there is a storm and I am at work and my Mac is on at home, I don’t worry. If a lightning strike were to hit my house and take out the UPS and the computer, APC has a warranty to cover your computer. As long as you have good BACKUPS (got it in here) you’ll be just fine.

Musical Selection of the week

Midnight Special just had all of the hits back then. It was the place to appear if you were a musical act. Here is a “shocking” act that’ll take you way back.


Join me again this Saturday from 5 PM to 7PM for the Internet Advisor Show on 760 WJR. The usual cast of suspects, Gary Baker, Ed Rudel, and I will be there with guests and we are there to help with questions about computers and the Internet. Join us, won’t you?




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3 Responses to April Showers bring May Flowers……

  1. Steven Klein says:

    Calvin, I just noticed the thematic connection between your song choice and the topic. Do you always do that?

    Nicely done!

  2. Chita says:

    My comment from my iPhone seams to have gotten lost in cyberspace…
    I have always wondered what is safe to plug into a UPS. My Epson scanner makes the battery alarm go off on my UPS, while the ScanSnap doesn’t.
    If the UPS is powered, how could the Epson scanner be draining it?

  3. calvin says:


    The scanner should not be draining the UPS when you plug it in and you are on utility power. Are you sure the alarm is for Battery. Sometimes, depending on the UPS it could alarm for a bad ground in a device that is attached. The scanner would not pull cuureent til you turned it on. The only other thing I can think of is that maybe the scanner pushed over the limit for that particular UPS.