Well, the power is out. It has been for about an hour now. One of my neighbors stopped over to introduce himself (he works at IBM) and to see if I was also without power. Apparently this happens fairly often in this neighborhood. I guess the previous home owners didn't want to mention that little tidbit.

The good news is that this is not like last time I lost power. My power bill is paid automatically now.

Oh, well, I called the power company minutes after it happened to report the problem. Then, about an hour later, I realized that if I moved one UPS, I could probably power my DSL modem, hub, and Wifi access point for a while. So I'm able to get on-line via my Powerbook and that UPS.

Kick ass!

I wonder how long it'll last. Will PG&E fix the power before my UPS runs out? Will I have to pull the second UPS too?

Oh, the suspense...

Update: Well, the little UPS has lasted 2.5 hours now, powering the DSL modem and stuff. There's a PG&E truck in the street, so presumably they've found the bug.

Man, I should have eaten earlier. I'm hungry but have resisted opening the refrigerator for fear of letting any of the cold out.

The Powerbook is down to 52 minutes of battery left. Let's see if they get the juice back on before it dies.

Update #2: The power came back on at roughly 10pm and the truck drove away. About 15 seconds after the power was back, my cell phone rang. It was the callback from PG&E letting me know that I should have power. Damn, that's quick.

Update #3 It looks like they're gonna pay me. Nice!

Posted by jzawodn at August 29, 2004 06:51 PM

Reader Comments
# said:

You know, it's really not hard to power your entire house if you cut out the air conditioning, water heater, fridge and other major appliances and the TV Set. A couple of 350 VA UPSs for the accessories around the house for things like lights and clocks and cable modems plus one for your TiVO and cable box and you're really set (if you use TiVO).

I was looking at the cost of powering a loaded circuit recently and realized if you own a home it's not hard to power the entire thing from the other side of the circuit, add in a Honda generator and your set for a good long while.

The up side of it is you don't have brownout problems anymore. If your house has power issues you probably experience brownouts and those kill kill your electrical devices if you don't watch it.

on August 29, 2004 08:14 PM
# jr said:

Having lived on the coast, I'll definitely agree about the brownouts destroying stuff. It's the one true reason I have a UPS. (Frankly, I'm positive the battery is shot on it, but I'm not looking for that. I'm looking for the happy shutoff that comes when the power drops below a critical threshold. I'll deal with the joy of electric silence, but I'll be damned if I'm going to lose another appliance to a brownout.

on August 29, 2004 08:29 PM
# david said:

I was wondering about a UPS for network stuff too. One to power my DSL modem and Linksys router (and one to protect it from power spikes (but I have a nice industrial power strip to prevent that)), but i'm not very sure how long one would last.

on August 29, 2004 08:37 PM
# Dirk said:

How much is the cost of such equipment? I have never experienced an accidental power out where I live, only deliberate ones for several hours for overhaul.

It was a very bad feeling without computer and Internet.

on August 30, 2004 04:26 AM
# Mike said:

One of my UPSes at home is a $125 Cyberpower 1250VA job that has an aging dual processor P2-class Xeon with two SCSI disks and a gig of RAM that I use as a test server at home, plus my DSL modem, a Linksys 10/100 switch and Linksys BEFSR41 wi-fi router. I get about 100 minutes of uptime on a full charge.

Saturday here in Houston we had a storm. My power went out, but when I called "Reliant" Energy to tell them the power went out, they asked if it was just us or our neighbors, too. To check if my neighbors had power I checked for their access points on my fiancee's workstation (also battery backed-up).

Unfortunately, I went into too much detail, telling them that I couldn't see my neighbor's wi-fi SSIDs anymore, so their power must be out, too.

"Your computer is working?" the CSR asked.

I answered in the affirmative, so to her this meant that it was a problem inside my home because the computer worked. It took almost five minutes to convince her that I had a large collection of battery backups for computer equipment.

On the one hand, I found it interesting she understood the implications of wi-fi, but she didn't understand UPS power or that a laptop has a battery and doesn't plug into the wall. Amazing.

on August 30, 2004 08:09 AM
# Tim said:

I read your rant from the last time you lost power. Do you still feel the same way about Silicon Valley and Yahoo?

on August 30, 2004 10:40 PM
# vaspers the grate said:

Is your power outage affecting my ability to post comments on this blog?

Or did you turn off comment posting recently?

Or was I banned from commenting on your blog before I ever commented on your blog?

on August 31, 2004 10:42 PM
# vaspers the grate said:

Just to clarify, so you don't think I'm a nut...

I am able (obviously) to post to this thread. But I failed twice when trying to post a comment to your thread on comment spam. Then on your thread on comment posting rules. Weird.

on August 31, 2004 10:45 PM
# vaspers the grate said:

Jeremy, you need to get yo bad self a comment spam detection and removal application, dude.

The comment above this one (until you remove it) is the biggest load of spam I've ever seen on a blog.

Please deal with this and get back to me on it.

I mean how many URLs are listed in this comment? One thousand? Whooooooosh.

on September 3, 2004 08:12 PM
# WER said:


on August 24, 2005 01:02 PM
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