Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Uninterrupted Power Supply, Interrupted

Preface: a UPS is something a guy like me plugs his servers into. Picture a big heavy battery combined with a short power strip. If the lights flicker, stuff plugged into the UPS stays on.

Admittedly, I bought my last UPS in a rush. I don't actually remember doing so, but I must have picked it up somewhere last-resort-y since it has emblazoned upon it the logo of a certain squad of geeks who shall remain unmentioned. So it was definitely not the best ...purchase, I could have made.

But let us ponder a simple question not even of electrical engineering, but of common sense.
When the device eventually fails, should it become:
a) a heavy, non-battery-backed-up power strip
b) a brick through which no electricity passes whatsoever

I'll give you all a few minutes to think about that, a few more if you work for a blue-and-yellow price-gouging store or their branded-Volkswagen-driving subsidiary.

Did you get it? Do you think that a device, whose entire purpose in existing is to provide uninterrupted power, should be designed to fail in such a way that power will still be supplied? If so, good for you! You have the intelligence of a human being. Have a cookie!

If you got it wrong, then no, I don't wish I'd bought your damn extended warranty, so stop asking! The last thing I want at this point is another identical UPS with aspirations of one day growing up to be a brick.

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