Mister Eclectic (howeird) wrote,
Mister Eclectic

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Got Stuff Done

Work was somewhat busy, 9 am team meeting so the Belgium guys could be on the call, but one left early. Maybe still in vacation mode.

Did some automation, and also had my brain picked about Windows Transfer and one of our new automation apps which meeds to be run as Administrator on Windows 7, but not on XP. The story is that after I got a new laptop to replace the one which kept blue-screening on me, boss realized the almost everyone else was still using a 2007 XP model, and approved the whole team to upgrade. The new machines are much better for the kind of work we do, and since I was the first one to upgrade, I'm the go-to person for any growing pains. There really aren't many.

Lunchtime I went to Fry's to buy stuff for two home projects. Number 1 was to get back the full speed of my Internet connection by moving the router into the office, and running a long Ethernet cable from the cable modem in the livingroom. I bought a 50-foot roll and a 100-foot roll, and two 6-foot pieces of cable "concealer" - those humps which run across the floor so you don't trip over the wire. You might trip over the hump, but you won't pull the cable out. 

Number 2 was buying a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and that was something of an adventure. First of all, Fry's moved them from the first aisle by the entrance to way deep into the store, but not near the PC cases and power supplies where I expected them. One of their minions led me to them, and hung around for a long time not being able to answer any of my questions but still hoping to get a commission. After he finally bailed, I found the one I'd seen online on sale, and as I was wheeling it out a very smarmy guy in a suit, who had been told by the minion that there was a commission to be made, tried to "help" me, but I was already gone. I'm all in favor of letting someone get a commission if they actually help me, but that never happens at Fry's, and the commission thing means a delay while they write it up at their local station and another delay as the cashier has to process the extra piece of paper. No thanks.

What made the choice difficult is they only carry two brands, they were out of stock of all the models of one brand, and the other brand had three kinds to choose from, with inconsistent features.  CyberPower makes a long list of what appear to be (from reviews and from looking at them) very solid UPS devices. They have three types:
Low-wattage power strips
Towers with indicator lights
Towers with LCD displays

I was replacing a power strip, but the ones they had do not support the kind of wattage I needed. They also did not have enough outlets (I need 8, can make do with 7)
The ones with indicator lights looked bigger than the corresponding LCD models and I would rather have a display than idiot lights

So here's the deal. I wanted to have 5 items on backup battery: PC, router, wireless printer and two network-attached backup drives. The two high-end (high-wattage) models only have 4 battery backed up outlets, the rest are merely surge protectors. The next two have 5 battery-backed, but the lower-wattage one of those was on sale, plus there was a rebate. It didn't really matter how many watts of backup power it had, Windows 7 will shut down the PC shortly after the power goes out, something I can set in software. The idea is not to keep running for a long time after power goes out, but to let the machine shut down gracefully.

So this is what I got:

  CyberPower CP850AVRLCD UPS Battery Backup

Home after work, watched the 49ers clobber Arizona, which makes the second time this month a SF team has trounced a Cardinals team. :-)

Measured out the 50' cable, it looked like it would be too short, so I set it aside, and tied one end to the rack in the livingroom where the cable modem sits, then ran the wire across the room in front of the patio doors, around the cat tree, behind the sofa, around the corner and under the office door, then behind the video and CD racks and the two book cases, then across the floor behind the litterbox (under the windows), under the Astroturf to the desk and up to the top shelf. Unplugged the router in the livingroom from the cable modem and A/C, plugged the 100' Ethernet wire into the cable modem. Put the router on the top shelf of the desk, disconnected the PC and the two network drives from the Netgear switch, plugged them into the router. Set up the UPS, unplugged everything from the power strip and into the UPS. Unplugged the power strip and plugged in the UPS, and pushed its big blue "on" switch.

Powered up the PC, put the Ethernet connection back on DHCP, and installed the UPS software (UPS connects to the PC via USB).

Back to the livingroom, installed the cable concealer, only needed one strip but needed the tape from both of the ones I bought.

So now everything is how I want it, I think. I am not 100% sure the backup outlets are the ones I guessed. After I finish this I will run a test.

Plans for tomorrow:
Work (lots of new automation procedures to write. Okay, two.)
Pack some toiletries and a dose of insulin, and my Kindle. And a T-shirt and shorts which will do for PJs
Drive to the sleep clinic near El Camino Hospital in Mountan view for an overnight sleep study.

Tags: computer cooking, medical, work

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