January 29, 2011

Power, Interrupted

In the late 1990s, I lived for a time in an old Buffalo apartment. The neighborhood had above ground power lines, and what with Buffalo weather the power went out every six to eight weeks. One evening I was typing a paper on my computer when the power abruptly failed, causing me to lose my progress. I decided to invest in an uninterruptible power supply.

I'm using it again, even though my current apartment has only lost power once in the last year. The UPS wasn't all that healthy, though. It could be connected to a PC via a USB cable, and it wouldn't charge past 22% anymore.

Two weeks ago, it died entirely. I figured that the lead-acid battery inside had given up, as those things don't last forever, and it was over a decade old. I could buy a new, equivalent model for about $50, or get a replacement battery for $20, which seemed like the obvious choice.

Sadly, I should have taken the time to hook a multimeter to the leads inside the UPS that connected to the battery. Because while the battery may have been in poor health, upon connecting the new battery I discovered that the UPS's electronics were the real problem. The thing's dead as a doornail.

I'll have to eat the shipping charge to return the new battery. I'm not sure if I'll be buying a new UPS or not, as it's not quite as necessary as it was in my old apartment. Still, the power-conditioning function of a UPS might prolong the life on my computer. Perhaps I'll keep an eye on advertising flyers until a decent UPS goes on sale.

Posted by: Boviate at 06:40 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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January 11, 2011

AI Is Coming

The fruits of Google's policy that pays all their programmers to work on whatever they want to, for 20% of their time:

Note: I intend the title jokingly, as for a computer, solving Sudoku is really not very difficult.

Posted by: Boviate at 02:39 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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