Last week, I encountered my first unsolicited tale of an injured PC due to a power surge. It came from the most unlikely of sources -- my 56-year-old mother. More bizarrely, the surge did not actually come through the power plug, it came via the telephone line and fried the modem to a crisp while she was surfing the Net. Strangely, I'd neglected to think of the phone line as a transmitter of electric current but have since discovered that the chances of sustaining a blown fuse over a phone line are possibly even more likely than that from a power point because there are less outlets for a surge to dissipate into.
The economics of this situation are encouraging for PC component dealers and vendors alike. Having had her PC cooked once already via the power point (power surges seem to be awfully popular in rural NSW), dear Mama invested in a $40 power protection unit and a new $170 modem. The former had a short but fulfilling life when, not long after a thunderstorm, it performed its heroic duty and died for the good of the PC. "Better $40 than $170," said Mama, toddling out to buy a new UPS, only to be thwarted by the counter-attack via the phone line.
For ARN's feature on the increasing visibility of UPS, read this week's issue (April 17, 2002).
* Education and visibility.
* Support from manufacturers.
* What customers want.
* Who's buying UPS.
* The ins and outs of UPS systems.