Sep 7, 2004, 11:36 PM
Post #10 of 25
Yeah, I'm sorry about that.
Re: [gale] Voltage Regulator: Bring or buy there?
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A voltage regulator is a very different beast than a uninterruptable power supply. But like Rolly says, the latter often features the former, so maybe my confusion is understandable.
As to why you'd want a UPS, well, the voltage regulator will only help you when the power goes screwy. The UPS helps you when the power goes out. It prevents the power from being suddenly cut off from your computer, so you can save whatever documents you're working on and do then a graceful shutdown.
This used to be really important. You see, in the old days, people who wrote operating systems tended to keep a lot of stuff in your computer's memory that more properly belonged on your hard drive. That is, stuff that would be lost if the power went off.
But it isn't only the kind of stuff you're working on, say, an email you're composing or a drawing you're creating on the computer. The computer is working on it's own stuff, trying to figure out where to store your files on the hard disk, where to put that last bookmark you created, etc. And what happens is that when the power suddenly goes out and your computer doesn't get the opportunity to save it's stuff, then the computer starts acting wacky later on.
I have to say though that I've found that this isn't as true as it used to be. I've experienced a few sudden power offs with Windows XP, and now, a few power offs with Mac OS X, and I haven't really suffered as a result. In the past, such occurances often lead me to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the OS and all my programs from scratch, even before any anomalies were noticed. Today, the computers cleanly boot when next I turn them on, exhibiting no strange behavior thereafter.
if you have the money, and if what you're working on is really important, then get a UPS. It's saved my butt more than once. That said, if you're judicious about backups, or if all you're doing is stuff on the Internet, then you're not risking as much.
And I guess it also depends on where you live. The weird voltage anomalies I've experienced aside, the power has gone out twice in the three weeks I've been here. I depend a great deal on computers, so that makes me very uncomfortable.
To boldly go where no wig has gone before.