Thursday, May 24

power outage #2 .. will that be all today?

I accidentally discovered the ideal way to endure a power outage: leave home.

A line of thunderstorms rolled through Dallas today; this is not unusual this time of the year. So, when the power failed soon after 4pm, I watched and listened as the UPS on my various computers dropped to battery and started beeping. Yeah, yeah .. I've been through this before many times. If I just wait a few minutes, the power will come back on and I won't have to reboot anything. And indeed, that's what happened on all but one PC, which apparently didn't have enough reserve to handle the 7 minute outage. At least the software did the right thing: a graceful shutdown.

A few hours later, the storms had mostly passed when my PDA started chirping, reminding me of a 7pm meeting. Okay, fine .. I'll go. Heck, I'll even get a free carwash since there was a wee bit of rain still falling.

So, when I returned home around 9:15 I was mildly surprised to see that my lights were out, along with my neighbor to the south. The neighbor to the north still had power, so, I moseyed inside to Go Through The Routine of calling TXU Energy Delivery and reporting the outage (it's mostly automated, based on my CallerID). The automated darlin' told me power would be restored no later than 11pm and indeed it came back up at about 9:45pm. Looks like power was out here for about 1:52.

By then, I'd made a few amazing (!) discoveries:

1) my DSL circuit was still up, since I had plugged the DSL modem-router into the UPS in a moment of brilliance -- long ago.

2) Since DSL was still up, I could use my laptop for the duration of its battery life (about 2 hours) and check email, etc. After about 15 minutes of that, the power returned.

3) I switched my home alarm to the wireless version a few months ago, and it appeared to work well .. as a nice test if someone decided to break into my home after cutting the power first. When I entered my dark home, the alarm system went off immediately (which I cancelled in the normal way). That's harder to simulate .. short of flipping my primary circuit breakers which is .. well, annoying.

No comments: