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Power Outages

Okay, now I'm upset. You're probably familiar with the windstorm that swept through the Northwest last week and cut power to hundreds of thousands of people.

That affected me. I lost power for about two hours.

A few days later there was a substation fire that left me without power for an entire night.

All this had me thinking I ought to buy a UPS to protect my computers. But I didn't want to go out into the throngs of Christmas shoppers.

I should've. On Christmas Eve I had four power outages, each brief (the longest only a minute or two) but each caused my computers to reboot.

Under ordinary conditions a power failure isn't going to destroy any data because computers are usually idle and the disk cache doesn't usually have any pending writes. Unless you're at your computer restarting things after the power outage five minutes ago. In that case your disk might be quite busy. And you might lose data.

I lost data. I was restarting my e-mail application at the time of the third outage. Fortunately it doesn't look like I lost any e-mail… but I did lose the indexing of that mail. Now I have thousands of e-mails sitting in my inbox, instead of being nicely organized how I wanted them.

It's going to be a lot of work to reorganize that mail. I am not happy. I might have to brave the horde on Tuesday to get a UPS…


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Tiny Island