[conspire] A timely question.

Paul Zander paulz at ieee.org
Fri Apr 13 09:54:42 PDT 2012

About 3 years ago, on a calm sunny day I was typing at my computer.  My plan was to send an important email then shut down the computer and enjoy the day outside.  

Ssuddenly the screen went black.  With the sunlight streaming in the windows, it wasn't immediately obvious that all the electricity in the house was off!  Something had happened with PG&E.  Power was off for a mile around.  When power was restored, the computer was not.  The power supply and mother board needed to be replaced.  Fortunately the hard drives with all the data survived.

Last night as I was starting on my taxes, there was a bright flash followed by a loud boom.  Having grown up in Ohio where thunderstorms are common, I instinctively started counting when I saw the flash.  5 seconds before the sound is about a mile.  Last night, I had counts as short as 2!

I shut down the computer, switched off the power strip, unplugged the LAN cables from the AT&T box and then unplugged the power strip with "so-called" surge protection.

So was I being overly cautious?

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