Not too long ago, three out of the four Uninterruptible Power Supplies in our office setup expired from old age. A bit of internet research informed us that replacement batteries for all three, plus shipping, would cost about the same as buying one new UPS, so — not being intimidated by the idea of opening up the dead power supplies and performing a bit of open-case surgery — we decided to go the replacement-battery route.
What was never in question was the idea that an Uninterruptible Power Supply belonged in the “replace when broken” category. We’ve been big believers in having a UPS for our computer since the early days, when a UPS was essentially a motorcycle battery in a metal case with a plug on one side for wall current in and a plug on the other side for battery power out.
Our conversion experience, as it were, came during our time in the Republic of Panamá, where the power downtown had a tendency to fail at inopportune moments. One weekend afternoon, my husband and eventual co-author was playing Jumpman Junior on our Atari 800, and after a session of extended play had succeeded in racking up an all-time high score. Flushed with triumph, he went on to the screen where he could save his high score and his initials for posterity . . . and the power went out.
We ordered our first Uninterruptible Power Supply that same day.