Watch the warning signs

It always surprises me why people don’t notice the warning signs of problems, and then act surprised when something goes wrong.

I’ll give you an example from my own life. I have had power issues at my apartment since I moved in. Since my landlord is worthless, and his repair department clueless, I don’t expect anything to get truly fixed. I just accepted that I would have surges of power, brownouts of lack of power, and no power at times.

However last week it occurred to me that perhaps I wasn’t taking a reasonable risk. I mean, I had $500 worth of electronics a TV/PS4 that would be ruined if the power problems kept continuing. So I broke down and bought a $50 UPS.

The next day while I am playing video games, the worst power problems happened since being here. The apartment lost power, it had a brownout, then surge. A trifecta of power problems. I heard the UPS clicking wildly on and off while I was dealing with these various issues. Guess what? Everything survived ok.

Was I lucky? Yes of course. However it is also fair to say that I watched the warning signs of power problems at my apartment and then took action. Many people notice a problem, but few bother to take action to correct it.

Would my electronics been ok without the UPS? I don’t know. I have seen as an IT person power problems destroy many electronics. Perhaps I am more sensitive to power issues than the average person, but then again I am more sensitive to many things than most people I seem to encounter.

Could I be overpaying to fix a problem that doesn’t matter? After all TV’s can fail without power issues and if the TV failed I would still have to spend money to replace it. For that matter, the damage may already be done to the TV/PS4. Maybe it was too late for me to put in a UPS to prevent early failure?

All those may be true. However I will hedge my bet and hope that spending $50 will give me another year or two of life that I wouldn’t have had. I think that will make it pay for itself. If not, at the very least I have this story to share.

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