03 October 2006
esterday's power failure was preceded by about 30 seconds of fluctuating voltage. I knew that, because I could virtually hear things crackling as the light dimmed and my appliances failed one at a time.
When the power failed completely, it released an electromagnet that holds my door open, allowing the door to close, leaving me in dark and silence, unable to do anything I needed to do. That was both a metaphor and a harbinger of things to come.
Whatever caused the voltage to waver and diminish (rather than shutting down all at once) also destroyed a few electronic things both at home and in the office.
This morning I went down to record something in the Grace to You studio, and I learned that the computer disk and CD writer in the main studio were both burned out, apparently because of the power failure.
You may have noticed also that reverted this morning to an old version. Some of my more recent graphics disappeared from existence, and, quite unaccountably, a year-old version of my web pages began to display instead of the most recent version.
That was caused, I'm told, by one of the Unix machines in our computer room that powered itself up around 8:00 am and configured itself to serve some old backup files instead of the current stuff. I don't understand anything about Unix, so I can't explain why or how that could happen. But I'm assured it was not a deliberate act of sabotage.
Anyway, that same glitch effectively removed most of the graphics from PyroManiacs until nearly noon PDT.
Meanwhile, the router on my network at home still wasn't working, so at lunchtime I went to BestBuy, bought a new router, and brought it home to install.
My old router was a Linksys® model. It was a snap to install and it worked flawlessly right out of the box until yesterday. But since it went bad so easily from nothing more than a power failure (even though it's plugged into a surge protector and UPS), I decided to upgrade to a slightly more powerful Netgear® router. The package promised a 20-minute installation process, and the store salesperson promised me I would find it even easier to install and more wonderful in practically every way than the Linksys router.
Wrong. It took more than 4 hours to install, because the installation program is designed for someone who knows nothing about computers, so if it happens to crash during installation (which it did four or five times for me) the step-by-step installation program refuses to run at all unless you first unplug everything, reconnect the computer directly to the Internet, and start the whole tedious process back at the very beginning each time.
Even after the install finally completed successfully (on the fifth attempt), the system crashed within five minutes, requiring a complete reboot. And it did this again and again, every time I re-started my anti-virus software. It turns out the router has a built-in "security" system (not mentioned in the "quick start" literature or listed as an option in the install process) which is incompatible with Norton Antivirus. By the time I figured this out, discovered how to turn off the "security feature" and got the router working for longer than 4.5 minutes at a time, it was well after 5:00pm, and I was in no mood to use the computer.
Tomorrow, I'll start on the long "To do" list I made for myself Monday morning.
A whole day and a half shot because of a simple power outage!