Back to black-outs

I’m getting sick and tired of our electricity running out.

Last night we had three (count ’em) black-outs. Each only lasted about 60-90 seconds, but that’s enough shortage of electricity to cause all mains-powered devices in the house to shut down. They were also spaced-out enough so that you think everything is back working normally, only for it to go again.

What has really suffered is my mini-ITX PC. That’s the little server which sits in a corner managing my e-mail, access to the Internet, providing back-ups, network management, and a whole host of other such goodness. I was in bed early last night, so I didn’t bother powering it back on after the last power cut. I tried to start it up again this morning, which is when I discovered a (hopefully only) minor issue.

By design, the PC is “headless” – i.e. it has no monitor and no keyboard. That’s because it normally runs happily and I can do everything I ever need to it remotely from my other computer. Unfortunately, when I tried to power-it back on this morning, it refused to start. I’m assuming it’s because there’s a problem with the disk needing attention because of the sudden power-off last night. As mentioned earlier though, this has no keyboard or monitor, which means I don’t know what questions it’s asking me, and I have no means of telling it what to do.

Normally, this is only a trivial hurdle – I pick it up off the shelf and put it next to my “proper” PC. Swap keyboard and monitor cables and everything’s tickety-boo. The problem now, however, is that I recently bought a rather magnificent 22″ LG widescreen LCD monitor. This is great when retouching my digital photos, giving me plenty of screen “real estate”. Unfortunately this has a DVI monitor connection, which physically doesn’t fit the old-style D-sub connector on my mini-ITX PC. So I also need to fish out the correct cable from wherever I chucked that, or use the old monitor which is currently lying in a box cluttering up the nursery. Only then can I fix the mini PC and get the home network back up and running.

So at present we have no Internet-capable PC at home, which is Yet Another Thing which needs doing when I get in tonight. So a total of 5 minutes of missing electricity has resulted in a complete e-mail and Internet black-out for 24 hours. It’s a good job I was coming into the office today, because I’d need to fix all of this before I could start this morning.

Talking of work, time to do some… 🙂