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Chapter 7. Hardware Annoyances > UNINTERRUPTIBLE POWER TO THE PC


The Annoyance:

Every summer I know I have to deal with rolling blackouts. I don't mind shutting down my PC when the power's about to go down, but they only give us an approximate time-sometimes in a four-hour block.


Use the ferrite chokes.

DSL, cable, and even dialup connections may be slow because of radio frequency interference. Those little cubes that snap around the modem's data cable and power line reduce RF interference. If you threw them out because you didn't know what they were, you can pick up a set at most electronic supply stores for under $5.

Get a microfilter.

DSL users might experience static, humming, or noise on their phone line. If your DSL modem and phone uses a line splitter, call your ISP and get a microfilter, which reduces the interference between your phone and the DSL modem. Pinpoint devices in your office that can emit RF, slowing your DSL line. Isolate your modem from halogen lamps, 900 MHz to 2.4 GHz portable phones, security alarms, and similar devices. If you already have a filter installed but still have noise, ask your ISP for a new filter.

Replace the copper.

If your home or office is in an old building, the copper wire may be old, frayed, and brittle. That will have an effect on the DSL line and, to a lesser extent, on dialup connections. Ask your phone company to replace your internal wiring-but be prepared to pay through the nose. The same advice goes for existing coaxial wire for your cable modem.



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