The UPS And Downs Of Life

By Agent 001 Published Date
01 - Dec - 2004
| Last Updated
01 - Dec - 2004
The UPS And Downs Of Life

Agent 001 is back, with a bonus Q & A section! In his first assignment after his sabbatical, tech world’s favourite undercover agent finds out the ins and outs of UPS systems

Living on the outskirts of Mumbai, life’s been smooth except for the sudden blackouts, which are an everyday nuisance. To make matters worse, a repeater transformer is located nearby making voltage spikes quite common.

I had relied solely on my spike-buster strip, until the thing died, blowing up my Asus A7N8X motherboard and Transcend memory modules as well.

Of course, both were covered under a warranty period and promptly replaced. But it was obvious that I needed a UPS rather than a useless spike-strip around. Post a round of arguments with the Test Centre dudes, I had a clear idea of the type of UPS to look for - a 500 VA with a minimum of three power outlets and a backup time of at least 10 minutes.
I thought of trying my luck closer home in the shopping plazas at Vashi, Navi Mumbai. Here, the lowest price quoted was Rs. 2,000 for some local UPS brand, which went up to Rs. 3,200 for the good ones, but no one seemed eager to sell. No luck here, Lamington Road I had to go.

The dude in the first shop offered two choices - an Intex and a Powersafe priced at Rs 1,600 and Rs 2,200 respectively. Umm, inme AVR hai kya? Blank stares answered my question, Evidently, they had not heard of Automatic Voltage Regulation—a feature that reduces the possibility of burnouts and brownouts.

I moved out then, and into a swanky store  off  Chunam Lane whose shelves showed off good quality hardware. And the guy behind the desk knew his wares. He offered me APC’s Back UPS ES and explained all their features (AVR included). I was interested. The price though was a scalding Rs 2,850—expensive as compared to UPS solutions by Intex. Aisa kyon? Pat came the reply, “quality mangta hai to paisa dena padega, aap samajdar hein isliye mein ne apko quality maal dikhaya” True, but I needed a balance of both—quality and paisa. (I am smart, you see!)

Hopping out, I skirted to the Q of Lamington Road. Q is a brand by himself. Well-known in the hardware circle to stock only the best products, he offered me options galore: UPSes from Wipro, TVSE and APC—all priced above Rs 2,500. Good products, I asked? He underlined the nature of the support provided by these companies for their products as the best reason to buy them, apart from the fact that that the UPSes themselves are good at their job. If ever they go down, he said, help is just a call away. Well, this made sense to me and I asked him whether he had any personal favourites. “Yes”, he spat out,“I do—APC and Wipro. The UPSes from these stables rock”. He did have an extra good word to put in for APC though. Since APC has a good brand recall, Q said that he ended up selling them more than his other favourite.

That was all I needed to go with APC. A little  bargain ensued and I got Q to come around to sell me the APC Back UPS ES at Rs 2,600. And yes, I also took down their service centre number.

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