Uninterruptable power supplies are essential for anyone doing essential work on their computers.
In far northern Queensland, in Australia, power problems are a regular
part of life. The region’s tropical weather patterns, including heavy
rainfalls, lightening strikes and cyclonic winds wreak havoc on
overhead power lines, causing numerous blackouts and surges. That’s why
Cairns-based freelance photographer, John Bujack, relies on a 500VA APC
Back-UPS to keep his home computer system protected against unreliable
A qualified communications technician (Royal Australian Air Force
trained) for 30 years, John has been a photographer for the past 22
years. His photographs have been published in a range of well-known
Australian and overseas publications. Since photographic negatives and
transparencies deteriorate over time, especially in high humidity, he
acquired his computer system three years ago to ensure the longevity of
his work. John is currently converting his collection of photographs
into digital form and storing them onto CD-ROM disks. To undertake this
process, he uses a high-speed home-built computer with four hard
drives, a 21″ monitor, a 17″ monitor, plus the latest, top-of-the-line
Epson scanner and an Epson A3 size photo printer.
“I can’t afford to have a power interruption. Even a momentary rise or
fall in the voltage will corrupt my photographs when I am saving them.
In addition, my equipment is so valuable. I simply can’t afford to have
it destroyed by a surge,” explains John.
John first learned about the importance of power protection through the
unfortunate experience of a friend, who lost all his equipment to a
“A friend of mine was doing a lot of consulting work on his computer
when a strong wind storm bought down one of those higher voltage power
lines onto a 240V power line. This not only burnt out the nearby
transformer block, but also sent a 1200V surge through all the local AC
power lines. My friend had a whole heap of material on his hard drive
and he lost the lot. The surge destroyed all his equipment – not just
the data but also the hardware itself.”
When it came time to acquire a computer for his photography business,
John made sure that he invested in a UPS. To select the right UPS for
his needs, John researched all the possible alternatives. Due to his
lifelong involvement in electronics, John first heard of APC through
advertisements in magazines like PC World and Australian Computer
Magazine. After carefully reviewing APC product brochures as well as
other brands, he made the decision to go with APC.
“I’m one of those people who doesn’t buy until I have read and read
everything I can about the product. APC just stood out as the best.
Everything else looked like a Mickey Mouse Meccano set,” laughs John.
The well-designed form factor of the Back-UPS, which has enough outlets
to protect all his equipment, was a particularly impressive feature.
Adds John, “Unlike other brands, APC Back-UPS just looked like it could
do its job.” Since all different kinds of power problems occur in
Cairns, John was also impressed by the ability of the Back-UPS to
provide battery back up as well as surge suppression. The Back-UPS
includes “surge only” outlets that offer protection for non-data
sensitive equipment like scanners and printers without reducing the
unit’s available power or battery capacity. This helps to maximize
battery power for equipment that needs it most like a computer and
For John, having an APC Back-UPS connected to his computer provides
peace of mind, as it ensures he will never lose all his expensive
equipment to a power surge like his friend did. His Back-UPS unit also
allows him to study, and experiment with, the workings of Linux without
any disruptions from unexpected blackouts. Back-UPS is compatible with
and endorsed by all leading operating systems, allowing users to freely
employ the system of their choice. This feature helps John stay
protected as he moves from a Windows to Linux system.
John firmly believes that an APC Back-UPS is an integral component of any PC system.
“Anybody who has a computer needs an APC Back-UPS. A UPS is an
essential part of a computer. It’s not an option or simply a bit of
insurance or something to consider. People should see a Back-UPS in the
same light as a PC itself. If you are going to buy a computer you need
to buy a Back-UPS as well. This point cannot be stressed enough.”
As his home PC system grows, John is contemplating upgrading to a 650VA
UPS. He has been so happy with his Back-UPS he is considering using
APC’s Trade-UPS program. This will allow him to trade in his old unit
for a new unit of his choice, while receiving an important rebate.
Your editor also uses an APC Back-UPS Pro. The lights can flicker or
even go out and you never loose any critical work. There are many good
uninterruptible power supplies around, though like John, I spent my
money on an APC model. It has worked flawlessly for one and a half
years now. If you do serious computer work, they are worth the money.
Models are available for every need and to suit all the world’s power