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How To Buy
Safety Net for PCs Left Home Alone

If you think only networked computers need automation software with their UPS units, you're cruising for a bruising. Standalone PCs need protection, too. If you leave your PC on all day to handle unattended telecommunications functions, consider companion software to administer automatic shutdowns.

Some UPS models come with software, or you can often purchase the software separately (prices usually range between $40 and $90). Some of these programs address the complex needs of LAN administrators, offering monitoring capabilities that can keep an eye on an entire WAN, LAN or several servers concurrently. These programs let administrators customize plans for coping with a power shortage, so a server will automatically run an executable file; notify users, service providers or administrators by pager or e-mail; and create a log to document problems for future action.

There are, however, standalone applications that run on single PCs. These emergency apps provide a safe, orderly shutdown by saving open files and closing all applications before shutting down the computer. You can also schedule an automatic shutdown at a predefined time. The software lets you schedule the UPS to perform periodic self-tests or set it to conserve the battery after a power outage. If you leave your system unattended for long periods of time or leave your PC on continuously, you need a UPS with software that ensures the safety of your data and equipment, even when the PC is left alone.

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 264.

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