More hardware musings

It was time for another trip to the computer store yesterday...

I replaced the second oldest bit of my desktop (the oldest, by a wide margin, is the keyboard): the mouse. I'd just been talking about how the old one seemed to be pretty much indestructible (it's a Logitech MX510) when, lo and behold, the scroll wheel started going wonky - only about half of the turns would actually result in scroll events. Bit annoying.

As I was in the shop anyway (see below) I picked up its modern-day apparent equivalent, the G500. My criteria for a mouse are that it has a cord, has back/forward buttons, and doesn't look like it just escaped from a 23rd century alien spaceship. The G500 meets all those and seems closest to the old one that was so reliable, so it seemed a good bet.

The 'tunable weight' thing amuses me unreasonably - as a former olde times FPS player I can kind of see the point, but it's just hilarious to have a mouse with a little altoids tin full of tiny weights in various denominations, and a little tray you can push them into and slide into the mouse to adjust its weight. Technology!

Aside from that bit of frivolity, the mouse seems fine, fits the hand nicely, tracks well, the buttons work. The only thing that annoys me is the middle button / scroll wheel; as with seemingly all modern Logitechs it's much too easy to move it while trying to press it. I think Windows users more or less never have to middle click, so they don't care, but for a Linux user it's annoying. The old MX510's scroll wheel had pretty stiff resistance before it started moving, which made clicking much easier. But I guess I'll adjust.

EDIT: Ah, thank you's unreasonable flexibility. There's a button between the Back and Forward buttons which I don't have any other use for, so I mapped it to be another middle button. Solves that problem!

Anyway, the real trigger for me going to the store was that the power went out on me suddenly yesterday afternoon while I had about four important tests running at once. After the power had kicked back in and I'd restarted my server host box and all my server VMs and got my tests running again, I thought it was time to bump 'buy some UPSes' several notches up my todo list...

So now I have a couple of brand spanking new CyberPower 1500AVRLCD boxes protecting my desktop, my VM host box, my cable modem and my routers. So even if the power goes off, my servers and desktop will keep on trucking (assuming my ISP is still up). No more interrupted tests, no more annoying server restarts, and increased uptime on too. It's a win-win!

Brian Lane recommended the CyberPower boxes, and though I have little experience with UPSes, they seem fine. Decent price for the capacity (each self-reports that it'll have about 50 minutes to 1 hour of uptime when the power goes, with the two loads described above), construction feels solid, sufficient outlets (four battery-backed and three just surge-protected), they have LCD status displays, the fan doesn't kick in except when they're charging or discharging, and they work out of the box with apcupsd (in USB smart mode). Nice stuff. GNOME even integrates with apcupsd, so my desktop has a battery status now...


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