The Power Company (PG&E, in this case) cares about your alarm clock?

I started off my day at home today, but there was a big windstorm that knocked out power for 50,000 customers this morning. When I called PG&E to report it, they offered to let me set up a wake-up call using an automated system. I must admit that it was quite a surprise to hear about that extra level of service. Generally, I do not expect utilities to provide for needs above and beyond the basic service that they provide.

(The conspiratorial part of me wonders why the power company has rolled out this service. Did they get sued by some employer who claimed that no wake-up alarms made a large number of their employees late and therefore, the suit sought to recover loss due to late employees?)

My UPS worked fine, though I don’t have enough run time to do much except go to my rack and power everything down. I should figure out how to get it to trigger a network shutdown so that everything doesn’t go down hard in case I’m not at home.

2 Responses to “The Power Company (PG&E, in this case) cares about your alarm clock?”

  1. Canuck says:

    I don’t know how your UPS communicates with other devices, but I have two at my place that “magically” talk to Windows boxen and tell them to shutdown when they’ve got to battery. By magically I mean they connect via USB cables and apparently Windows has enough brains to understand their language. If you have a Windows box in your stack, you could get it to run a shutdown script that tells the Linux boxes (via telnet, ICMP or whatever) to shut down in turn. It’s a kludge, but it would work and it probably wouldn’t be too hard to rig.

    Cheers,
    – Denis

  2. […] After the power scare in December, I decided to run apcupsd to perform an orderly shutdown of Asterisk when the power failed. […]

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