Archive for APC

My Desk Setup – The 2021 Edition

Posted in Products with tags , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2021 by itnerd

Last week, I reviewed the FlexiSpot Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk which is a great desk and a serious upgrade to my work from home game. Now I’ve fully set up my desk and I want to show you what that looks like as it really helps me to be productive:

I’m going to start with the FlexiSpot Electric Height Adjustable Standing Desk. I was able to dial in my ideal position so that I can work in comfort with ease. I highly recommend this desk for that reason alone. But if you want more reasons, I would suggest reading my review on the desk. Let’s go underneath the desk.

With the exception of the desk which is plugged straight into the wall, all the electronics are powered from the APC BackUPS 600. In my condo, I have UPS units all over to protect my various electronics as a UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply will keep your gear running if there is a blackout thanks to the built in battery. Plus it will protect you from power surges and sags thanks to said battery. It also has a USB-A cable that connects to your computer so that if the UPS needs to shut down your computer due to a power event, it can use that cable to send that command to your computer. I highly recommend these to any computer users to make sure that their equipment is protected from any electrical issues.

I have a monitor on my desk which is the Dell E2210Hc monitor. It’s ten years old but still works fine as it does 1920×1080 resolution without a problem. I do plan on upgrading this monitor at some point. But I want to find a monitor that matches the quality of the display on my 16″ MacBook Pro as that display destroys pretty much any monitor including Apple’s own Pro Display XDR. The monitor sits on top of an old Fellowes monitor stand that I am experimenting with and may remove at some point.

The monitor and the UPS connect to my 16″ MacBook Pro via the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter from Apple. This adapter has a USB-C port, USB-A port, and a HDMI port. So I plugged the monitor into the HDMI port and the UPS into the USB-A port. Then I just plug it into my Mac via a single USB-C cable. It’s a simple solution and works for me. On the other side, I have the USB-C to MagSafe 3 cable that is plugged into the Apple 140W power adapter to keep the MacBook Pro charged.

In front of the monitor is the InvisQi wireless charger that is placed under the desk so that I can charge my iPhone 12 Pro or AirPods Pro. Beside it an Asus mousepad that I got at an Asus event along with a Logitech V470 Bluetooth mouse. It’s a simple mouse powered by two AA batteries that works well for me.

One thing that I needed is storage for things like cables, portable hard drives, tools and the like. That’s where these multi-coloured slide out bins from Really Useful Boxes which I got at Staples comes in. They allow me to keep my stuff such as cables and tools organized so that I can find it when I need it with ease.

Below that, I have a old Rubbermaid clear storage bin which holds more cables. And at the bottom is a Gry Mattr Three Drawer Cabinet that I got at Staples. This holds my files, pens, and assorted stuff. It also can be locked which is a big plus for me.

You’ll also note that I have the usual pens, pencil, stapler, and a cordless phone on my desk. Because people still call me even in 2021.

That’s my desk setup for 2021. In 2022, I can see myself doing a monitor upgrade like I mentioned earlier. And I may alter how that monitor sits on the desk. But what do you think? Do you think I am missing any anything that would up my desk setup game? Please leave a comment and let me know.

New APC by Schneider Electric Back-UPS Deliver Always-On Connectivity

Posted in Commentary with tags on October 24, 2016 by itnerd

Schneider Electric has introduced a new line of APC by Schneider Electric Back-UPS battery backup solutions designed to deliver reliable and secure power protection for wireless networks, computers and other home and business electronics to help customers stay connected, productive and entertained. 

In today’s always-on culture, connectivity to smartphones, wearable tech, smart devices and the internet has become essential to consumers’ everyday lives. Without a reliable and continuous supply of power, technology can’t function, leaving consumers disconnected from the digital world. Schneider Electric’s line of uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) provide battery backup to valuable electronic devices during power outages and unsafe voltage fluctuations, as well as protection from damaging surges and spikes.

New functionality designed with customers in mind

The Back-UPS’ new compact design delivers more battery backup outlets in less space – up to 22 per cent smaller in size and nearly 30 per cent lighter in weight – allowing customers to power as many as six devices during a power outage, compared to four devices as with previous models. Additionally, the new models include up to two USB charging ports to make recharging mobile devices simple and convenient during power emergencies. 

To keep customers connected longer and protect critical equipment and data, UPS runtime has been maximized for heavy power-consuming loads such as multiple PCs and AV equipment powering up to 480 watts. The new models have also been optimized to run low-powered loads like routers and modems, allowing internet access during an extended power outage for up to 5.9 hours, depending on the model. 

Considering these improvements over previous models, Schneider Electric is still able to deliver these enhanced models at no additional cost to customers.

APC by Schneider Electric is the leading brand worldwide for integrated IT infrastructure and software. With a wide array of products that provide reliable power and availability solutions for IT and communications technologies, APC delivers Certainty in a Connected World. With the largest community of partners tailoring solutions for home and business networks, APC protects critical information and data for individuals and businesses. 

The new Back-UPS models are now available. For more information on Schneider Electric’s APC Back-UPS product line, please visit the APC Back-UPS web page.

Update On My Customer’s UPS Issue [UPDATED X4]

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 22, 2008 by itnerd

This is an update to this posting.

My customer informed me that he had gotten a Purolator Courier return label from APC that was good for four packages. So he packaged the UPSes as well as the defective battery into three packages (Two UPSes came in a single box, so he recycled that box) and shipped them back today. They should get everything tomorrow and I hope that they will process everything correctly. My customer will check his online order to confirm that everything is okay. If something goes south, he’ll be on the phone with APC immediately. APC still owes us one return label, but at this point that doesn’t matter.

If anything “interesting” happens, I’ll post it here.

UPDATE: Here’s something interesting. The online labels worked today for the first time. I guess APC fixed their issues with their online ordering processes. The timing is ironic seeing as the old UPSes and defective battery went back yesterday.

UPDATE #2: According to tracking info provided by Purolator, the old UPSes and defective battery arrived at 11:38 AM. My customer gave me access to his APC online account and they haven’t processed the returns as of yet. I’m guessing that should happen in the next few hours.

UPDATE #3: The second set of Purolator Courier return labels arrived today. Which doesn’t do my customer any good seeing as he sent everything back a couple of days ago. Oh well, APC gets points for getting them here so quickly. But here’s the bad news… They still haven’t processed the return of his UPSes that they got yesterday according to this screen shot:


This does not inspire confidence in APC.

UPDATE #4: My customer called APC today and they confirmed that they did receive the three UPSes that he shipped back, but they could not explain why the status was not updated on their website. That sounds really lame to me. But as long as he doesn’t get phone calls from APC saying he hasn’t shipped them back, I guess that’s okay. But if he does get a call from them, he’s going to point them to this blog posting.

Another Day…. Another Customer Service Issue…. Sigh….

Posted in Commentary with tags , on December 18, 2008 by itnerd

Two days ago I wrote about trying to get a replacement for my D Link DNS-323, and the customer service nightmare that I encountered. Today I’m writing about a problem one of my customers had in terms of getting new UPSes for his three computers.

This customer had purchased UPSes from a company called APC in the past and was generally happy with them (plus he had listened to what I had to say about getting a UPS in this article). But they were starting to show their age and he wanted them replaced. I did some research on his behalf and found that his best bet was to upgrade to the APC Back-UPS ES 650. Plus I also discovered that APC has a trade in program that allows you to trade in your old UPS  for discounts on a new one, and the old UPS is disposed of in an enviornmentally responsible manner. So armed with my recommondations, he went about ordering his new UPSes direct from APC using their website and got them within a day. That’s when things started to turn negative:

  • Of the three UPSes, only two worked. One was DOA. When I did some troubleshooting with APC, it was determined that the battey was dead. That struck me as odd as one of the reasons why I recommend APC is that they print the test results of the UPS right on the unit itself. That’s supposed to give you the confidence that everything is working as it should be when you receive the unit.  It was unlikely that it was damaged in shipping as the box showed no physical damage, nor was anything inside the box damaged. Therfore, I suspect this slipped through their QA process at the factory. The APC rep comitted to sending a new battery which he would receive in 3 – 5 business days (it actually took 2 days to arrive).
  • The next problem was the shipping labels to return his old UPSes. Since he ordered directly from APC, he should have been able to print them out online. But he was never able to. Instead, he got this error when he tried to do so:


He therefore had to call and spend almost half an hour with an APC customer support rep to remedy the situation. APC is going to send him three new labels by SNAIL MAIL which he should receive in 8 to 10 days (the rep never said if he was refering to business days). At this time of year, that really means about 2 to 3 weeks.

  • He received the replacement battery for the DOA unit yesterday. I went over to his house and installed it as well as hooked it up to his computer. Everything went fine in that regard. However, there was only a return shipping label in the box for the USA. Too bad we are in Canada. Oh, by the way, the battery was shipped from a Canadaian address (much like the UPSes that he bought). So there should have been no reason why the proper label should not have been in the box.  So, he sent an e-mail to APC last night and got this response this morning:

Thank you for contacting APC’s email support on 12/17/2008 09:01 PM. I would be happy to assist you.

[Name Redacted], I am sorry for the inconvenience. I have submitted a request for the Return Shipping label. You will receive the Return Shipping label through mail. Please allow 10 days to process this request. When you receive the return shipping label, you can send the old unit to APC.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by responding to this incident. It would be my pleasure to ensure that your issue is quickly resolved!

So, the net result is that he has three UPSes and a battery that are awaiting shipping labels. All because APC was unable to either supply them to him online or pack the proper ones in the box. Not only that, one of the UPSes that he ordered was DOA. Now to be fair to APC, when he did contact them to deal with each issue they did resolve the issue (or at least committed to do so as my customer hasn’t received the shipping labels as of yet) in a timely manner. But of the three times that my customer contacted APC, two of them didn’t need to happen. But they did because APC has some gaps in their processes. These gaps created a slightly bad taste in my customer’s mouth and mine as well as I had recommended APC products to him.

Now, this won’t likely stop me from recommending APC products in the future as they make great products. Nor will it likely stop my customer from buying them in the future. But I would recommend that APC look at their processes so that events like I have described don’t happen to other customers. Otherwise a company with great products might get a negative reputation.

I’ll update you as to what happens next.