SURGE PROTECTORS AREN’T JUST FOR YOUR PC

Do you have your electronics protected by a surge protector. I’m sure you’ve heard how important they are when it comes to cell phone spy ware making sure your computer is safe, but do you use one for your mobile devices as well? Chances are that you don’t. Well, I’m here to tell you that you should.

Recently, a huge storm knocked out power to my house, which was restored almost immediately. I had plugged my Kindle Fire HD into a wall outlet in preparation for the expected power outages (I live in a town that loses power regularly). However, when the power went out and came back on, I found something very disturbing. My Kindle showed a screen with jagged static-y lines across a black screen. I immediately unplugged the device and rebooted it. To my relief, it came back on. My heartbeat began to return from its pulse-pounding stateto my normal resting rate of 65ish as I watched the warm, Kindle Fire start-up screen do its wavering, fiery, flashing thing. I breathed a sigh of relief as I put the tablet back down and walked away knowing that everything was going to be all right.

But it wasn’t.

When I came back to it about an hour later, something was very wrong. I tapped the start button and found that the Kindle was still on its pulsing warm-up screen. “Uh oh. That’s not good,” I thought to myself and turned it off again. This time I waited a few minutes, then booted it back on, but the same thing happened: the warm, Kindle Fire wavering and nothing more. So I tried again. And again. And again. Each time—the same thing. After multiple attempts at rebooting the tablet—holding the button in for 20 seconds, 40 seconds, 60, 120—plugging and booting from a PC USB, a Mac USB, a different wall outlet and even letting the battery run out, I finally gave up. All was lost.

Let me say that I loved my Kindle Fire HD. Almost as much as I love my wife and kids. It had almost everything I cared about on it—yes, stuff that could be reloaded onto a new device, but I didn’t want a new device. I wanted my Kindle! Now, there I was, having to rely on my tiny smartphone to read my books, surf the net, watch my movies and videos and flip through my social media. I’m middle aged. I need reading glasses and have sausage fingers. It nearly killed me having to squint my eyes and poke and tap with micro-surgeon precision on the tiny letters, words and numbers offered by my cell phone.

But guess what? This old dog learned a new trick (though it wasn’t really much of a trick rather than habit). Now, I keep a surge protector in every room and I always think twice about charging my phone and tablet anywhere that there isn’t one handy. And yeah, I got a new Kindle. I know it wasn’t a big deal, but having to wait for it to be delivered, then reload and resign into everything was a real hassle. That and the idea of having to get a new one when the first one worked fine—before the storm—really rubbed me the wrong way.

Oh well. Live and learn I guess. And surge protect.