Geeks in Phoenix

Geek Blog


Surge Protectors

A gentleman called me the other day and asked me about surge protectors. A typical surge protector power strip is built using Metal Oxide Varistors (MOV's). The cheapest kind may use just one varistor, from hot (live, active) to neutral. A better protector would contain at least three varistors, one across each of the three pairs of conductors (hot-neutral, hot-ground, neutral-ground).

While a MOV is designed to conduct significant power for very short durations (~8/20 microseconds), such as caused by lightning strikes, it typically does not have the capacity to conduct sustained energy. Under normal utility voltage conditions, this is not a problem. However, certain types of faults on the utility power grid can result in sustained over-voltage conditions. Examples include a loss of a neutral conductor or shorted lines on the high voltage system. Application of sustained over-voltage to a MOV can cause high dissipation, potentially resulting in the MOV device catching fire. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has documented many cases of catastrophic fires that have been caused by MOV devices in surge suppressors and has issued bulletins on the issue.

I have found a company that makes surge protectors that does not use MOV's. They are Brick Wall, a division of Price Wheeler Corporation. I have purchased several of their products over the years and have never had a failure.

Actually, it's a e-Holster

As many of you know, I'm not your 'pocket-protector' type of geek. For years I have been asked, "Is that a holster you're wearing?"

Actually, it's an e-Holster Modular Shoulder Holster Case System.

E-Holster - FrontE-Holster - Back

I found that I could carry everything I usually would stuff into my pockets without getting the 'clown pants' look (over-stuffed pockets). This is my current configuration, as these are modular components.

Windows explorer keyboard shortcuts

Windows File Explorer keyboard shortcuts


Press To
END Display the bottom of the active window.
HOME Display the top of the active window.
NUM LOCK + ASTERISK on numeric keypad (*) Display all subfolders under the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + PLUS SIGN on numeric keypad (+) Display the contents of the selected folder.
NUM LOCK + MINUS SIGN on numeric keypad (-) Collapse the selected folder.
LEFT ARROW Collapse the current selection if it's expanded, or select the parent folder.
RIGHT ARROW Display current selection if it's collapsed or select the first subfolder.

Accessibility keyboard shortcuts

Windows accessibility keyboard shortcuts

Press To
Right SHIFT for eight seconds Switch FilterKeys on and off.
Left ALT + left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN Switch High Contrast on and off.
Left ALT + left SHIFT + NUM LOCK Switch MouseKeys on and off.
SHIFT five times Switch StickyKeys on and off.
NUM LOCK for five seconds Switch ToggleKeys on and off.
+ U Open Utility Manager.

Dialog box keyboard shortcuts

Windows dialog box keyboard shortcuts

Press To
CTRL+TAB Move forward through tabs.
CTRL+SHIFT+TAB Move backward through tabs.
TAB Move forward through options.
SHIFT+TAB Move backward through options.
ALT+Underlined letter Carry out the corresponding command or select the corresponding option.
ENTER Carry out the command for the active option or button.
SPACEBAR Select or clear the checkbox if the active option is a checkbox.
Arrow keys Select a button if the active option is a group of option buttons.
F1 Display Help.
F4 Display the items in the active list.
BACKSPACE Open a folder one level up if a folder is selected in the Save As or Open dialog box.

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Repairing a PC can sometimes be expensive, and that is why we offer free basic in-shop diagnostics. Give one of our professional and experienced technicians a call at (602) 795-1111, and let's see what we can do for you.

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