For the past year or so I've been running without a uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for my computers. That's pretty unusual for me, since I've used UPSes for at least 20 years. I got my first UPSes while in Maryland, since at the time I was playing with old SPARC hardware that really hated power interruptions, but they served me very well for all my computers when I moved to California in the midst of all the rotating blackouts in 2000-2001. Since then, however, various battery and hardware failures have left me with no operational UPSes.
I've been fortunate that California's power has been fairly reliable the past few years, but now that I'm working from home full-time, I figured I'd better get my act together and get a UPS for my home server and networking. The difference between 2000 and now is that I really have only a single traditional "desktop" computer: my old G4 Mac mini, which I use as a server. All the other computers in the house are laptops or iPads. It's kinda amazing to realize that I don't have some big tower with half a dozen fans running somewhere any longer.
Even though all those laptops have their own built-in UPSes, that Mac mini needs some backup power, as does all the networking equipment. So, I decided to get another APC UPS. Frankly I would have preferred one of Tripp-Lite's on-line systems, as they're better able to handle bad power, but I couldn't find anyone having any success using Tripp-Lite UPSes with Macs. OS X recognizes APC's UPSes without any additional software to install, so for this application it looks like APC is the only game in town.
Another welcome advance in the past 10 years or so is that UPSes have become a lot less expensive, and modern computer equipment uses less power than ever, so I can get away with a smaller UPS. For example, I used to use an APC Smart-UPS 1500 to power a Sun deskside server for about 15 minutes. This was just about enough backup power to give the system about five minutes of runtime before having to initiate shutdown.
If I recall correctly, that 1500 cost around $800 when I bought it. Now, however, an APC Back-UPS 1000 costs only $130, yet it still has the essential communications capability to allow a connected computer to shutdown when the UPS battery is almost drained (something that used to be exclusive to the more expensive Smart-UPS line). And, it'll run my mini, the attached Drobo, my wireless network, and the uVerse network interface for nearly 80 minutes before the battery runs out!
APC also has come up with the idea of slaving one of the power outlets to a master outlet, meaning that when the device plugged-in to the master outlet turns itself off, the UPS will shut off power to the slaved outlet. At first I didn't think I'd have a use for this feature, but it turns out that my Drobo won't power-off even when the mini completes a shut-down. So now the mini's hooked into the master outlet, the Drobo's plugged-in to the slave outlet, and both power down completely when the mini shuts down.
One note of warning about this feature, however: make sure you set the power-saving threshold as soon as you've plugged your devices into the UPS and before you've turned those devices on. I just plugged my mini and my Drobo into the UPS and turned them on without setting the threshold. The next thing I knew, the UPS was turning the Drobo on and off every few seconds. After setting the threshold it's working as expected, and fortunately the Drobo seems none the worse for wear.