By Bayle Emlein
I haven’t had so much fun installing an add-on since the days of adding firmware cards to an Apple IIe. The instructions to the Power2U come printed in a reasonably-sized font on both sides of a single 8.5" x 11" sheet. They start off with a warning that failure to proceed correctly can result in permanent injury or death and that all local and national electrical codes must be observed. Not every installation will include the challenge of a building wired in two distinct eras, with several circuits helpfully labeled “lights and plugs.” But anyone who’s willing to wade into Real Warfare Northern Crusades or join Men Of War Red Tide will charge right ahead into the reality version of home wiring. Fortunately I had an live expert willing to make a house call on New Years Eve day. Adding to the challenges in higher levels of the Installation Game: the screws for attaching the wires to the Power2U could have been about 2 mm longer without damaging the equipment but giving the electrician a chance to capture the wire without invoking every four-letter technical term in two languages.
I have one Power2U installed. We (tech support and me) won this round, and as any gamer knows as long as you win it’s worth the play. Short of a (highly unlikely) repeat of last century’s major renovation project, I probably will quit while I’m ahead. But if I’m ever looking at remodeling or building at my house or anywhere else, I will certainly want to know if Newer Technology offers a contractor’s discount or bulk sales. This little gizmo adds more than its cost in benefit and is one more step in making my computing life about getting something done rather than managing the stuff needed to get something done.
I certainly hope Newer Technology is marketing to the hotel chains where I stay. These folks do remodel on a frequent basis. Finding a Power2U outlet in my room would persuade me I’d landed in the luxury suite. For a quick upgrade to your own environment, think about adding a Power2U receptacle.
Manufacturer’s Price: $29