Monday, March 21, 2022

Powering Off Accessories With a Smart Power Strip

Jason Snell:

For 15 years, I’ve used an auto-switching power strip in conjunction with my desktop computers. When the computer turns off, the power strip automatically turns off many other devices—powered speakers, USB hubs, you name it.


The power strip in question was the APC Power-Saving SurgeArrest, which Amazon tells me I bought in April 2008, right after I read about it in a David Pogue New York Times column. APC doesn’t make it anymore, but they do make larger and smaller follow-on versions. Those new power strips have a feature mine did not: a switch to change the auto-switching threshold to a much lower level, “for Chromebooks.” But maybe it would work with the power-sipping Mac Studio?


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All auto-switching power strips I own have a little potentiometer-style knob that allows me to adjust exactly when they turn on and off. I've found in the past that I had to adjust this for different computers to properly detect their states, particularly with newer computers, some of which tend to use very little power when idle.

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