Ask Dr. Singh – UPS and Passwords

Ask Dr. Singh – UPS and Passwords

Hi Dr. Singh,
I was at B*** B** (store name removed by editor) this weekend and a salesman tried to upsell me on a UPS. But I have a power strip. Doesn’t that do the same thing?
- Envious of Power, Erie, PA

Dear Envious,
By UPS, I’m assuming you mean uninterruptible power supply, not the much admired package delivery company. An uninterruptible power supply, or “battery backup” as some may say, is an enclosure with a battery and intelligent circuitry inside. The UPS is connected to the wall and your computer is connected to the UPS. If the power goes out or a high or low voltage is detected by UPS, it will switch from wall power to battery power faster than a tiger chasing his dinner, thusly protecting your computer from damages. A power strip is merely a neat row of power outlets and offers mostly no protection. So unless you prefer to have your computer consumed in a ball of flame, you are best to get a UPS.
-- Dr. Singh

Dear Dr. Singh,
Every website and program I use requires a password. I have so many passwords that It keeps me from doing my job. Do you think it’s okay to use a single password for everything because I really don’t have any valuable data anyone would want?
- Not Crazy about Passwords, Brisbane, Australia

Dear Crazy,
Oh, so you think passwords cause much inconvenience, do you? How about having your email account used to send out scams and viruses? Or having your computer hijacked and used in bot network? Perhaps you don’t think those things are inconvenient, do you? The rest of us in the civilized world do not like those things so we choose to have good passwords and unique passwords for each website. But you may ask, “Dr. Singh, you have much intelligence and can remember thousands of complex passwords, facts and equations. How can I, a humble worker man, remember such things?” I wish this were completely true but even I have to use a password manager like LastPass, 1Password, or KeePass. These programs cost very little and safely store your passwords with unbreakable encryption. All you need to remember is single passphrase, such as “Choral&infinity&dhoti&64” which is long and complex and will take millions of years to crack using brute force methods. You can even write it on a paper slip for
storage in your wallet if you have memory trouble.
-- Dr. Singh

Dr. Sanjay Singh, Professor Emeritus at the Ramaipur Institute of Technology. If you have a computer or technology question for Dr. Singh, please email them to