A mandatory power outage up in Petaluma this week nearly scuttled programming at TWiT and for the Tech Guy Show. The outage, designed to guard against wildfires, was enacted when high winds hit the area. But fortunately, by Saturday they had died down and we're still in business!
Richard is wondering if pulling the power cord on a computer (while it is on) hurts the machine. Leo says it is risky because if the computer/hard drive is in the middle of a writing process, pulling the plug could spew data all over the hard drive. Not to mention, physical damage could occur during the interruption as well. It is only okay to pull the cord when the computer is frozen solid and locked up. Unplugging is only a last resort, so always try to hold the power button first before attempting to cut off the power.
Phil is trying to cut back on his electric bill and his friends suggest powering down his technology, including his router and network every day. But his other friends say that could do more harm than good. Leo says that he'll stress the electronics less if he doesn't turn them on and off on a regular basis. He should just leave it alone. He can reboot things once in awhile, but all modern computers and networks are designed to sip power from a low power mode. If he's not using it for a few days or weeks, then it's OK to power them down.