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I must have mentioned previously that here in Ghana, rationing of water and electricity (load shedding) on most areas are a normal occurrence. Just by good luck, the area of Tamale that I live in doesn't have scheduled load-shedding nor it has the rationing of tap-water. But this luxury comes at a very heavy price, as I have recently found out - you never know when the electricity supply is cut (and usually the availability of tap-water follows the pattern of electricity supply). Since there is no scheduled load-shedding in the area I live in, when the lights go off, its the "general lights off" as is known here, and it means the whole town is without electricity!

Anyway, coming back to the "heavy price" of this uncertain supply (or more appropriately, the uncertain cut-off) of electricity, I found out what happens to a laptop battery when you have all sorts of power-hungry devices (mostly the USB plug-and-play devices such as external hard drives) are plugged in and the mains power is suddenly cut off - my laptop battery just went dead! It actually happened a couple of weeks ago. I was burning some pictures from my external HD that requires mains power to a CD on my laptop, and suddenly the mains power was off. As soon as the external HD shut off, my computer went dead. Nothing I did to make it come back worked. The power indicator on the battery showed that it was fully charged, but none was getting through to the computer. I thought my laptop HD was gone, which meant a disaster, for I hadn't backed-up my system (which I do at least once every couple of months normally) since I came to Ghana. I do update the copy of "Documents" on external HD every week or so, so I wasn't too worried about losing much of my recent work.
...continue reading "lights off…lights on…"