Fri, May 11, 2007
Built-in UPS Support in Mac OS X
My more than a decade old UPS died a few days ago, so I bought an up-to-date replacement. When I attached the new UPS via USB to my Mac, I discovered that there's no need to install the vendor's own software (which is buggy according to some internet sources anyway). Instead, Mac OS X has built-in UPS support since 10.3.3 (I used 10.4.9 for screenshots and tests).
If an UPS is attached an active, you'll find new settings options for "UPS" ("USV" in German) in the Energy Saver preference panel:
You can shut down your computer after a certain time on battery power or if the battery has only a certain time (in minutes) or amout (in percent) of its power left. Furthermore, a new icon is shown in the menu status bar (left to the iChat icon), similar to the battery icon on mobile Macs:
Whenever the UPS runs on battery power for some seconds Mac OS X shows an alert box now (that disappears automatically if the UPS runs on line for some seconds again). This also works if no user is logged in: