The UPSide Project

Last week I wrote about Eric Raymond’s UPS rant. If you missed that, the TL;DR is that UPSes are horrible, don’t do what they’re supposed to do or meet their specs, and mostly excel only in inducing rage in their users. Raymond observed that it’s a product ripe for disruption and that perhaps we should form a team to provide some. Raymond, of course, is more than capable of handling the software end of things but needed someone to handle the hardware aspects. He ended his post by asking anyone interested in working on such a project to get in touch with him.

In an update to his original post, Raymond writes that the response to his post was astonishing and resonated with a surprising number of people. As a result, the effort, named the Project UPSide, is indeed underway and looking for people to help out. The project appears to have found a hardware engineer but is still looking for someone familiar with programming USB endpoints and someone who understands battery-state modeling. If you can fill either of those positions or if you have ideas or suggestions, get in touch by opening an issue in the project’s GitLab tracker.

The goals of the project, as I understand them, is find an alternative to the lead acid batteries used by the UPS vendors that will provide a longer dwell time and a decent lifetime, and to provide an intelligent interface to the computer that would allow a reasonably technically competent person to write a monitoring program that meets their needs. This seems like a very worthwhile effort to me—as I said in the last post, I live in Tampa and really need UPS protection—so I’d be very interested in such a product.

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