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Power Down

Power Down
by Gary Woods

Everything in your house that has a remote control is not really off even when you think it is. There's anywhere from a small amount of power to a considerable amount being used at all times to keep their circuits alive. Things like TVs are big culprits. In order for your TV to turn on rather quickly there's a lot of power that is being used to keep that circuitry in a semi-warm state.

At the Consumer electronics Show in Las Vegas I saw something from Bits Limited ( called the Smart Strip. What makes Smart Strip different is it has 3 types of power outlets on one strip. The first outlet is called the Control Outlet and any device such as your computer that is plugged into this outlet will "control" power to any devices in the Switched Outlets. If the Control Device is turned on/off, the switched devices will turn on/off. The third kind of outlet is always on or "hot" and is meant for lamps, phones or anything that has to be on all the time.

The Smart Strip comes in 3 models. One with 10 outlets, one with 7 and one that has standard and USB Auto-switching technology. Then all three of those models come in a basic configuration, one with phone cord surge protection and one with phone and cable wire surge protection. These units retail anywhere from $28.95 to $50.95 depending on the configuration.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc