TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Reviews: PowerKey Pro 650

Volume Number: 19 (2003)
Issue Number: 6
Column Tag: Reviews

PowerKey Pro 650

Surge protection taken further

by Michael R. Harvey

Surge protection is a normal and necessary part of any computer system. From the basic bar you can get from the corner store, to the big power conditioning systems for data centers, it all comes down to one thing, protecting the expensive parts from electrical damage. In other words, defying the old saying, and not letting the $10,000 equipment blow to protect the ten cent fuse.

The folks at Sophisticated Circuits have come up with a protector that, while not a battery backup (although it can be plugged it into an uninterruptible power supply), is far more than just a plug bar. The PowerKey Pro 650 is a surge protector that comes with a few truly spectacular extras.

The hardware

To start with, it is designed to handle six large power adapter plugs, a nice bonus when trying to get everything to fit. It is rectangular in shape, with three side by side power outlets running down each side. Each socket has a slide that covers the outlet when not is use, and provides a snug hold when a plug is inserted, so no loose plugs falling our at a critical moment. Each outlet is individually controlled. You can turn each on or off from a button on the device, or from software. It also has a USB connector in order to hook up to your computer for that control software to work. The cord is somewhat longer than your typical power bar, a nice detail that lets you reach the wall outlet that is always "that much" too far away. Last, pass through phone jacks are part of the device for dial-in control.

The PowerKey software

The control software is what really sets the PowerKey Pro 650 apart. There are several components. The first, and most important, is PowerKey, the main control software. This is where the PowerKey really sets itself apart. In order for the magic to work, though, the USB connector must be hooked into the controlling computer directly. It won't work through a hub. A cable is provided as the connector on the PowerKey hardware is proprietary. This doesn't seem like a very good idea because if anything happens to the custom cable, you're stuck. A standard port on the device would have been a better idea.


Figure 1: PowerKey application Power Saver tab.

It is from within the PowerKey application that you set most of the parameters for the surge protector. You can set which outlet switches on the others, set ones that stay on, as well as name the outlets to make identification easier. You can likewise give the device a unique name to make identifying multiple attached PowerKeys easier. From the other tabs, you can set schedules for turning outlets on and off, or set hotkeys for the same. You can even establish tone sequences that the software will respond to from a phone for controlling the outlets when calling in to the PowerKey (if you've plugged a phone line in, of course). The tab in Figure 1 shows the Power Saver settings. From here, you can tell the PowerKey Pro what to turn on and off in relation to what the Mac does. The controlling computer system is identified by the happy Mac symbol. The lock symbol identifies an outlet you have set to be always on, and not affected by the controlling computer power outlet. On and off at startup worked just fine on our test system. However, trying to turn the outlets off when our test system went to sleep never worked right. The computer would try to go to sleep, but immediately wake up again. The PowerKey Pro would detect this and instantly kick the turned off outlets back on. We could not determine exactly what the problem was, although the system would go to sleep normally when the PowerKey was not installed.

Rebound!

The PowerKey application is not all there is for software control, however. The Admin Version of the PowerKey Pro has an additional application, named Rebound!. With Rebound!, you can monitor and recover from system and application crashes.


Figure 2: Rebound! Systems Crashes tab.

As with the PowerKey application, the surge protector must be plugged into one of the USB ports on the computer for this to work. Through the connection, the PowerKey will monitor your system, and reboot it if necessary, Either because of a crash, or a power failure. In the System Crashes tab of Rebound! (figure 2), you can set various conditions for Rebound! to watch for to trigger a restart. In our tests it worked perfectly. Rebound! detected an induced crash, and restarted the system. While preparing to simulate a power failure, we had a real one occur. The PowerKey brought the computer back up with no problems.

Rebound! likewise lets you recover from application crashes. In order for Rebound! to be able to monitor an application, support must already be built in to the program. A list of programs that have this capability can be found on Sophisticated Circuits web site.


Figure 3: Rebound! Other tab.

The third tab in Rebound! lets you set what events it will record to the system log, how long after a power failure to reboot, and schedule recurring computer restarts (figure 3).

Extras

You are not, however, restricted to using these supplied applications in order to control the PowerKey Pro. Included on the CD are extras to help you incorporate PowerKey control in to your applications, and servers. There are plug-ins that support PowerKey Pro in 4th Dimension, the database development system, and applications that support the WebStar API plug-in architecture. There is information on supporting Rebound! technology with AppleScript. They also include a 30 day, fully functioning demo of iDo Script Scheduler, a program for triggering AppleScripts on a set schedule. Last, an SDK is included to help you incorporate Rebound! support directly into your applications. It includes sample code, a CodeWarrior project document, and various source files for adding Rebound! functionality to your application.

Conclusion

The PowerKey Pro 650 is available in a SOHO configuration and an Admin version. Both come with the hardware, and the PowerKey control software. The Admin version additionally has the Rebound! program, iDo Script Scheduler, and the added files for controlling Rebound! from servers, AppleScript, and within your own programs. The SOHO PowerKey Pro 650 is $199, while the Admin model is $299, direct from Sophisticated Circuits. It may seem a bit pricey, but this device does nearly everything it is designed to do, and does it very well. Ten cent fuses beware.

www.sophisticated.com


Michael R. Harvey

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Google Drive 1.20 - File backup and shar...
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé, or... Read more
Simon 4.0.3 - Monitor changes and crashe...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
Vitamin-R 2.23 - Personal productivity t...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
iDefrag 5.0.0 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more
PCalc 4.2 - Full-featured scientific cal...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more
FileZilla 3.10.2 - Fast and reliable FTP...
FileZilla (ported from Windows) is a fast and reliable FTP client and server with lots of useful features and an intuitive interface. Version 3.10.2: Note: Now requires a 64-bit Intel processor.... Read more
The Hit List 1.1.11 - Advanced reminder...
The Hit List manages the daily chaos of your modern life. It's easy to learn - it's as easy as making lists. And it's powerful enough to let you plan, then forget, then act when the time is right.... Read more
Bartender 1.2.32 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
ClamXav 2.7.5 - Free virus checker, base...
ClamXav is a free virus checker for OS X. It uses the tried, tested, and very popular ClamAV open source antivirus engine as a back end. I hope you like and use ClamXav a lot and that it helps keep... Read more
xScope 4.1.2 - Onscreen graphic measurem...
xScope is powerful set of tools that are ideal for measuring, inspecting, and testing on-screen graphics and layouts. Its tools float above your desktop windows and can be accessed via a toolbar,... Read more

Dungeon Hunter 5 Coming on March 12
Gameloft has excitedly announced that Dungeon Hunter 5 is on its way! Once again, you will adventure across the land of Valenthia exploring dungeons and fighting monsters. The game will have a new asynchronous multiplayer mode called Strongholds... | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Jurojin: Immortal N...
At this point it’s pretty safe to say that no MOBA is going to dethrone Dota 2 and League of Legends anytime soon. After all, if Batman can’t do it, nobody can. However, with a genre as popular and profitable as this one, there’s still room for... | Read more »
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Advent...
Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! Review By Amy Solomon on March 3rd, 2015 Our Rating: :: LIVELY LANDSCAPESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Tiny Farm – Animals, Tractors and Adventures! includes farm-related... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: February 23-27, 20...
Final February Fun at 148Apps   How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you’re looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out... | Read more »
GDC 2015 – Does Not Commute is Definitel...
GDC 2015 – Does Not Commute is Definitely a Game You Should Keep an Eye on Posted by Rob Rich on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] We were teased about Mediocre Games’ (Smash Hit, | Read more »
F84 Games & POW! Announce Stan Lee V...
F84 Games has announced that it is working with legendary comic creator Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment to produce Stan Lee’s Hero Command. The game will be a action adventure of heroic proportions. | Read more »
Setlyst Keeps Your Set Straight So You C...
Setlyst Keeps Your Set Straight So You Can Focus On Rocking Out. Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Space is Vast, So Space Agency Has a Vas...
Space is Vast, So Space Agency Has a Vast New Update! Posted by Jessica Fisher on March 2nd, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Size DOES Matter Review
Size DOES Matter Review By Campbell Bird on March 2nd, 2015 Our Rating: :: HARD TO BEATUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad This rhythm game has a unique control scheme and performance system that make it feel like a true... | Read more »
The first ever action 3D card battler Al...
On the other hand, you probably haven’t played an action 3D card battler – until now. Step forward, All Star Legion. All Star Legion is a 3D QTE-based action RPG card battler, but fear not – the game itself isn’t as convoluted as its description.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Another Tranche Of IBM MobileFirst For iOS Ap...
IBM has announced the next expansion phase for  its IBM MobileFirst for iOS portfolio, with a troika of new apps to address key priorities for the Banking and Financial Services, Airline and Retail... Read more
Sale! 15-inch Retina MacBook Pros for up to $...
B&H Photo has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $250 off MSRP for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $... Read more
WaterField Designs Introduces the Minimalist...
With Apple Pay gaining popularity, Android Pay coming in May 2015, and loyalty cards and receipts that can be accessed from smartphones, San Francisco’s WaterField Designs observes that it may be... Read more
Sale! 15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro for $...
 Best Buy has the 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1774.99 $1799.99, or $225 off MSRP. Choose free home shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price valid for online orders... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $170 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $100 o...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
27-inch 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on...
 B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac in stock today and on sale for $2299 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $200 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more
Apple Launches Free Web-Based Pages and Other...
Apple’s new Web-only access to iWork productivity apps is a free level of iCloud service available to anyone, including people who don’t own or use Apple devices. The service includes access to Apple... Read more
Survey Reveals Solid State Disk (SSD) Technol...
In a recent SSD technology use survey, Kroll Ontrack, a firm specializing in data recovery, found that while nearly 90 percent of respondents leverage the performance and reliability benefits of SSD... Read more
Save up to $600 with Apple refurbished Mac Pr...
The Apple Store is offering Apple Certified Refurbished Mac Pros for up to $600 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each Mac Pro, and shipping is free. The... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant - Retail Sales...
**Job Summary** As an Apple Solutions Consultant (ASC) you are the link between our customers and our products. Your role is to drive the Apple business in a retail Read more
*Apple* Pay Automation Engineer - iOS System...
**Job Summary** At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring passion and dedication to your job Read more
Sr. Technical Services Consultant, *Apple*...
**Job Summary** Apple Professional Services (APS) has an opening for a senior technical position that contributes to Apple 's efforts for strategic and transactional Read more
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
*Apple* Pay - Site Reliability Engineer - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.