Okay guys that's enough pun
@MilesAhead - While that is true, it only applies to daisy chaining two UPSs (Uninterruptible Power Supplies). I was using only one UPS and a cheap-O Surge-Strip which can't conflict with anything. The strip is used only due to cord length issues...I know they don't actually work.
@bob99 - While I agree with the power transients/fluctuations being damaging to sensitive electronics, I'll have to call BS on their effect on a Surge-Strip. The breaker in a SS uses a bimetal bar that flexes and breaks the circuit when heated by a sufficient rise in the current flow. This incidentally is also their inherent weakness. Their function assumes that there will be a sufficiently sized rapid "spike", which is frequently not the case. a low or slow building rise in current is typically not enough to trip the silly things ... but never the less very bad for the device it's "protecting".
How many times can the bimetal strip handle being heated? Thousands. (I'm guessing you want an example, okay...) The turn signal flasher in an automobile has used the same bimetal heat/flex technology to operate for roughly 100 years. The click click noise the turn signals make is the bimetal "breaker" doing a pop/reset over & over & over. Sure they do go bad after 4, 5, 7 years...but that's after flashing how many times?
The problem isn't that the strip won't last; it's that it didn't really work in the first place.
@weston – Good god man, what the hell are you on about. When the TV goes blank and the lights go out for a three block radius as energy builds up before the discharge, you notice. When there is a blinding flash in the front yard just outside the window one is sitting next to, you notice. When the lights in every room of a building go dim (or out) just before they get really bright, you notice. A surge that isn’t noticed isn’t a surge, it’s a voltage fluctuation.
Lightning (actually) strikes from the ground up, the brilliant flash of light seen coming from the sky is just an arc tracing the (approximate) path of where it happened (note the past tense). If lightning hits a building “directly” the building is already grounded, by virtue of being on the ground. Sure, having the wiring properly ground helps, but it’s not a cure-all for a damn thing. The part of the strike that goes through the electrical system is inductively transferred ambient discharge. How “direct” the path is only makes a difference on whether you have a fried appliance, or a burnt wall.
Electricity seeks the path of least resistance, the trick is to not to be the path. I don’t care if the machine is unplugged and sitting in the middle of the room, a truly direct hit will still render it dead because of the ambient discharge that passes through it. ESD 101 30,000v for visible arc (when "Zapping" your sister...), 3v to toast a circuit board.
I started the thread by stating (rather clearly) that it was damn near (but hence not) a direct hit. But never the less close enough to have a rather noticeable impact. That impact can be mitigated by a UPS, I’ve seen them make a difference too many times to doubt. I’ve seen it hit an office building one suite had a UPS on their server, and one did not. …Only one of them had to replace their server. Our office (a steal building) was hit a few years back, the T1 equipment (which someone plugged it incorrectly) got fried, the servers (all on UPSs) are all still with us. Etc..
Oh, and FL Telco's run most of their wiring underground.