By Andrew Liszewski
Windows, Mac or Linux fanboys will no doubt have you believe that none of their respective systems ever crash but when all you do is troll on various forums every day you’re not exactly pushing your system to its limits. The fact of the matter is any system that’s under a lot of heavy-use can crash and since downtime can be extremely costly the Kick-Off serves as a 24/7 administrator who never leaves, falls asleep or spills his drink all over the keyboard.
It’s a very unassuming little device that connects to your system’s USB port and power cord which not only allows it to stay in communication with your PC, but also gives it complete control in the event of a problem.
While your system is running normally, the software is in constant communication with the hardware. If the system crashes, this communication fails. The hardware waits for a user-settable period of time to ensure that the system is not simply busy with other tasks. After this delay, Kick-off! restarts the system by temporarily interrupting the power to the computer. No crash is too hard to keep Kick-off! from doing its job!
Normally when a particular piece of software the Kick-Off is monitoring crashes it will simply perform a clean system restart to get things running again. However if that crash brings the whole system to its knees then the Kick-Off will resort to the “pulling the plug” approach to get things running again. And most importantly the Kick-Off also keeps detailed logs of the system’s activity so that if a crash starts happening again and again the administrators will at least have some idea of what might be the real cause of the problem.
Like I mentioned earlier if you’re just experiencing a few Vista bugs here and there the Kick-Off is not really designed for you but if the success of your business relies on a system running 24/7 then the $179 for the device is probably a bargain.