Back in late July, my desktop computer and media computer (hooked up to the TV), the two machines that were always on, both crashed in the same evening with hard-drive failures. I had to buy a new hard-drive for the desktop machine, which had been on a UPS with a built-in surge protector. I had backup for most of the important stuff, but a lot of my data is now gone (like all of my e-mail since the mid 90s). If anyone can recommend a good drive recovery service, I'm in the market.
Two nights ago, after a power outage, it happened again. I woke up yesterday morning to discover the desktop stuck in a kernel panic, complaining that it couldn't mount the root filesystem.
So far, reinstalling the kernel and grub seems to have fixed the problem. There's no evidence of any other damage (yet).
But I think it's time to invest in a full-house surge protector.