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Is your computer turned on 24 hours/day, 7 days/week?
Yes 66%  66%  [ 79 ]
No 34%  34%  [ 41 ]
Total votes : 120
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:34 am 
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CA_Steve wrote:
dragmor wrote:
rtsai wrote:
I wonder how that compares to my refrigerator ...

According to the little power efficiency star sticker on the front of my fridge it's rated at 540kw per year.


If only I could store beer in my PC....
You probably could, but I doubt you like your beer at 30 celsius...

This is the future of computer cases. With m-atx mobos, you need only little space, so bring back the tower cases, with a new "Thermal chamber". One that ideally can hold at least 6 0,5l cans and keep them cool. This would actually be a feature, that would make case doors useful.

Design it silent and I will buy one ;).

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Last edited by Erssa on Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 10:13 am 
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jimmyfergus wrote:
doudou wrote:
Quote:
The culture of waste is ingrained, especially in the US.

That's what i'm afraid of as a European, especially since I read the first posts on this thread !
Very glad to see that at least a few americans are aware of these issues.


The US has the full range - from the most thoughtless wasteful rednecks to radical conservationists. The ignorant rednecks are just the loudest, and in power. In spite of apperances, there are lots of intelligent, educated, thoughtful people in the US, just as dismayed.

I think in Europe most people knew some level of economic depression almost continuously from 1914 until the 1960s - so the deep awareness of waste is ingrained either directly, or from their parents. Conversely, only the grandparents and great-grandparents in the US knew the great depression and the short, minor blip of economic hardship of WWII (I'm not belittling the non-economic sacrifices).

Still, when China decides the time is right to stop propping up the dollar and the economic house of cards collapses, we'll learn. :cry:
Very good post. This is what I have thought about Americans. I think most there are also very good willing and ready to recycle etc, but just don't know understand when they "waste".

I don't care about my computer being on all the time. Like I said earlier I keep it on, mostly to stay in contact in irc. It's my money to spend and my choise. Frankly I don't see it as a big issue. It draws the same amount of power as a light bolb, that you leave on in your kids room, when he/she is afraid of the dark. I don't feel that people should be responsible about the power consumation, when it is the industry that can make the biggest savings here.

This is selfish, but that's the way I feel. We have 5 million people here in Finland and I just feel so overwhelmed by the world, that even if everyone here would be as ecological as possible, it wouldn't have much effect on the global scale (for example global warming). And I feel the same way in a smaller scale. I feel that the savings and optimisations should be made where it will have the biggest impact and not where it is so insignificant. I feel that my personal effect is so small, that I rather keep wasting, then "do the right thing" and be more ecological. I know, that I am the free traveller, that makes systems fail, but I know there would still be free travellers even, if I wasn't one. The world will survive even, if I waste as much I want. As long as the industry is the biggest spender and the ones who can optimize. I'll just let the one's who care go through the trouble, on this microscale. So I'll let the people, who get satisfaction from doing the "right" thing, do it. In the end, if there weren't people like me doing the "wrong" thing, the "good people" wouldn't have anyone to feel morally superior to and thus they couldn't feel so good about themselves.

When the industry and bigger countries stop wasting and are at the point when they cannot optimise anymore and/or when the economical costs for wasting comes too high for me, then I might just start being ecological, but until then... my computer stays on (and the light in toilet).

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:05 pm 
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Millions of homes leave their TV on standby, their VCR switched on to avoid the blinking 12:00, mobile phone chargers, and their computers plugged in and still drawing power. They leave lights on in vacant rooms and set their thermostat 2 degrees higher than necessary. None of this is useful and contributes to your energy usage. A switched-on computer can download files, serve a website, compile Linux applications, encode your video files and Fold during lighter loads. I agree completely that it should be switched off (and at the socket!) if it is doing nothing, but until quad-cores and gigabit internet connections become affordable these tasks have to be done sometime, and for most people they must be done at a convenient time.

The truth is, everybody wastes and often they are not aware of it. There is no magic device that switches off gadgets when they're not used. You have to recognise there is waste and decide between convenience and cost. It is the same both sides of the pond - maybe to different degrees, but still, everybody wastes.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:15 pm 
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I leave my computers on 24/7. To me, energy efficiency is less of a important than minimizing stress on my computer equipment. Of course, my computers are mostly pretty low power.

While not applicable to me, it's worth noting that in colder climates the energy consumed by computers left on is not actually wasted. A hundred watts of power "wasted" by your computer is a hundred watts of heat which does NOT need to be generated by your heater.

I do my part for the environment by not discarding old computer equipment and doing my best to keep old computer equipment in good working order. I do my best to adapt/modify existing components rather than replacing them with newfangled fans or heatsinks or fancy shmancy computer cases. I'm keeping landfills that much less filled up with toxin loaded computer junk!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:20 am 
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Quote:
There is no magic device that switches off gadgets when they're not used.


Yes there is, it's called the 'off' button (switch off at the wall).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:16 am 
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I leave my computers (and all the peripherals) off with a switched power strip to stop it sucking juice in S5 (or is that S4?) mode, I don't use WoL or anything of the sort. I honestly don't care about the electricity bill, but I just hate waste of any sort :twisted: , especially the sort that damages the environment.

I have to admit though that the situation might be different if I used Windoze 2000 which takes ages to start up, but since I have Debian, and I have played around to speed start up times to <1min, it's ok.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:51 am 
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Erssa wrote:
Like I said earlier I keep it on, mostly to stay in contact in irc.

IRC is an evil addiction, a bit like watching TV :lol:
Erssa wrote:
It's my money to spend and my choise.

Yes, but it's everybodies environment.
Erssa wrote:
It draws the same amount of power as a light bolb,

Then you should get economical light bulbs :wink:
Erssa wrote:
that you leave on in your kids room, when he/she is afraid of the dark.

At least that light is serving a real tangible purpose (being able to sleep through the night without being disturbed)
Erssa wrote:
I don't feel that people should be responsible about the power consumation, when it is the industry that can make the biggest savings here.

Granted. But that doesn't mean that you can't do any savings. In fact if everybody optimised their power usage by turning things off (not standby) when they don't use them, if people use only economical light bulbs, if people don't use electric heating and water chillers, it could save a serious amount of power, even on the scale of a small country. You must also remember that / The Industry / is run by human beings, and if all of those human beings save resources at home, why shouldn't they do it at work?

With ecology you cannot just say that there is somebody that uses more energy than you and that wastes more than you. There will always be somebody worse just like there will be somebody better than you. There is also the "chicken or egg" situation where everybody is waiting for everybody else to do something (also on an international scale, for example the USA's excuse not to sign the Kyoto protocol).

I know how it feels that you can do nothing these days (somebody I know has a theory that in the 70's people thought they could change everything for the better, and nowadays people think that they can't change anything). I sometimes also feel helpless, like when I was out on the street outside of the US embassy when they declared war on Iraq... But I like to believe in the "snowball effect", at least where ecology is concerned. I can tell from my personal experience that I influence other people around me, for example I started cycling into town, even though I live outside of the city, and I have noticed that some of my friends and neighbours are getting interested in cycling, while they had never thought of it before. This can also be applied to what you do in your home (friends notice it when you invite them over), including *turning your computer off* :)

PS: I know how you have the habit of having long and furious debates with people in the off topic section, I don't feel like getting into one since I do have some work to do this week :lol: In any case, we're probably both just as wrong.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:15 am 
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cAPSLOCK wrote:
PS: I know how you have the habit of having long and furious debates with people in the off topic section, I don't feel like getting into one since I do have some work to do this week :lol: In any case, we're probably both just as wrong.
Yes I have that habit. However I think that you are right in this and I am "wrong", but I am can live with the guilt. I feel about this subject as I feel about voting in the presidential elections. My vote isn't going effect who becomes president. I know that you now think: "What if, everybody thought the same way? Then nobody would vote." But we all know that my voting has nothing to do with the other peoples choises to vote or not. There are those people that will always vote, no matter what. I feel the same way about ecology. Things will work, even without me, because I know that my input has no major effect on the outcome. What I do is selfish and based on my values and opinions not something that is scientifically best for everybody. Let's face it, if we lived in a perfect world, then even communism would work. But we happen to live in a world were people are selfish and thus ideologies like communism will never work, because of the free travellers.

It's useless to argue on opinions, that cannot be forced to change. So you have nothing to worry about, just as long as you can live with my opinion. I know that you are doing to right thing and I am not, so we are in mutual agreement.

P.S: I have always voted in presidential elections, even though I know how futile it is and despite that my candidate has always lost.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:22 am 
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Erssa wrote:
I don't feel that people should be responsible about the power consumation, when it is the industry that can make the biggest savings here.



Not entirely true. People and companies should both be responsible if you are into energy conservation/savings. They also go hand in hand. When I leave the office I walk by several cubicals an offices say around 50 in total. Even though the employees has gone home and at the end of the work day, the majority of the computers and monitors are still on. When I leave the office I shut down both my PC and monitor because having them on serves no purpose. I do occationally leave my PC on overnight if I need to generate reports that normally takes a few hours, but that's an exception.

In this case who it to blame? It's easy to say that the company is to blame because there is no "kill switch" to turn off all power in a certain area. But that is impractical especially since there are systems that needs to be on 24/7 or longer than when the "kill switch" would kick in.

Ultimately, it is not the company or industry that are to be blamed for inefficiencies, it is the people who are employed that should be blamed.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:43 am 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
There is no magic device that switches off gadgets when they're not used.


Yes there is, it's called the 'off' button (switch off at the wall).

Please tell me where you get your switches. My lightbulbs stay on until I press the switch myself, instead of turning off when I leave the room.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:34 am 
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Quote:
Please tell me where you get your switches. My lightbulbs stay on until I press the switch myself, instead of turning off when I leave the room.


You can get motion-detector setups for rooms which turn on the lights when you enter and turn off when you leave. Actually I don't know if they work by detecting motion or heat, I suspect it works by passive infra-red; my friend has this in his house, it's pretty cool.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 2:45 pm 
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jaganath wrote:
Quote:
Please tell me where you get your switches. My lightbulbs stay on until I press the switch myself, instead of turning off when I leave the room.


You can get motion-detector setups for rooms which turn on the lights when you enter and turn off when you leave. Actually I don't know if they work by detecting motion or heat, I suspect it works by passive infra-red; my friend has this in his house, it's pretty cool.
I bet that motion-detector draws so much power that it negates the purpose :).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:08 pm 
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I bet that motion-detector draws so much power that it negates the purpose


I doubt it. For example this PIR detector:

Passive infra-red detector

has a standby current of 300 milliamps and an operating voltage range of 4.7-12V. Now assuming 4.7V is the "standby" voltage and 12V is the "on" voltage, the device uses roughly 1.41W in idle. Now if you have 100W incandescent bulbs the device would have to be on for 71 hours to use the same energy as having the 100W bulb on for 1 hour unnecessarily. Of course this is even more true where there are multiple bulbs.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:57 pm 
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FWIW, I wasn't serious. That's why I used a smily (which I use rarely).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:11 pm 
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Quote:
That's why I used a smily (which I use rarely).


Yeah, so I've noticed. :wink: It was more of a thinking-aloud type post; your comment stimulated me to actually find out the energy savings involved.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:14 pm 
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cAPSLOCK wrote:
I have to admit though that the situation might be different if I used Windoze 2000 which takes ages to start up, but since I have Debian, and I have played around to speed start up times to <1min, it's ok.

My PC only takes 30 seconds to boot XP, and my server 3-5 min to boot Win2k, Oracle, MSSQL, a website, FTP and a few other custom services.

But why hasnt anyone made a little game to play with the PC is loading? Does anyone else remember those loading games on the C64's with tap drives?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 9:05 pm 
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I happen to be a bit torrent seeder for several open source projects so mine's on 24/7 so folks can get the files. As to saving energy, I'm planning a new house that's going to be completely disconnected from the electric grid using photovoltaics (solar cells). Of course the house will be using as much natural light during the day as possible and since I live in the desert, I don't use A/C during the summer as I prefer an Evaporative Cooler.

An interesting figured I picked up somewheres; During the electrical crisis in California, the utilties would kick many of the web hosting companies offline and free up 25% or one quarter of the states electrical demand. Now just think if all of those computers were replaced with systems that only consumed 15 watts instead of the 70-110 they do and you'd be talking serious energy savings. :x

One other factor I'm pushing our city council/planning commission on is the requirement of a minimum of 1kw/h photovoltic array on all new residential construction with 5kw/h for all newcommercial construction in the city. Doesn't sound like much but if we can create a commodity market for a boxed setup of PV panels/utility interconnect and so on, then I suspect we could add sufficient additional capacity to our grid without adding any new generating plants. :!:


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:05 pm 
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For motion control for your house, do a search on t'internet for X10

I live in a flat with my bro and a flatmate. I installed X10 in the house. The motion control isn't a good thing for say a lounge or bedroom, but in the Kitchen and bathroom its brilliant.

These are the rooms where frequent but short trips are made.

The kitchen is where it really pays off, not only does it save on power but its also very conveniant when you are leaving or entering with trays or mugs of hot tea. No more scalding yourself as you try and operate the light switch with an elbow.

X10 is very simple to install, you just replace the switches themselves with an X10 unit... Takes about 5-10mins per switch. If you move house, you take the system with you.

I also have a house off button next to my bed. I can switch off all of the lights in the house with one button. This is timed to switch off everything at 9am automatically to shut down the lights during the day.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 10:26 am 
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:09 am 
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a thread full of hippies


instead of pushing your beliefs on the mass's, why dont you do somthing productive. like get PSU manufacturers to make 80plus the minimum standard. or cpu manufacturers like intel to make their MAX TDP's 50w or lower on all their processors. or tell video card manufacturers that unless it can be passivly cooled by a single slot heatsink that you cant sell it.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:56 pm 
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SPCR (lead of course by MikeC) IS doing something productive. yes u could say its him whos doing all the productive stuff, but without 1/2 million unique visitors a month then i'd imagine the industry wouldn't take him so seriously. and help from forum users, and doing interesting and innovative things, and of course spreading the word, help increase these numbers. perhaps we should just /. every spcr article lol.
most of the industry is heading the right way; only really Nv/ATI that really need to get on-board.. but even with those we are getting higher performance-per-watt on the better cards. just most of the focus is the performance rather than the watts :P
other than this, and voting with our wallets (as SPCR-ers do already) what do u want people to do? go over to ATI with a shotgun?.

to call people hippies because they turn their computer off on occasion, or even that they think everyone should, is pretty ignorant. i did consider u were perhaps just trolling..
the attitude that not wasting energy (at virtually no loss of benefits to yourself) or the concept of efficiency make people hippies is the sort of thing that keeps us with inefficient wasteful crap.

anyway.. back to the topic..
it just gives me the impression that everyone is becoming more and more impatient, driven by the use of computers.
it only takes about 30s to turn on my comptuer.. is it really too long to wait once a day? and if it is, standby?
sure.. i'll leave my PC on most of the time, i agree i often need to google something or whatever, which will take 10s and i dont want to wait for the pc to turn on for that. but at night, or if i go out for a long time, it seems totally pointless.

its not just about 'the environment', its about money too.

its a very valid point however that a computer is a pretty much 100% efficient heater, so in the day its not wasting any energy. but that doesn't really help at night, or in the summer.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 26, 2006 2:34 pm 
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the fact remains, your chances of influencing the mass's that consume these products, as apposed to influencing those who create the products int he first place, is pointless. all it does is inflame the situation and piss people off when you try to force your beliefs on others.

your never going to get everyone on board with you, no matter which side of the fence your on. but you dont need to. you just need to get the ones making the products on your side, and let people choose to live how they want with products that arnt going to globally influence things as much as they do now.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2006 1:54 am 
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It also doesn’t help that while a computer, like a TV, a light bulb or any other household electrical appliance is 100% efficient at turning electricity into heat, direct resistance electric heating is the most expensive and least environmentally friendly way of heating a house it is possible to imagine. Even people who generate their electricity renewably don’t do it – most of them use wood. It’s far more efficient to use primary energy sources directly. And in summer, the heat generated by appliances places additional load on air conditioners – yet more power consumption.

Aris is right though, influencing manufactures is far more effective than trying to change consumer behaviour. The running costs of any electrical appliance are spread out over such a long period, and mixed in with those of so many other appliances that most consumers aren’t ever going to bother considering them – voting with your wallet only works en masse, and the only thing that matters to most people is the upfront cost. Even setting punitive taxes on energy consumption doesn’t always work. People are short-termist – you simply have to accept that. If you want people to buy efficient appliances, then you have to leave them no choice in the matter. Set mandatory efficiency levels and keep raising the bar.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:45 am 
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The Economist recently had an article about standby energy costs. While as an spcr'er I've been aware of PC power use, one tends to discount the standby usage of all household items. A refrigerator is a needed evil, one gets an efficient one. Air conditioning and heating is also easy to moderate. Light bulbs can be replaced.

The harder bit is standby uses like a stereo amp (it draws power as long as it's plugged in), and my powered speakers. The trick is getting a bunch of neat power strips - one row is always on (for say a fax machine) and the other row is for optional. So the entire AV setup is on the switch-controlled side, and I just leave the TIVO on the constant power. The bonus is it makes it extremely easy to power off all the devices.

It does annoy me that European market amps have power switches (to meet standby requirements) while the US market one is so low. One does have to remember that making new circuits uses materials, energy, and contributes to pollution. In some ways money IS energy.

In the article, they quote how one TV set drew 15 watts at standby while the other drew 0.5 watts. That difference on one simple control (if detect IR signal, turn set on) is huge. Stuff like taht should be standarized. Specially since they already have the standards set for the European market - it doesn't cost much more to just make more European versions and stop making US models.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:27 pm 
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I leave all of my computers on 24/7, I can afford the added energy cost, which are far overshadowed by my air conditioning anyway. And as far as environmental issues go... I simply don't care. The convenience of not having to wait 30 more seconds every time i want to check my email means more to me than the tiny amount of pollution I cause by running my computers 24 hours a day instead of 18.

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