Friday, March 21, 2008

Save a Tree...Power Down Your PC

Oh lordy, I just made a rhyme! :)

Now, are you one of those people that leave your computer on all the live long day? Tisk tisk! I know you're out there! I don't know how many times I've walked into a classroom (I'm a substitute teacher) to find that the teacher has left the computers on all weekend long. I wonder to myself, do they know how much energy and money they are wasting by letting those buggers run endlessly? The crazy lady in me wants to leave them a message kindly telling them to stop wasting tax-payer's dollars by leaving their computers on 24/7. Of course, I don't. But I think it.

I know lots of other people at home are guilty of it too. Heck, it's just convenient to have the computer handy at all times just in case you have to look up a random piece of information or check to see if someone has emailed you. I understand. I'm human too. But, have you ever wondered how much energy (and money) you could save if you optimized the power settings on your PC? Well, there is a free download that will tell you exactly that.

Local Cooling is a program that you can install on your PC that will easily allow you to change the energy settings on your computer. It allows you to change the following features:

*the sleep time of the monitor
*when the disks start stop spinning (assuming DVDs, CD-Roms, and the like spin when they don't need to?)
*shut-down and hibernate times for the computer

As the program runs, it tallies the amount of trees, water, and energy that you have saved by powering down the computer. The only thing it's missing is a feature that would allow you to calculate how much money you have saved by making this one small change, but if you were industrious enough you could figure it out by multiplying the kWh you saved by your energy rate.

Now, you don't need to download a program to optimize the power features on your computer. All you need to do is check in the Control Panel and make a few tweaks. You have to admit though, it is pretty darn nifty that you can see exactly how much you're saving and give yourself a big pat on the back for being so economical!

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