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To switch off or not...?

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
The Blue Meanie has read various bits and pieces here and there to the effect that current Macs are designed to never be switched off, and Apple seems to be encouraging this by putting the power switch at the back of the new iMac, etc.
But the Blue Meanie is finding it hard to get his pulsating brain around the idea of never switching his Mac off - for two reasons:
i) Even in sleep mode, the machine will still be consuming some power - and surely it is environmentally irresponsible to burn power for no reason or use?
ii) What about the sheer electrical wear and tear of always been on? Won't that damage the machine's components sooner or later? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">

[ 03-03-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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post #2 of 58
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>The Blue Meanie has read various bits and pieces here and there to the effect that current Macs are designed to never be switched off, and Apple seems to be encouraging this by putting the power switch at the back of the new iMac, etc.
But the Blue Meanie is finding it hard to get his pulsing brain around the idea of never switching his Mac off - for two reasons:
i) Even in sleep mode, the machine will still be consuming some power - and surely it is environmentally irresponsible to burn power for no reason or use?
ii) What about the sheer electrical wear and tear of always been on? Won't that damage the machine's components sooner or later? :confused: </strong><hr></blockquote>


1,) All macs use only a few more watts (somewhere between 2-5 more) in sleep than being turned off. Macs are Energy Star compliant so don't worry about. Even if it is off the computer still draws power.

2.) Computers are made knowing that some will leave them on 24/7. Computers have been left on for years at a time. There will be no wear.
post #3 of 58
I've never had any problems and I never shut down my computers.
post #4 of 58
I leave my iMac 450 on all the time, and have no probs... I don't even putit to sleep, just have the screen turn off after x minutes...
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1 Peter 1:6-7
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post #5 of 58
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. That all makes sense, but The Blue Meanie is still not entirely happy with the idea of leaving his Mac on all night. Even a few extra watts in sleep mode adds up to a few nuclear stations spread across millions of computer users.
Allow me to quote from one of The Blue Meanie's favourite writers - anglophile Iowan travel writer Bill Bryson:
"According to US News & World Report, a weekly news magazine, the United States must maintain the equivalent of five nuclear power stations just to power equipment and appliances that are on but are not being used - veideo recorders left in permanent standby mode, computers left on when people go to lunch or home for the night, all those mute, wall-mounted TVs that flicker unwatched in the corners of bars...............
If global temperatures rise by 4 degrees centigrade over the next half-century, as some scientists confidently predict, then all the trees of Shenandoah National Park and the Smokies, and for hundreds of miles beyond, will die. In two generations one of the last great forests of the temperate world will turn into featureless grassland.
I think that's worth turning off a few computers for, don't you?"
("Notes From A Big Country" (UK edition of "I'm A Stranger Here Myself"), ps 237-8)
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #6 of 58
Hey Blue Meanie: Do you unplug your TV at night? How else do you think it remembers all of the channels when you turn it off. PLUS, how do you think it senses the Power ON command from the remote?
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post #7 of 58
Welcome to Darwin!
[sr3886:~] crs% uptime
11:39AM up 3 days, 22:06, 2 users, load averages: 0.55, 0.55, 0.56

don't worry about it... and what's with the first person? someone verify this isn't Macintosh...
post #8 of 58
Blue Meanie needs to get over it. So turn it off and on 5 times a day, we gave you our suggestions and they mean nothing to you.

If you feel the power you require to start your machine from scratch saves more power than waking it from sleep then do it. But please save us the third person speak, its very annoying.
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post #9 of 58
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>What about the sheer electrical wear and tear of always been on? Won't that damage the machine's components sooner or later?</strong><hr></blockquote>

It's better for the electrical components if you don't constantly subject them to the shock (no pun intended, I swear ) of being turned on. There's a surge in the cycle from off to on.

[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>The Blue Meanie is still not entirely happy with the idea of leaving his Mac on all night. Even a few extra watts in sleep mode adds up to a few nuclear stations</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well then, turn it off and save the planet. Hmmm... wait... your Mac won't last as long (from the cycling, remember) and you'll end up filling the landfills faster.
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post #10 of 58
Is The Blue Meanie going to tell his kids they can't have night-lites because they are causing the country to keep nuclear stations going? Because that's how much power your Mac is going to use when in sleep mode.

You're either very bored to post something like this, or you're an extremist granola tree hugger.

BTW, murbot is tired of the third person mumbo jumbo too.
post #11 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Bodhi:
<strong>Blue Meanie needs to get over it. So turn it off and on 5 times a day, we gave you our suggestions and they mean nothing to you.

If you feel the power you require to start your machine from scratch saves more power than waking it from sleep then do it. But please save us the third person speak, its very annoying.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Hey, easy tiger! The Blu...I ( <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> ) said thanks for the input. I wasn't getting at anyone personally, I was just raising what I thought was an interesting subject - and no, I'm not claiming to be an angel when it comes to a power conservation myself. Perhaps The Blue Meanie isn't the only person who needs to get over it.
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #12 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by murbot:
<strong>Is The Blue Meanie going to tell his kids they can't have night-lites because they are causing the country to keep nuclear stations going? Because that's how much power your Mac is going to use when in sleep mode.

You're either very bored to post something like this, or you're an extremist granola tree hugger.

BTW, murbot is tired of the third person mumbo jumbo too.</strong><hr></blockquote>


Oh please....if having a passing interest in energy conservation equals being an "extremist granola tree hugger", then the Blue Meanie is only too happy to be an extremist granola tree hugger.
People like murbot who demonstrate only too clearly why the US produces more than 20 per cent of the world's carbon emissions with only five per cent of its population. (No disrespect to more responsible Americans...)

[ 03-04-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]

[ 03-04-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #13 of 58
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>People like murbot who demonstrate only too clearly why the US produces more than 20 per cent of the world's carbon emissions with only five per cent of its population</strong><hr></blockquote>

How did murbot demonstrate that?!?

spotbug is confused. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />
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post #14 of 58
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>

People like murbot who demonstrate only too clearly why the US produces more than 20 per cent of the world's carbon emissions with only five per cent of its population. (No disrespect to more responsible Americans...)

[ 03-04-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</strong><hr></blockquote>

How does he demonstrate that? He's not even in the US, he's in Canada.
post #15 of 58
[quote]People like murbot who demonstrate only too clearly why the US produces more than 20 per cent of the world's carbon emissions with only five per cent of its population. (No disrespect to more responsible Americans...)<hr></blockquote>

You are right. My daughter has a nite-lite, listens to quiet lullaby music all night, and I only put my PowerMac to sleep instead of shutting it off.

What an irresponsible asshole I am...



You seem awfully thin skinned for a "meanie".
post #16 of 58
CosmoNut is tired and going to bed after this post, but:

A lightbulb will last the longest total illuminated hours if it is turned on and never turned off until it blows. The stress of heating up, cooling down, heating up, cooling down, etc. wears it down quicker.

As was previously mentioned, computers are the same way. I say -- pardon, CosmoNut sez, putting a computer in sleep mode is the best thing to do to balance the lowest-stress-on-the-computer vs. energy saver dilemma. It uses ever-so-little power, and is less stressful on the machine (generally) than starting up and shutting down all the time.

But CosmoNut is no expert.
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post #17 of 58
RedEric Says

TOSSER
When the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think that sardines will be thrown overboard.
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When the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think that sardines will be thrown overboard.
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post #18 of 58
while I agree with the sentiments behind power conservation, I leave my computers on constantly because:

on-off cycles are bad for electrical equipment.

The start up time is a pain in the *** - i've got always-on internet acces so I need an always-on iMac to go with it.

and

(I believe that) unix (i.e. OSX) is designed for machines that are constantly on and by default runs some clean-up scripts in the early hours of the morning. There is a utility called anacron I think that reschedules these tasks if your machine is often switched off - ideal for laptops

hope this helps
post #19 of 58
Well, I for one think it is great that Blue is concerned with energy conservation. Yes, there are tradeoffs in any form of conservation (such as the one pointed aout about electronic equipment lasting longer when powered on continuously), but it is worth explicitly considering those tradeoffs and trying to do the right thing.

I should add that just because leaving something on prolongs its service life does NOT always mean that the best conservation strategy is to leave it on. Jet engines, for example, last far longer when run constantly, as opposed to the numerous on/off cycles through the day, but I doubt most would think it is a sound fiscal or conservation strategy to run all plane engines 24/7.

And, as for lengthening the life of your PC....I have owned macs and PCs since the early 80s, and have in that time not had a single computer "die" before I gave it away. And I have had only 1 hard drive crash. My oldest Mac is a (still working) Mac Plus. My point is, most computers are destined for recycling long before they will break down, even under heavy use, so the worries about saving energy but filling landfills are not very compelling.


Fish
post #20 of 58
Blue Meanie -

How did murbot demonstrate that?
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post #21 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Bodhi:
<strong>Blue Meanie -

How did murbot demonstrate that?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, (and this goes to spotbug too) - I just meant that by throwing phrases like 'granola tree hugger' around, our mate murbot was seemed to be showing a cavalier attitude and a determination to switch his/ her brain off rather than consider the issues, and I'd guess guess that those kind of attitudes lie behind the USA's fantastically prolifigate approach to energy use. That statistic I quoted is nothing [EDIT - whoops, of course that that shoud read "isn't something" ] I just plucked out the air - I've read it in several news articles.
But EmAn is quite right, I didn't know that murbot is from Canada.

[ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]

[ 03-06-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #22 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by RedEric:
<strong>RedEric Says

TOSSER </strong><hr></blockquote>

BlueMeanie Says
WHO?
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #23 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by fishdoc:
<strong>Well, I for one think it is great that Blue is concerned with energy conservation. Yes, there are tradeoffs in any form of conservation (such as the one pointed aout about electronic equipment lasting longer when powered on continuously), but it is worth explicitly considering those tradeoffs and trying to do the right thing.

I should add that just because leaving something on prolongs its service life does NOT always mean that the best conservation strategy is to leave it on. Jet engines, for example, last far longer when run constantly, as opposed to the numerous on/off cycles through the day, but I doubt most would think it is a sound fiscal or conservation strategy to run all plane engines 24/7.

And, as for lengthening the life of your PC....I have owned macs and PCs since the early 80s, and have in that time not had a single computer "die" before I gave it away. And I have had only 1 hard drive crash. My oldest Mac is a (still working) Mac Plus. My point is, most computers are destined for recycling long before they will break down, even under heavy use, so the worries about saving energy but filling landfills are not very compelling.


Fish</strong><hr></blockquote>

Some intelligent comments there fishdoc. And thanks for being willling to at least think about the issues
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #24 of 58
Thread Starter 
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
--
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
Reply
post #25 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by CosmoNut:
<strong>CosmoNut is tired and going to bed after this post, but:

A lightbulb will last the longest total illuminated hours if it is turned on and never turned off until it blows. The stress of heating up, cooling down, heating up, cooling down, etc. wears it down quicker.

As was previously mentioned, computers are the same way. I say -- pardon, CosmoNut sez, putting a computer in sleep mode is the best thing to do to balance the lowest-stress-on-the-computer vs. energy saver dilemma. It uses ever-so-little power, and is less stressful on the machine (generally) than starting up and shutting down all the time.

But CosmoNut is no expert. </strong><hr></blockquote>

Point taken - The Blue Meanie admits this isn't an easy, black-and-white issue
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All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #26 of 58
Thread Starter 
doggone dbl posts!

[ 03-05-2002: Message edited by: The Blue Meanie ]</p>
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #27 of 58
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by murbot:
<strong>

You are right. My daughter has a nite-lite, listens to quiet lullaby music all night, and I only put my PowerMac to sleep instead of shutting it off.

What an irresponsible asshole I am...



You seem awfully thin skinned for a "meanie".</strong><hr></blockquote>

Murbot, there's a big difference between a night light left on to comfort a child and a computer left on overnight, even if the power consumption is the same. The night light is being used for something, the computer isn't. You have to multiply what seem like trivial usages by millions to get a true picture of the impact of your (and my) energy use on the globe.
The Blue Meanie admits he did have a rush of blood to his head when he first read your message - but I toned my response down when I realised you were probably just being ironic or trying to get a rise out me...(he said deftly but erratically switching from the first to the third person for no apparent reason)
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All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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All wor k and no play makes Jack a dull boyy
Alll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
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post #28 of 58
Well, I was battling with my wife last night, which may have helped bring down the intelligence level of my posting...



But my opinion is still that sleeping a computer draws so little power that I am not going to worry about it. I mean I've got a TV and a VCR that probably draw more power when turned off than my Mac does.

I do enough other energy conserving things in my life that I'm not going to feel bad about this one tiny miniscule thing.

[quote]our mate murbot was seemed to be showing a cavalier attitude and a determination to switch his/ her brain off rather than consider the issues<hr></blockquote>

I just don't see it as much of an issue, that's all. In fact, I wonder how much electricity we have all burned reading and responding to this thread...

[ 03-05-2002: Message edited by: murbot ]</p>
post #29 of 58
[quote]Originally posted by The Blue Meanie:
<strong>murbot was seemed to be showing a cavalier attitude and a determination to switch his/ her brain off</strong><hr></blockquote>

I'd say you're the one that's turned his/her brain off. Good luck getting that going again.
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post #30 of 58
I am entirely on solar power, so I let them sleep. (as long as they don't have a fan that runs while it's sleeping - that could drain the batteries overnight :eek: )

We leave the G4s in our lab sleeping at night. The main computer tech people (PC zealots) say that a sleeping Mac uses more power than a running PC, but we tell them to shut up.

post #31 of 58
Can we at least try to make some sort of pretense that we're a friendly crowd round here?
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post #32 of 58
Well, my powerbook must not use very much power when it's sleeping, considering I can take the battery out and the light just keeps going. I can't imagine the towers would be much different.
post #33 of 58
An interesting article about "energy vampires"...

<a href="http://www.nctimes.com/news/2001/20010531/104402.html" target="_blank">http://www.nctimes.com/news/2001/20010531/104402.html</a>

note that the section on leaving appliances off does not mention computers (which I imagine may or may not take more energy asleep than do vcrs, e.g.). Also note that they specifically claim that "modern electrical equipment" is not harmed by being turned off and on.

I think the bottom line is - every little bit helps, and if we CAN reduce energy consumption, we should. On the other hand, for small bits of energy wasting, we should try not to get too worked up over it - we ALL waste resources, and we could all waste less.


Fish
post #34 of 58
Curious how much power is consumed in sleep?


<a href="http://www.macworld.com/2001/08/buzz/energycrunch_sb1.html" target="_blank">MacWorld article</a>

<a href="http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/hardware/Developer_Notes/Macintosh_CPUs-G4/PowerBook_G419Dec00/PBG4-13.html" target="_blank">Apple Developer Note</a>

So, the difference between sleep and off is not huge, but definitely has advantages, and the machine still draws power when off. I wonder if it draws any power when the power strip is also off...

[ 03-05-2002: Message edited by: giant ]

[edit: shortened links to fit the board - Amorph]

[ 03-08-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
post #35 of 58
I only shut my machines down when I have to move them, or during major thunderstorms (then I also unplug them).

The additional power consumption is negligible, and the savings in time and component life are significant.
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post #36 of 58
[quote]Originally posted by giant:
<strong>Curious how much power is consumed in sleep?


<a href="http://www.macworld.com/2001/08/buzz/energycrunch_sb1.html" target="_blank">MacWorld article</a>

<a href="http://developer.apple.com/techpubs/hardware/Developer_Notes/Macintosh_CPUs-G4/PowerBook_G419Dec00/PBG4-13.html" target="_blank">Apple Developer Note</a>


So, the difference between sleep and off is not huge, but definitely has advantages, and the machine still draws power when off. I wonder if it draws any power when the power strip is also off...

[ 03-05-2002: Message edited by: giant ]</strong><hr></blockquote>


thank you. as shown above the difference from turning it off and sleeping is only 2-4 watts.

The advantage of shutting down is probably killed because from my understanding a lot more power is used in the startup process as it is a surge and everything powers up.

[ 03-08-2002: Message edited by: Amorph ]</p>
post #37 of 58
Not to mention, instead of sleeping, you could be doing some <a href="http://folding.stanford.edu/" target="_blank">good for humanity.</a>
In my experience, I've had my 8600 on (more or less) 24/7 ever since I got it (5 years, I think). I'm of the "spinning up and spinning down is bad for the hard drives" camp.
It's mostly a non-issue for me. I can think of worse things to do than keep my computer turned on.

BTW...lighten up on the Meanie! He wasn't hostile in his posts at all.
post #38 of 58
Applenut,

actually, if you look at the study from Lawrence Livermore, they state that the power surge thing (using up more energy than leaving on) is a myth.

Nice to see some real numbers. It looks like the bottom line is - if you want to turn off your computer when not in use for a while, you will be saving a bit of energy and helping the environment, so good for you.

On the other hand, if you need or want the benefits of leaving it on, you are causing only a fairly minimal impact, so it doesn't seem like something to get too worked up about.

In my case, turning off my machines when not in use (2 computers at home, 2 at work) would save 45,000 watts a year at work, and 41,600 watts a year at home. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but I choose to turn off the home machines every day, and the work machines on weekends.

Interesting discussion - can't say I fault the power-off folks OR the power-on folks, but it is worth thinking about.

Fish
post #39 of 58
I'm in the mood to shoot me some folks who speak in the 3rd person

ok..not shoot..but how about if I spit some 'bacca on your forehead?!

Personally I keep my computer fired up, lights on, TV on, and anything electrical turned on to counteract all of your all's energy saving
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post #40 of 58
Its just a question of thinking about what you are doing. I keep my Pismo on when I am at home with it because its a priority (Use it on-off constantly). But if I had a television and a VCR I would turn it off stand by because it would add nothing for me.

No one is telling anyone that you should do this or that but just make your habits conscious and make your wrong habits habits of choice. I have chosen to take long baths every day because I like it, to leave my computer on and travel many times a year because its priority to me. On the other hand I don´t eat much meat, ride on the bus or on my bike, eat mostly ecological and don´t have a TV. Its all about choosing what to do instead of letting unconscious habits rule.
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