Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Intensions were right, but....

There is a web site called Blackle which essentially attempts to be Google but with a black background. The basic premise is that white is a power-hungry color for monitors, and black uses less power. It seems reasonable, but Google blog took note of it and duly noted that this was not in fact the case. According to Bill Weihl, the "Green Energy Czar" of Google:
We applaud the spirit of the idea, but our own analysis as well as that of others shows that making the Google homepage black will not reduce energy consumption. To the contrary, on flat-panel monitors (already estimated to be 75% of the market), displaying black may actually increase energy usage. Detailed results from a new study confirm this.

[Links in original]

However, Weihl does give tips for saving energy, such as:
  • turn on the power management features. Virtually all computers today have the ability to switch into low-power modes automatically when they're idle; very few computers have this capability enabled! Here's how to do it on computers running Windows XP.
  • turn off your monitor and computer when you're not using them
  • turn down the brightness on your monitor
  • make sure your next computer meets the efficiency standards of Climate Savers Computing (an efficient computer uses up to 50% less energy than a conventional one)
  • to find the most efficient PCs available today, look for the words "EnergyStar 4.0 compliant."


Here's how to enable power management in Ubuntu. Go to System>Preferences>Power Management. There you can adjust when you want to set your system to sleep (which can be useful) and when you want to set your monitor to sleep (which is what we're looking for). After reading this, I set my monitor to sleep after 15 minutes (from 40 minutes). I can imagine what I would be doing that would require inactivity for more than 15 minutes, but even then, it'll just be a nuisance but I'd still save power. So, I hope this post has taught you something. And I'll see you the next opportunity I get to make a post.

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