Saturday, December 29, 2007

Greener Computing Tips from Lifehacker

Lifehacker have come up with a list of 10 straightforward but effective energy saving tweaks all computer users can try.

First, just turn it off. Shut down when you're not using the computer - easy but many of us are guilty of leaving our machines on in the background all day.

Secondly, spin down your hard drive: "Set your computer to put your hard drive to sleep when it's not in use. This will extend the life of your drive as well as save energy."

Thirdly, remove all those pesky "energy vampires". Unplug anything that isn't actively in need of charging or being used. Think phones that are already charged and iPods already full of juice.

Also, try exploring those power saving settings that every modern computer system uses.

Also, try a smart power switch. These turn off all peripherals automatically when the main CPU is switched off. Try the Intelliplug.

Another tip: Check to see what programs run automatically when your computer starts up and ditch any that aren't necessary. Does it really need to constantly hunt down Bluetooth devices? Is there any point in searching for a wireless network when you're far away from any possible source?

Like the "energy vampires" you can also be merciless in unplugging your peripherals. Are you using your scanner right now? If not, turn it off. The same goes for printers, cameras even wireless routers.

If you use several different computers (say a Mac, one running Linux and another with standard Windows) these days there's no need to run all three. With modern programs that allow you to run all these systems on a single computer you no longer need to leave several computers running.

On a desktop it's your monitor that drains the most power, so try adjusting the settings so it's just a little less bright.