Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lenovo Introdcing Energy Efficient and Green PC

Lenovo is introducing smaller and more energy efficient and green PCs in order to meet tighter environmental standards.

Detailing its line-up for the coming year at an event in Paris, Lenovo said that it is making energy efficiency key to its future desktop strategy.

This was demonstrated by the newly launched M57/M57p Eco USFF (Ultra-Small Form Factor) due out later this year. The PC uses a small shell and environmental tweaks to save $30 per year in running costs. Lenovo claims that the device can reduce carbon emissions by 259.8kg compared with a traditional PC.

"Lenovo will have a stronger green focus on new desktops," said Per Olesen, desktop product manager at Lenovo. "There are huge potential savings with the new technology."

Lenovo is taking the same approach with notebooks. The new X300 model is made of 90 per cent recyclable material and uses LED back lighting and solid state drives to cut the carbon footprint.

"Now it's a massive issue and is going to be a major focus for Lenovo. Investors are choosing to invest in environmentally friendly companies and those who use green technology."

The rules on power supplies are also being applied to notebooks and the X300 has 87 per cent efficiency in this area, and also boasts an Energy Star 4.0 rating.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

D-Link Expands Energy-Efficient, Eco-friendly Green Ethernet Switches

The world of networking gear isn't immune to the sustainability benefits of energy-efficient, eco-friendly features. Vendor D-Link is spotlighting that point with the expansion of its family of Green Ethernet switches aimed at SMBs.

Now available with 16 and 24 ports in addition to the 5- and 8-port models unveiled last year, D-Link's Green Ethernet Gigabit switches comply with RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). But for the cost-conscious IT admin, the products' energy-saving features may prove more alluring.

First, D-Link's switches are capable of analyzing cable length and adjusting power usage accordingly. Normally, switches send full power to cables regardless of the actual length. Cable lengths used by small-office and home user users are generally less than 20 meters, according to D-Link, so switch's power smarts can reduce energy consumption.

Second, D-Link says its Green Ethernet technology can tell when a connect computer is shut down and responds accordingly by powering down into standby mode and reducing power used for that port.

According to D-Link, when the DGS-2208 multi-port desktop switch is connected and then powered down, users could realize up to 80 percent savings in power usage; the other D-Link Green Ethernet switches could save up to 45 percent, according to the company. If the devices are used for 10 hours, then powered down for 14, you could save up 40 percent on energy with the DGS-2208 and 27 percent with the other switches. Those figures are in comparison to the energy usage of a D-Link conventional switch connected via 20m Ethernet cables.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Eco Button For Green PC Users

Eco Button, Green PC
The Eco button is a simple hardware that increases the PC's efficiency while being idle.

At the push of this button, Eco button puts your PC system into a deeper-than-normal sleep mode that draws only as much power as when your computer and monitor are shut down.

Push the button again and the PC returns to wherever it left off while displaying the sleep-induced cash and carbon savings as well as your logo.

The device even keeps a cumulative total of the cash and carbon saved.

At the age of expensive electricity bills and more environment-aware users, the Eco button can be the perfect way to strike a balance, getting both increased efficiency and decrease those costly bills.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Green PC - Dell Latitude D630

Green PC
If you visit a financial district or attend a corporate conference, you're bound to find someone carrying around a Dell Latitude D630 - Green PC.

This lightweight business laptop competes with the Lenovo think pad T61 Wide screen and the HP Compaq 6910p; all three share similarities like a 14-inch wide screen, highly configurable Intel parts, and terrific battery life.

Since my last review of the D630, the unit has acquired several, not necessarily new, options worth talking about. Among them are a discrete graphics option for 3D-intensive purposes, solid-state drives for durability, and energy efficiency.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Save Your Business...and Environment With Green PCs

Green Computer, Green PC
The Age of Computers dawned with the ecologically friendly promise of a paperless office. That broken promise aside, the rapid advancement of computer technology has had a very nasty and unforeseen impact on the environment.

If saving the Earth's environment isn't your thing, perhaps saving your hard-earned money is. Going Green means using cleaner, safer, cooler computers, which means becoming more energy efficient, which saves money. We'll review a few green PC systems here, plus give you a checklist that will help you shop for other systems and upgrades.

Buying a New System

The average computer lasts 3 years, so odds are you'll be in the market for a new PC pretty soon. Unless you're upgrading parts or building your own green computer (see below), you'll want to keep an eye out for what's inside the newest PCs.

HP Compaq is offering two new green PCs. There's the tiny HP Compaq dc7800 Ultra-slim Desktop PC with SSD ($1,258), and the bare bones model dc5800 ($579). Both feature energy-efficient hardware as well as software, resulting in faster boot-ups, as-needed power consumption, and timely auto shutdowns. These Energy Star compliant machines produce less heat, reducing cooling energy by 15-30%. They use half as much electricity to run, and up to 75% less energy in sleep mode. Use of lead-free components further enhances their "greenness."

Going even further, Lenovo is offering 42 different PC models approved by EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool), a set of standards set by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Lenovo's A 61e ThinkCentre is one of the greenest PCs in the world. The desktop is small and light, and 90% of its components are recyclable. The AMD dual core Athlon 64X2 processor uses less than half the energy of a standard CPU, living up to its cool and quiet claims. Available imminently in North America, it could start in the $400 range before upgrades.

Green Habits

Develop some simple habits to enhance your PC greenness. Screen savers don't save energy, so go to your PC's power management utility and set your screen to turn off after 5 minutes of inactivity, and for your hard drive to spin down (hibernate, sleep, suspend) after 10 minutes of inactivity. Turn off your PC if you're not using it. For more on how to reduce the power consumption of your PC, read our article "Reduce Your PC's Power and Operating Costs: Tweak Windows Power Settings."

Always recycle. Replacing computers and components with greener technology still leaves you with the responsibility to dispose of your old technology responsibly. HP Compaq and Lenovo, as well as many local landfills and entrepreneurial ventures are making it easier to dispose of these machines properly. They will break down the components, recycle what they can, and dispose if the rest in ways that protect the environment.

Green Components

The greener PC systems use lead-free components and avoid the four main power hogs: CRT monitors, energy-wasting power supplies, souped-up graphics cards, and inefficient CPUs. Here's what you should look for:

* The biggest environmental offender in a PC system is the CRT monitor - those old heavy cathode ray tube monitors. Most are full of deadly lead, mercury, barium, cadmium and phosphorous. Similar sized flat LCD screens burn half as much energy and are free of the exotic toxins.
* PC power supplies used to run full tilt whether or not they needed to. A new initiative called the 80 Plus Program certifies lead-free power supplies designed to deliver only the power called for at the moment.
* High performance graphics cards can actually draw more than three times the power of a CRT monitor. Gaming may be fun, but it's an environment killer.
* CPUs are traditional power-drainers. Still, Intel's latest Core 2 Duo E6700 processor and AMD's X2 series processors use less energy yet run faster than their Pentium D class of chips. VIA's latest processors can use up to 80% less energy.
* New variable speed CPU fans are available that work only as hard as necessary to keep your CPU cool. Additional heat sink features increase efficiency.
* Seagate and Samsung are the forerunners in developing SATA hard drives that are lead-free and energy efficient, with single instead of multiple platters to decrease the eventual discarded hazardous waste.
* Intel has a lead-free DG965SS microATX motherboard, which consumes less power and eliminates the need for graphics and sound expansion cards because they're already integrated into the board.
* Sony is leading the way with lead-free DVD/CD drives.
* Avoid getting too much RAM - even the lead-free variety. You may never need the extra module, and avoiding it keeps energy waste down.

Bottom Line

When shopping for green PCs or upgrade components, look for lead-free circuitry, "80 Plus" certified power supplies, variable CPU fans with heat sinks, LCD monitors, and in general don't buy more capability than you need. EPEAT approval and Energy Star compliance are also good signs. Be sure to recycle your old PCs and components. You'll save money. And, oh yeah, you'll save the planet.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Lean, Green, Open Source Machine

The Linutop is a pocket size desktop PC, the size of a paperback novel. It does not have an internal hard disk drive, but instead its open source operating system resides on a USB key.

The tiny machine uses an AMD Geode LX700 (x86) processor, and comes with 256MB of RAM. There are four USB 2.0 ports, which allows for external storage to be plugged in, and there is a 10/100baseT Ethernet connection, a VGA output, as well as audio in and out connections.

The aluminium case measures just 9.3 x 2.7 x 15 cm (or 3.66 x 1.06 x 5.9 inches in old money) and weights a mere 280 grams (9.9 oz). And it only consumes just 5 watts of power, making it "one of the most energy efficient on the market."

Linutop makes no bones about pushing the machine's green credentials, citing its low power consumption, coupled with reduced maintenance costs and added robustness due to its lack of hard drive and absence of moving parts. The company also states, somewhat tenuously admittedly, that the small size of the Linutop makes the computer easier to recycle and its light weight reduces the environmental cost of shipping.

The Linutop comes with the open source operating system xubuntu, which is customised for the Linutop. However it is compatible with other Linux distributions including Mandriva key, Slackware, DSL (damn small Linux), and Puppy Linux.

Web browsing is provided by a Firefox browser, and instant messaging is provided by Gaim, now known as Pidgin, which supports a lot of protocols including AIM, Google Talk, MSN, and Yahoo etc.

An open source word processor is also provided (Abiword), as is a simple calendar and tasks manager, a PDF viewer, and various other multimedia applications.

The company website shows how the Linutop can be unpacked and made ready for web surfing in under three minutes.

The Linutop is touted as a mainstream PC that can be used in shops, bars, kiosks and schools, or anywhere where desktop space is at a premium. Its tiny size also means that it is suitable to be embedded in cars, aeroplanes or boats, or in a digital signage offering.

The machine comes bundled with the USB key containing the operating system and applications, and costs 250 euros or £186 pounds (excluding VAT and shipping).

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Friday, February 15, 2008

HP Recycles Products Nearly 250 million pounds

Nearly 113 million kg of products were re-cycled last year, a 50 per cent increase over HP’s 2006 recycled output.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) has announced it recycled nearly 250 million pounds (113.3 million kg or 113,398 metric tonnes) of hardware and print cartridges globally in 2007. The weight of these is equivalent to more than twice that of the ill-fated cruise liner The Titanic.

HP said that the volume of recycled material in 2007 was an increase of approximately 50 per cent over 2006’s volume. It helped HP surpass its goal to recycle 1 billion pounds of technology equipment.

Out of the total 250 million pounds, HP recycled only 13 million pounds (5,897 metric tonnes) of equipment in the Asia Pacific region. The majority of the recycling was processed in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (170 million pounds) and in the Americas region (65 million pounds).

HP also re-used 65 million pounds of hardware to be refurbished for resale or donation, increasing its annual re-use rate by 30 per cent.

"HP set the most aggressive recovery goal in the IT industry and we’re on track to meet it," said Pat Tiernan, vice president, Corporate, Social and Environmental Responsibility, HP.

This environment-friendly news from HP comes on the back its recent announcement of an engineering breakthrough that enables the use of post-consumer recycled plastics in the production of new Original HP ink jet print cartridges.

Started in 1987, HP’s recycling programme now operates in more than 50 countries, regions and territories.

HP had announced its energy plans at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas early this year. It committed itself to reduce the energy consumption across its entire line of personal computers by 25 per cent, within two years.

The PC manufacturer noted that it now leads the industry in the number of Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Gold listed products with the introduction of more than two dozen PCs registered in North America at either the Gold or Silver rating levels.

In 2007, HP was the first PC manufacturer to register an EPEAT Gold product - the Compaq rp5700 Long Life cycle Business Desktop PC.

The EPEAT system is designed to help shoppers evaluate and compare desktop systems, laptops and monitors based on the products' environmental attributes.

In March 2007, HP tweaked three of its computers to meet the EPA’s new Energy Star standard. The HP Compaq dc5700, dc5750 and dc7700 were updated to help business users reduce energy costs, primarily by switching into sleep or idle modes sooner than current models and by using an 80 per cent efficient power supply instead of the current range of 65per cent-to-75per cent efficiency.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

PlastiCrap Button Turns Off Your Computer For You

There's a searing review of the EcoButton, a USB-powered button that sends your computer into power-save mode, up on BoingBoing Gadgets. Guess what... that's all it does. Why go to all the trouble of clicking the mouse three times when you can just hit an oversized button?

Even better, the Eco Button is illuminated, the better to remind you that you're wasting more of the planet's resources unnecessarily just by keeping it plugged into your computer's USB port.

While it would make saving energy easier, I can't help but wonder how much energy it would take to manufacture, advertise, package, sell, ship, and (hopefully) recycle one of these... and how long it would take to recoup the "investment." The main advantage to having one of these around would be having a constant reminder to reduce energy use. The package includes software to track how much you're saving, so it's a great way to learn to feel good about reducing energy use (if not consumption).

This might be a good way for companies to encourage green thinking, and save some dough while they're at it. At my last job, they left the computers on 24/7 - as a policy - and it drove me crazy... they could be saving hundreds a year (and tons of CO2) with these in place. Going Green is as much about changing minds than saving energy, so perhaps there's a place for these. There won't be a place for these in twenty years, though... we'll either have figured out how to conserve energy without oversized plastic buttons by then, or be competing over the last few drops of oil in the Thunderdome.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Energy Efficient

Going broke on new energy efficient appliances to save money and the environment is now a thing of the past. At the Bloomington Salvation Army, all minds were focused this afternoon on saving energy.

Area residents attended this Energy Fair looking for information to go "green." Organizers say about 100 people came out to learn how to reduce their energy usage.

"There are a lot of other things you can do to save energy that don't cost a lot of money sealing up your windows, wrapping up your water heater, turning your water heater temperature down things like that, that will save energy without really costing you money in the process," DeAnna Belz with the Ecology Action Center says.

This is the first energy fair hosted by the Ecology Action Center. The EAC is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing environmental education to McLean County residents.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

Asus’s P5E3 Premium Green Motherboard - Energy Efficient

Many companies went green last year, and Asus is being more innovative on their Green initiative. Asus’s new P5E3 Premium motherboard uses a new solution to make it more energy efficient - this solution is called ASUS EPU (Energy Processing Unit).
Green Motherboard

By throttling processor power consumption, the EPU saves over 80 percent of power usage. The P5E3 Premium also features Asus Express Gate mini OS, which allows users to access the Internet almost instantly without having to boot into the full operating system installed on the computer.

The board is based on Intel X48 chipset and comes with 802.11n draft wireless. It supports DDR3 2000Mhz and dual PCI Express 2.0 x16 lanes. Asus priced the P5E3 Premium at $369 and should be available at the end of February this year.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Tips to Maximizing Performance in the Green Computing Trend

With attention shifting from strictly performance to performance with energy efficiency, performance-saving measures are needed now more than ever.

Below are the some tips to maximizing performance:-

1. De fragment hard drives: A primary and extremely common barrier to performance is disk file fragmentation, in which files are split into pieces (fragments) in order to maximize disk space. Regular defragmentation is vital and is performed at most computer sites. With today's enormous disk capacities and file sizes, however, attention must also be paid to the defragmentation technology. Scheduled defragmentation, in most cases, can no longer keep up with ever-escalating fragmentation rates, and sites would find greater benefit from a defragmenter which runs constantly and automatically, in the background, with no impact on system resources.

2. Increase memory: Today's operating systems and applications are, in common parlance, resource hogs, and they'll take as much memory as you throw at them. Hence, it is always worthwhile and will always boost performance to increase memory to the maximum allowed for a particular machine.

3. Make sure anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are installed, running and up-to-date. Viruses and especially spyware can work insidiously, unseen inside a computer, drastically hindering performance. Of course, if not caught, viruses can do much worse than hinder performance, so it behooves everyone to insure reliable anti-virus and anti-spyware programs are installed and running.

4. Reduce number of running programs. Checking over servers and especially user systems, how important is it that all those programs are running? Any running program will be chipping away at precious system resources, especially CPU and memory. It behooves computer sites to implement policies and restrictions on applications to be run, and to periodically check running applications to see how necessary they really are.

5. Install faster hard drives: Another sometimes unseen hindrance to performance is hard drive speed. Although the hard drive is still the weakest link in terms of speed, gaining all possible speed from drives, especially those most frequently accessed, can assist in the fight for better performance.

Green PC, Green Products, Save Energy, Recycle PC

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