Thursday, July 31, 2008

Save Money With PC Power Management

Going green can save greenbacks, which is a welcome notion at Washington Mutual, which suffered heavy losses in the subprime mortgage crash.

The bank has cut its PC-related greenhouse gas emissions by 65 percent and is on track to save $3 million on electricity costs this year, says Debora Horvath, WaMu's CIO and head of the bank's environmental council. Horvath has set the bank on other Green IT initiatives, including a big to get the legal department to use less paper.

The savings from this bankwide PC project, though, will come from Verdiem power-management software, which WaMu installed on its 44,000 PCs last year, after a 100-machine pilot last spring. The software monitors activity on the computers, powering them down when they aren't in use. Less electricity used, more money saved. Cost-cutting drives most green IT initiatives, followed by efforts to be more socially responsible, according to our survey of 280 technology executives.

At WaMu, Horvath's team set up the system so that during business hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., PCs and monitors in WaMu's retail branches remain on. At WaMu's back-office locations, monitors turn off after 20 minutes of inactivity and green PC go into standby mode after 30 minutes of inactivity. At 6 p.m. every night, if there is no activity, PCs go into standby and the monitors turn off. Employees working after hours can delay the software from powering down.

Laptops were removed from the rollout because ROI wasn't as great as on desktops, a spokesman says, adding that that assessment was based on a study performed by the vendor. The entire project, from pilot to enterprisewide rollout, took a few months.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dell Launches Super-Small 'Green' Desktop PC Line

Dell has announced a new line of mini desktop PCs that are 80 per cent smaller than the average desktop computer, and they consume about 70 per cent less energy. The "Green" mini PC also features some beautiful design features.

Digital Journal -- It's Dell's smallest and most environmentally friendly consumer PC on the market. The Dell Studio Hybrid was announced today and the units show off impressive features and refined design. Gone are the days of clunky, grey desktop towers.
Green PC, Green Computer

“The design and craftsmanship of the Studio Hybrid alone are enough to cause you to do a double take,” Phil Bryant said Dell's vice president and general manager, Americas Consumer Sales, in a news release. “Combine that with the performance of this little beauty and its environmentally smart DNA, and you’ve got something truly unique.”

Dell's new Studio Hybrid allowed the company to reduce packing materials 30 per cent by weight; packing materials are also 95 per cent recyclable; and printed documentation was reduced 75 per cent by weight.

The PC boasts an Intel Pentium Core 2 Duo processor and runs on Windows Vista. You can also get up to 4GB 667MHz Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM.

Green PC, DellSummer is traditionally a quiet period for tech companies, when few major products are announced to the industry. But with the Green movement in full swing, Dell is cashing in on the trend and the upcoming back-to-school surge.

The Studio Hybrid is about the size of a "collegiate dictionary," according to the company's news release. A "collegiate" dictionary? Could they not have found a better comparison? For those of you wondering, it is bigger than Apple's Mac Mini.

The PC can be set up both vertically or horizontally and comes in seven colours (Bamboo, Emerald, Quartz, Ruby, Sapphire, Slate, and Topaz).

Dell Green ComputerThe new PC starts at $529 CAN ($499 USD), and Dell's launch of this new line is in step with its aggressive pursuit of HP. Dell trails HP in the desktop PC market at number two.

The PC also comes with optional Wi-Fi networking capabilities, Blu-ray, and a TV tuner.

"Our goal was to design a desktop that fits in the office or in the living room, or anywhere space is at a premium,” said Bill Tyrrell, consumer product marketing, Dell Canada. “We’ve created a desktop PC category that combines style, performance and a high degree of energy efficiency.”

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Dell Introduces Slick Studio Hybrid PC

Desktop PCs are, to be blunt, not particularly eye-catching. But Dell's new Studio Hybrid does just that, making an impression with its style and decidedly un-PC-like design. And its price will make you take note, too: A basic configuration starts at $499, without monitor; with monitor, $689.

The first thing you'll wonder about the Studio Hybrid: Where'd they put the computer components that make this gracefully curved, ovally shaped device a bonafide PC? The Studio Hybrid's physical dimensions put it in line with what a typical external DVD burner (with a half-height, desktop-sized drive inside) would require. Except in this case--you get a whole PC, as well as a DVD burner.

Dell bills the Studio Hybrid as being 80 percent smaller than a typical desktop. The company also says the Energy Star 4.0-compliant system uses about 70 percent less power than a typical desktop.

The system can be set in a vertical or horizontal configuration; the glowing blue Dell logo is on the top and bottom (or left and right, if vertical) of the unit, and the name "Hybrid" will automatically orient itself depending upon whether you stand the computer vertically or horizontally. The unit comes with a stand; the stand's two tabs help the Hybrid stay upright.

The Hybrid's clever design packs tons of functionality into its compact package. The ports (HDMI, DVI, gigabit ethernet, a Kensington lock, SP/DIF, and line-in and line-out; a 4-pin FireWire 400 port and three USB 2.0 ports) are all neatly arranged in the back, which helps with cable management. And up front, you'll find a slot-loading 8X dual-layer DVD burner at left (if vertical), and a headphone jack, two more USB ports, and an 8-in-1 memory card reader at right. Come August, you can upgrade the DVD burner to a slot-loading DVD burner/Blu-ray Disc reader, instead.

Dell achieves this feat of miniaturization by using notebook computer components, including Intel Pentium Dual Core and Core 2 Duo CPUs, and 2.5-inch, 5400 RPM notebook hard drives (160GB, 250GB, and 320GB capacities). You also get a choice of 1GB to 4GB of shared system and video memory; options for built-in draft 802.11n Wi-Fi, a TV tuner, or a wireless keyboard and mouse. But, since the system is not expandable (or user-serviceable), you have no graphics option beyond its integrated Intel graphics.

The unit comes with a smoky gray plastic sleeve that sticks out about an inch beyond the chassis itself; this means that the cables coming out the back are mostly tucked within this sleeve. Want a different color to better match your setting or personality? Dell will be offering seven colors in all, including green, red, blue, and orange.

What's most notable about this system is that you're not paying a gigantic premium for the miniaturized design--prices start at $499. This is a first--and a testament to the mainstream status of notebook components.

The physical size, aesthetics, and basic specs of the Studio Hybrid have whet my appetite. The idea of having a stylish, unobtrusive system like this to connect to my television is particularly enticing; suddenly, using a PC as a digital video recorder feels plausible (though I'd want remote control, too, if I were to use the PC that way). But first, I look forward to seeing how this unit performs on our PC WorldBench 6 tests. Stay tuned for our results.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Artificial DNA = Green PCs?

Green PC, Green Computer
Japanese boffins have created artificial DNA that could one day be part of green computers running on little or even no power. Datamonitor's Ruchi Mallya suggests the Univeristy of Toyama's research could bring to reality a computer that ditches traditional silicon and works on DNA instead.

Mallya says the DNA would work as the software and the enzymes would act as hardware. The green bit comes in from the DNA running on internal energy "produced during cellular reactions." The result would be a very low PC or even a laptop that didn't require batteries.

Sound far fetched? Mallya admits that "DNA computers will not be replacing today's standard PCs anytime soon" but is confident it could one day become reality.

While my SmartPlanet money is still on Al Gore saving the planet faster than DNA computers, a switch from silicon PCs to DNA ones could have one unexpected side effect: cheap solar panels.

Since most solar panel cells use silicon to convert the sun's energy into electricity, a fall in demand for computing silicon might dramatically cut the price of solar panels. And that *could* save the planet.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Netgear Switch Awarded Certified Green Status

A Netgear switch designed for use by small to medium-sized businesses has been awarded Certified Green status by Miercom.

The ProSafe 48-port Gigabit Smart Switch (GS748T) was praised for its energy efficiency in recent testing by the consultancy.

Meircom evaluated more than a dozen switches for power consumption and found Netgear's innovative switch to be one of the best performers.

It said the ProSafe 48-port Gigabit Smart Switch consumed 90 watts or less when all ports were utilised, one of only a handful to do so.

"We were pleased to find that the Netgear GS748T used even less energy than its specifications stated," said Miercom's chief executive Robert Smithers.

Netgear said its switches are attractive to small businesses looking to reduce the cost of running office networks because they are specifically designed to consume less energy.

Last month Netgear's ReadyNAS Duo Home Media Server won a PC World 100 Best Products of 2008 Award. It wasthe second consecutive year that a ReadyNAS product received the accolade.

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Green technology high on IT agenda

In the wake of global warming and concerns over environmental degradation, companies are integrating green agenda into their business models. The concept of Green-IT is awakening India Inc to IT’s responsibilities towards environment conservation.

More than 500 million computers became obsolete worldwide by the end of 2007, while energy consumption from data centers touched 123 kwh. “The concern is now to make IT infrastructure energy efficient,'' Suresh Menon, head, storage business, Dell India, observed at the IT conclave.

In a green data center, mechanical, lighting, electrical and computer systems are designed for maximum energy efficiency and minimum environmental impact. The construction and operation of a green data center involve advanced technologies and strategies.

Large data centers are one of the most significant energy consumers in an organisation's IT infrastructure. Following pressure from environmentalists, IT operations are ensuring the delivery of environmentally sound solutions.

He commented on the indifference of users and pointed out that power consumption wastage can be brought down from the current 60-70 per cent to 20-30 per cent by simply keeping systems switched off.

"The solution is to optimise energy utilisation, reduce desired emissions through reasonable strategy and reduce fossil fuel based electric use," pointed out Menon. Well designed and optimised racks of servers at green data centers can save up to 28,000 watts of energy per year and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 18 tones.

He stressed on 'the Lifecycle approach to green' that encourages steps towards energy efficiency at each level of company operations.

Simple methods such as cost reductions, better management and judicious planning can help the organisation in becoming eco-friendly.

There's a need to devise ways to increase component optimisation- in terms of design, software to monitor and implement operational policies, he added. Nearly 60 per cent energy is consumed for power delivery and cooling systems at the data centers in the country.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Make Your Company Go Green

7 ways in which you can encourage green initiatives for your company
If you think it’s not up to you to make your company start green initiatives, think again. Maybe you cannot bring in an enterprise-wide change from the word go. But you can effect some change in your immediate workspace, among your colleagues and friends. Start now.

1.Switch off monitors when not at the workstation: This saves about 75W of power, says Tufts University’s Computing Initiative.

2. Going for a training?: If you are going to be away at a workshop or training in the conference room for more than one hour, switch off your PC. Worried if your boss will not be pleased at the dark screen at your table? Tell him you are saving electricity.

3.New PC purchases: Capex time, and your boss asks you for the equipment you and your team needs. Do some research, and come up with options that save energy. Look for computer power supply units that deliver over 80% efficiency, devices with Energy Star ratings, and other devices that help in reducing power consumption. This needs exploration, and might need the help of your IT people.

4. Go easy on the printer: Before you take a print, see if you really need to do so. If you can manage without it, don’t print. You save ink and paper this way. For draft prints, use paper already printed on one side. In fact you can start a ‘Be kind to the printer’ week to make your colleagues aware of the mindless printing that might be the practice in your company.

5. Switch off lights where not required: Someone is absent today. Do you really need the light in his workspace to be left on? If switching off that light makes no difference to the surrounding environment, go ahead and do it.

6. Push for telecommuting options: While there are companies that resist the telecommuting option for their employees, it’s a good idea to start discussing the option in your team. This cuts down on travel related costs, and can bring down electricity and real estate other costs for the company in the long run.

7. Set up a green team: Collect a set of like-minded individuals and start a green initiative for the company. Set up car pools, run tree plantation campaigns, and create a ‘best practices to go green’ manual.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

SPARKLE Proudly Announces Calibre P960 Green Power Graphics Card With Power Saving Up to 28%

SPARKLE Computer today Introduced the Calibre P960 Green Power Graphics Card with exclusive power savings features, to contribute its strength for earth environmental protection, greenhouse effect control to and carbon dioxide emissions reduction.

Since the industrial revolution, greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, sent by the human being into the atmosphere has increased year after year, enhancing the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect was mainly due to a lot of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere caused by excessive burning of coal, oil and gas in modern industrial society. The increasing energy demand has led to a substantial increase of carbon dioxide gas emissions. In terms of the reference board of GeForce 9600 GT graphics card, its full-load power consumption is about 101W, so decrease the power consumption of graphics cards in computers around the global will dramatically depress the carbon dioxide gas emissions made by power houses.

Now scientists predict that If the temperature raise on earth's surface continues to develop by the current pace, by 2050 the global temperatures will rise 2-4 degrees Celsius, the icebergs in north and south polar would melt cosmically, leading the sea level increase greatly , some island countries and coastal cities will submerged in water, including several famous international cities: New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney. The greenhouse effect and global warming has caused widespread concern around the world, they are currently promoting the development of international Convention on Climate Change, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions have become the trend of the times.

By introducing the Calibre P960 Green Power Graphics Card, now SPARKLE not only can provide a high performance graphic solution, but also encompasses effective power savings and a friendly green environment. With strong R&D team, Calibre P960 Green Power Graphics Card features SPARKLE exclusively designed 3-way BIOS, which includes three routes BIOS, corresponding to low-frequency, standard frequency and overclocking frequency. The exclusive 3-way BIOS features auto phase switching that provides users with real-time detection and optimization of power. This allows the whole power consumption lower to 72.9W, users can obtain up to 28% power savings, compared with GeForce 9600 GT reference boards. With environmental protection conception inside, this eco-friendly function will dramatically reduce power consumption and heat emissions, effectively against global warming and manage to do energy conservation.

At present, the number of global PC has reached to 1 billion, scientists expect the number will reach to 2 billion in 2014. Taiwan. To the current number one billion of terms, if 1 percent of the PCs currently running and using the GeForce 9600 GT GPU based graphics cards are replaced their graphics cards with Calibre P960 Green Power graphics cards, then the energy saving every hour will be up to 1,000,000,000 x 1% x (101-72.9) = 281,000kWh. If these PC run four hours a day with 365 days a year, the annual energy saving would be up to 281,000 X 4 X 365 = 410,260,000kWh. Now the carbon dioxide emissions pollution of Taiwan's per 1kWh is 637 grams, that is to say, based on the above assumptions, the annual global carbon dioxide emissions will be reduced by up to 637 x 410,260,000 = 261,335,620 kilograms.

It is well known that because the business factors, the Green PC in the majority of Internet cafes runs at 7x24. Calculations based on one Internet cafe with 50 PCs, if it uses 50 pieces of Calibre P960 Green Power graphics cards, the annual power savings is up to (101-72.9) x 50 x 24 x 365 = 12,307.80kWh,compared with GeForce 9600 GT reference boards,leading up to 2,000 U.S. dollars or more than 60,000 Taiwan dollars bills saving which is calculated on the up to NTD 5.1 or US $ 0.165 electricity unit price.

"As the world's only intelligent power saving DX10 graphic card, the Calibre P960 Green Power Graphics Card is our first product with 3-way BIOS design." Said Joe Lo, product director of SPARKLE Computer Co., Ltd. "With this wonder-working method, it provides up to 28% power savings – allowing users to help save the Earth every time they switch on their PCs!"

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Ontario Adds Fee for Electronics Recycling

Ontario is set to add a green levy to televisions and computers sold in the province as a way to offset the cost of recycling electronic equipment that is commonly dumped when outdated.

"The goal is to ensure that this material does not end up in our landfill site," said Environment Minister John Gerretsen. "The main reason for this is because there are hazardous materials involved; we're talking lead and mercury and other materials."

Mr. Gerretsen yesterday approved the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program, which includes per-item fees on the two major electronic purchases, as well as computer monitors and printers, mice and keyboards.

The levies, $10 for televisions and about $13 for computers, will be billed to Ontario producers and importers beginning on April 1, 2009. Mr. Gerretsen said it was up to the manufacturers to decide if the cost would be absorbed or passed on to consumers.

The program's income, expected to be about $62-million in the first year, will go to Waste Diversion Ontario, a non-Crown corporation that operates waste-diversion programs for the government, in order to fund the collection and recycling of outdated and unwanted electronics.

"The cost to recycle, the cost to manage responsibly, is higher than the cost to dispose. The way the current marketplace works is there's a disincentive to do the right thing," said executive director Glenda Gies. Ms. Gies said they will implement pick-up programs and expand the number of drop-off locations, from the current 167 to about 650 locations across the province.

A second phase of green fees will seek provincial approval next summer, seeking similar fees for the production and import of cellphones and BlackBerrys, answering machines, radios, cameras, DVD players and stereo equipment.

The ministry says that by the fifth year of the program, it expects 61% of Ontario's electronic waste to be reused or recycled, more than double the current rate of 27%.

According to the ministry, households and businesses throw out about 90,000 tonnes of old computers, printers and televisions each year, which could grow to 123,000 tonnes within five years -- about four million desktop computers, 1.5 million laptops and 2.2 million televisions.

Progressive Conservative environment critic Toby Barrett slammed the "electronics tax" yesterday as an expensive initiative that would not make the province any greener.

Recycling fees on electronics are already in place in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia.



The environmental levies set for April 1, 2009 - $10.07 per television - $2.14 per laptop computer - $13.44 per desktop computer - $12.03 per monitor - $5.05 per printer - 32¢ per mouse or keyboard.


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Friday, July 11, 2008

Do green mainframes make sense today?

Imagine if there was a resurgence of mainframes. IBM says they are greener than Unix and PC servers, and the savings in electricity are substantial. Could environmental savvy IT directors migrate applications onto the mainframe to lower their data centre electricity bills.

The mainframe is based on virtualisation technology that has evolved over the last 40 years, which makes it a great platform to run and manage virtual machines. IBM even sells IPL, an add-on processor dedicated to running Linux applications. A single mainframe can run hundreds of Linux virtual machines.

The green mainframe argument simply states that it is possible to replace hundreds of physical Linux-based PC servers with a single mainframe. The total electricity and cooling costs of running the Linux PC farm is far greater than if the same software environment was ported to the mainframe and run as virtual Linux machines.

This may have made sense a couple of years ago. However, thanks to VMWare, PC server virtualisation is mainstream. IT departments can run many copies of Linux (or Windows) on the same physical hardware.

So if the green sums are calculated now, is the mainframe really greener compared to a modern green PC server running multiple copies of Linux on top of VMWaare or Xen?

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gigabyte Embraces Green

PC maker to include energy saver in motherboards

Motherboard and graphics card maker, Gigabyte, says computer users will soon be saving millions of rands thanks to its new energy-efficient motherboard designs.

The company will in future include Dynamic Energy Saver (DES) in all its motherboards. Gigabyte says that using DES computer users will save up to 70% in power consumption and see a power efficiency of as much as 20%.

Sebastian Isaac, marketing director at Rectron, which distributes Gigabyte products, says that Gigabyte's DES "is controlled completely by a chipset solution that actually allows multiple power phases of the PC to be controlled with software that can distinguish between light and heavy loading to give you maximum power saving with the most efficiency".

Isaac says that besides potential cost-savings, DES-enabled motherboards help to reduce the impact everyday computing has on the environment, since less power consumption means less energy is needed to be produced from coal burning power plants. This cuts down on carbon dioxide output, a by-product of burning fossil fuels for electricity and a known component of greenhouse gasses.

Isaac says that with an estimated five million PCs in use across the country, "if all these PCs had to use this technology, then the amount of savings per year can be anything from R50 million to R250 million a year".

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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

HP Introduces Eco Friendly Printer

There’s a lot of talk about ink cartridges these days - the cost, disposal, recycling. What many people are overlooking is the opportunity to conserve. HP hasn’t overlooked this notion and has come out with the new Photosmart D5463 Printer which can help save ink.

The Photosmart D5463 HP Printer is an everyday printer for the home that provides lab quality photos and pristine laser-quality documents. The HP website points all the fact that the printer has all kinds of nifty features, including a “3.8 cm colour display, memory card slots, HP Smart Web Printing, and an auto-engaging photo tray, making printing photos and photo projects effortless. The HP Photosmart D5463 Printer also prints photos and text directly on CDs and DVDs.”

The ink scheme is quite brilliant. The Photosmart Printer allows you to say goodbye to the days when you had to buy multi-color cartridges and were forced to replace them when one color ran out. This printer has separate cartridges so you only have to replace them as needed. The cartridges are also bigger so they last longer.

Not only does the 5 ink system reduce over use of particular colors, but HP Vivera inks allow you to print enhanced detail photos and documents while using dual-drop-volume technology - a system that delivers an extremely small ink drop size.

Then, when it’s time to buy new ink, HP offers free, convenient recycling through HP Planet Partners. Recycle and be recycled. It’s the best way to go.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

CherryPal to Release Affordable Green PC Come August 2008

CherryPal will soon be releasing a lightweight and green computer. The PC comes in a small, affordable package weighing only 10.5 ounces, according to a story appearing on While the green PC will consume no more than two watts of power, CherryPal says the computer will boot-up in 20 seconds, and promises it will be faster than Vista and Mac’s OS-X. The CherryPal computer will have a triple-core processor will have only one-fifth of the components of a typical computer.

The CherryPal will operate on a system of ‘cloud computing’, which means that data usually stored on one dedicated server is instead stored on a third party’s data centre. When an individual wants to access or store information, it can be done so through the third party’s data centre.

As explained on, it means that most of the resources on the CherryPal will be stored, owned and accessed by a third part data centre much like a service-on-demand application. The actual memory space on the CherryPal is quite small (GB of flash storage, 256MB of memory), but cloud computing essentially eliminates computer viruses, according to the article.

Official pricing of the CherryPal has not been released yet, but it is expected to sell for well under $400 (before keyboard, monitor and additional accessories). advises to anticipate an early August release, with a laptop version soon to follow.

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Monday, July 7, 2008

UK Launches 'Green Grid Computing' Competition

The government-funded Grid Computing Now network has kicked of a competition which invites participants to help solve environmental issues through grid computing.

Grid computing involves the sharing of computer power and data storage over the internet.

Well known examples include the Folding@Home project which utilises the idle power of PCs and PlayStation 3s to help with cancer research.

The 'Grid Computing for a Greener Planet' competition is supported by Microsoft, Intellect, the British Computer Society, 451 Group, Memset, the National e-Science Centre, Oxford e-Research Centre, WWF and The Technology Strategy Board.

Entrants are challenged to find any way that grid computing can be applied to an environmental issue that stands to benefit from a huge amount of raw processing power to calculate huge data sets.

"All too often IT is portrayed as an environmental villain, but through this competition participants have the chance to showcase examples of the great work being done within the sector to combat the environmental challenges we all face, " said Dennis Pamlin, global policy advisor for the WWF.

The competition is open to UK residents and has two entry tracks, one professional and one non-professional. Entrants will be judged primarily on their project's feasibility, scope and creativity.

The first grid computing competition, launched in 2006, invited participants to solve any type of problem. Entries ranged from using grid for asteroid tracking intelligence to exploiting the internet to help combat terrorism.

The previous winner, Gopok Goteng, proposed the use of a grid's processing power to crunch real-time CCTV footage and biometric data to identify potential high-risk incidents.

"We were very pleased with the success of the first competition and scope of entries," said Ian Osborne, director of Grid Computing Now.

"We expect an even greater response to this competition which has a very clear focus: to harness the power of grid computing to help tackle environmental issues."

Prizes for this year's competition include:

* A one-year membership to the BCS
* An industry mentor to help the winner progress their idea
* A week-long internship at the National e-Science Centre at the University of Edinburgh
* A Sony Vaio or Microsoft Xbox 360
* A one-year limited subscription to The 451 Group's EcoEfficient and Grid services research

The entry deadline for the first stage of the competition is 1 September 2008 and entry forms and further details can be found on the Grid Computing Now website.

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Friday, July 4, 2008

Buy Green Computer

Q:- My old computer finally bit the dust and I am in the market for a replacement. Are there any particularly Green Computer for sale these days?

Ans:-Thanks in part to pressure from non­profits like Greenpeace International – which has published quarterly versions of its landmark "Guide to Greener Electronics" since 2006 – computermakers now understand that consumers care about the environmental footprints of the products they use.

The latest version of Greenpeace's guide gives high marks to Toshiba, Lenovo, Sony, and Dell for increasing the recyclability of their computers and redu­cing toxic components and so-called "e-waste" (refuse from discarded electronic devices and components). The group also credits Apple, HP, and Fujitsu for making strides toward greener products and manufacturing processes, but adds that even top-ranked companies have lots of room for improvement on the environment.

PC Magazine recently assessed dozens of personal computers according to environmental standards it developed in-house based on energy efficiency, recyclability, and the toxicity of components. The publication also factored in various "green" certification schemes such as the US Environmental Protection Agency's Energy­­Star program, the European Union's Restriction of Haz­ardous Sub­stances directive, Taiwan's Green­mark, and the computer industry's own Electronic Products Environmental Asses­­sment Tool.

The top choices for green desktop computers, according to PC, are:

•Apple's Mac Mini

•Zonbu's Desktop Mini,

•HP Compaq's 2710p and dc7800

•Lenovo's ThinkCentre a61e

•Dell's OptiPlex 755

As for laptops, the greenest current models include:

•Dell's Latitude D630

•Everex Zonbu

•Fujitsu's LifeBook S6510

•Toshiba's Tecra A9-S9013

Perhaps more important than the greenness of your new computer is what you do with your old one. Putting it in the trash may be the worst thing you can do, as heavy metals and other toxins inevitably get free and migrate into surrounding soils and water. If the machine still works, give it to a local school that can put it to use, or to Goodwill or the Salvation Army, either of which can resell it to fund programs. Another option: Donate it to the National Cristina Foundation, which places outdated technology with needy nonprofits.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Dell Awarded 80 Plus Gold Energy Effciency

Dell recently became the first in its industry to achieve 80 PLUS Gold-certification for a server power supply, the latest sign that the company is meeting its goal of becoming the "greenest" technology company on the planet and strengthening its position as an energy-efficiency leader.

"When it comes to energy efficiency, our focus is clear and simple," said Albert Esser, Dell’s Vice President of Power and Infrastructure Solutions. "We’re designing next-generation Energy Smart technology that reflects customers’ feedback, collectively avoids millions of tons of CO2 emissions and drives unprecedented cost savings."

The 80 PLUS certification enables manufacturers and customers to compare and contrast power supplies based on established criteria from Energy Star and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Dell’s new 80 PLUS Gold power supply meets July 2009 Climate Savers targets for servers more than a year ahead of schedule, which require 92 percent minimum efficiency for the power supply unit at 50 percent of rated output.

Earlier this month, Dell became the first major computer manufacturer to list an 80 PLUS Silver-certified power supply for its desktops. The 80 PLUS Silver certification is up to 8 percent more efficient than what is required to meet Energy Star 4.0, up to 3 percent more efficient than the Energy Star 5.0 draft and also meets the July 2009 PC requirements of the Climate Savers Computing Initiative.

"We want to recognise Dell for taking energy-efficiency to a whole new level," said Geoff Wickes, Director of Commercial & Industrial Programs at Ecos Consulting and the 80 PLUS program. "The value of 80 PLUS is made available by a partnership between manufacturers, utilities and consumers and is bringing forward new market innovations and efficiencies that are helping to enable greener IT solutions."

Dell has pledged to become the first in its industry to neutralize the carbon impact of worldwide operations by the end of 2008. The company is already saving more than $3 million annually and avoiding nearly 20,000 tons of CO2 through facilities improvements and a global power-management initiative.

Dell’s laptops and desktops, already among the industry’s most energy-efficient, are being designed to consume up to 25 percent less energy by 2010 relative to systems offered today. Dell recently introduced a Vostro Energy-Smart 410 desktop computer that can save customers up to 47 percent in annual energy costsii without sacrificing power and performance.

Based on worldwide unit sales beginning in 2005 with power-management features enabled, Dell estimates that OptiPlex desktop systems alone have helped customers save more than $2.5 billion and avoid approximately 25 million tons of CO2. Customers can access online calculators at to measure and assess potential impact to their power bills and compare configurations side by side to determine annual cost savings and CO2 emissions avoided through the use of Energy Smart systems.

Defining What It Means to Be Green in Technology:-

Dell is committed to becoming the ‘greenest’ technology company on the planet. In April, Dell announced that its corporate headquarters campus in Austin, Texas is powered with 100 percent green energy. Increasing use of green power is locking in Dell’s energy prices as cost as traditional energy is expected to rise.

The company’s carbon intensity (CO2 emissions/revenue) is also among the lowest of the Fortune 50 and less than half that of its closest competitor. Last September, the company announced “Plant a Forest for Me,” a programme that enables organizations worldwide to share best practices and, as partners, facilitate the planting of trees in sustainably managed reforestation projects. Partners include AMD, ABN AMRO,CGI, Staples,, Targus and WellPoint.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Asus Delivers The Heart Of a 'Green' PC

With the market's growing interest in building greener, less-power consuming IT infrastructure, one logical place to start is the PC. And inside the PC, you'd have to take a look at the motherboard.

The Test Center recently had a chance to evaluate the next generation of Asus' newer, energy-efficient board lineup by looking at the P5Q3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n.

The P5Q3 Deluxe is an Intel (NSDQ:INTC) LGA775 Socket board with the new Intel P45 chipset. With four slots for DDR3 memory, it has two PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots to support ATI CrossFireX at x8 speed, and another PCIe x16 slot at max x4 speed. There are also two PCIe x1 slots and two PCI slots.

In addition to the expected internal and external connections are two Gigabit RJ-45 ports which allow the PC to serve as a network gateway for managing traffic between two separate networks. Another nice touch is the two connectors for the included external WiFi antennas which support the integrated 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN.

What first stands out when looking at the P5Q3 is all the copper. With a fanless design, there are heatsinks over all the critical chips, and a heat-pipe that directs the heat to the back IO ports where it can be carried away by existing airflow from the CPU (or other) fan. During our tests, not a single part on the motherboard was hot to the touch, even after the system being on for more than two hours.

While not new, one of our favorite features of this, and other, Asus motherboards is what they call the Asus Q-Connector. Simply designed, the Q-Connector is merely a small, plastic block with a set of jumper pins on it. The block is labeled for easy connection to the case's front panel cables (power switch, reset switch and the like). After all connections are made to the module, it is easily placed on the motherboard -- eliminating the hassle of trying to connect the panel cables one at a time. This doesn't sound like such a big deal but, since the first time we used it, we were hooked.

As the BIOS has an entire screen dedicated to overclocking, a nice touch on the board is the inclusion of backlit power and reset buttons. This allows gamers to fine tune performance without having to short out pins or move jumpers.

The first screen to appear when the board is powered on, even before the BIOS screen, is the menu for the ASUS Express Gate. Express Gate is an embedded, Linux-based, instant-on (approximately five seconds) environment that gives quick access to the Web and Skype, as well as an image viewer and a Chat client that supports AIM, Goggle Talk, MSN, QQ, andYahoo (NSDQ: YHOO). The user can also choose to continue booting, enter the BIOS, or power off. Express Gate will automatically exit and boot to the OS after a preselected amount of time (default is 10 seconds). Since Express Gate is entirely self-contained on the motherboard, it can be used even when a hard drive isn't attached.

The heart of the P5Q3 is the EPU (Energy Processing Unit). This version is called the EPU-6 Engine, because it provides power management for the six critical power-consuming components (CPU, Memory, HDD, System Fan, VGA card, and the Chipset). By detecting current loadings and moderating the power in real-time, the EPU automatically provides the most appropriate power usage.

The newest version (v4) of Asus' AI Gear utility is now simply called Six Engine. Working in conjunction with the EPU, this application allows the user to select among five settings which attempt to balance energy use with performance needs. Besides the Max and Medium Power Saving settings, there are also High Performance and Turbo selections. (The latter two essentially overclock the CPU to squeeze out a little extra processing speed.)

To test the latest EPU, reviewers placed the motherboard in the same exact system as the original "green PC. All other components were unchanged. Our standard benchmarking tool, Primate Labs' GeekBench2 was used for scoring. It is interesting to note at this point that we ran our first series of tests on the motherboard straight out of the box. When this was completed, we updated the BIOS to the latest version and ran all the tests again. After the BIOS update, most of the GeekBench2 scores were about 800 points higher with the same, or in some cases lower, power consumption.

Although we had expectations of seeing a large jump in power savings/performance over the previous model, the P5Q3 showed only a small reduction in power usage with a tiny hit to the GeekBench2 score. That isn't necessarily a negative. On average, it is indeed a step up from Asus' earlier P5E3 board and, like its predecessor, shows a strong improvement when compared to our standard, in-lab test bed.

With a street price of around $230, the P5Q3 Deluxe WiFi-AP @n motherboard has many unique features at a fairly reasonable price. With the world's first 16-phase power design and 100% Japan-made, 5,000 hour, Ultra-long life Solid Capacitors, Asus is able to back this board with a 3-year warranty. Its energy saving elements are icing on the cake.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Green PC Wars: HP vs. Apple vs. Dell

When software giant Microsoft characterizes its environmental efforts as "still in the first inning," as its new Chief Environmental Strategist, Rob Bernard recently did, you know that the information technology industry (IT) has a long way to go towards becoming more sustainable.

Just think about the environmental cost of Google's famous cloud computing. Data center computers and servers alone used 61 million megawatt hours of electricity in 2006, according to an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Datacenter Report submitted to the U.S Congress last summer . That's at least 1.5% of all U.S. electricity and double the amount consumed in 2000.

To tackle energy consumption from personal computers (PCs), an industry partnership has been recently established. Intel, Google, Lenovo and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), an environmental nonprofit that tends to partner with corporations, have launched the Climate Savers Computing Initiative. Goals include sharing green computing tips to consumers, along with a 50 percent efficiency target for future PCs which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 million tons per year and save $5.5 billion in energy costs.

Today, however, there is still no widely understood standard for greener PCs. If you wander into Best Buy and ask a sales rep for the greenest personal computer, you are going to be met with a blank stare.

It is unreasonable to expect that most people have the patience to collect and wade through the environmental data before shopping for a new machine. Many enterprises now have an entire staff dedicated to tackling the energy use and electronic waste of their office computers and data servers. Yet resources and clear fact-sheets for environmentally-conscious PC customers are still relatively limited.

The EPA has attempted to solve this issue by funding a scheme, called the Electronic Products Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), which ranks PCs on a tiered system similar to the LEED ratings for green buildings. Environmental attributes include Energy Star ratings, packaging and durability and electronic waste reductions. Although major purchasers such as the Federal government now mandate buying EPEAT-certified computers, good luck finding this information at your local retailer.

That isn't to say that PC firms are idling on the green messaging. Dell caused ripples in the IT world and green blogosphere when a May press release took a direct shot at rival HP's green credentials. HP's camp responded over a phone conversation with me that they let their long environmental track record speak for itself.

Nonetheless, GreenPeace's 'Guide to Greener Electronics,' suggests that neither firm is particularly green just yet.

In reality, while PC firms do seem to be tackling energy issues (at least in regards to the operating energy efficiencies of their products; most computer companies take no responsibility for the greenhouse gases emitted by third party vendors along their global manufacturing supply chains), they still need to reduce toxic components and improve their recycling programs. The EPA estimates that electronic waste accounts for two percent of the total municipal solid waste stream. Shockingly, there are more than 1,000 toxic chemicals used during electronics production. And PC companies have been reluctant to change their ways and take ownership of the solutions.

For example, Greenpeace was so stunned by Apple's refusal to eliminate toxic flame retardants, and polyvinyl chloride from its computers that it launched an entire online campaign called Green My Apple. Apple has finally responded with the "We were always green but we just weren't sharing it" argument, and has gone on to claim it is actually ahead of HP, Dell and Lenovo on many green metrics.

Clearly, the IT industry is just starting to figure out how to go green and communicate its efforts with its customers. Now is the time for consumers to ask tough questions to PC companies and their retailers. Dell, at least, has created a website to solicit feedback on these issues called IdeaStorm. As demand for greener computing grows, hopefully the green marketing confusion will subside and true sustainability innovators will be rewarded.

In the meantime, make sure that you properly recycle your old machines when you decide to upgrade. The EPA has put together a handy list of take-back options. Often, you can donate old electronics and actually get cash donated to a nonprofit of your choice.


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