Wednesday, October 31, 2007

IBM Turning Silicon Waste Into Solar Panels

By using reclaimed silicon, solar cell manufacturers can save between 30% and 90% of the energy they would have expended using new silicon materials, IBM said.

IBM says it's found an earth-friendly way to recycle the silicon wafers used in its computer chip manufacturing operations -- it's helping to turn them into solar panels.

To recycle the wafers, IBM is using a process that removes transistor patterns embedded in them. The patterns usually prevent silicon wafers from being reused along with other silicon products because they represent closely guarded intellectual property.

As a result, the tech industry discards about three million silicon wafers per year, IBM estimated.

With the patterns removed, IBM can safely sell its used silicon wafers from its Burlington, Vt., plant to manufacturers that can turn them into solar cells or panels. IBM said it's also implementing the process at a plant in East Fishkill, N.Y.

The company said it plans to share details of the pattern removal process with other chip makers. The process was recently awarded the "Most Valuable Pollution Prevention Award" for 2007 from the environmental group The National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.

The program benefits the environment in two ways -- less waste is ending up in landfills, and the redirected silicon is helping to alleviate a materials shortage that is constraining the use of energy-saving solar cells.

"One of the challenges facing the solar industry is a severe shortage of silicon, which threatens to stall its rapid growth," said Charles Bai, chief financial officer at ReneSola, in a statement. ReneSola is one of China's fastest growing solar energy companies.

By using reclaimed silicon, solar cell manufacturers can save anywhere from between 30% and 90% of the energy they would have expended using new silicon materials, IBM said.

With the private sector facing increased calls for more eco-friendly business practices, a number of other tech manufacturers are stepping up their environmental programs.

Dell, for instance, recently unveiled a program under which it will handle PC recycling for small businesses for a nominal fee.


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Monday, October 29, 2007

Computer Energy Consumption Figures in USA

One of the most frequently used key combinations to log off a PC is ‘Ctrl+Alt+Del’. But every time we do this and walk away, the computer remains on and consumes energy, resulting in wastage of both money and power.

Not just that, the power consumed by your PC also adds to global warming! A 65 watt power processor in a computer consumes about 234 KW power if it works for 12 hours a day for 300 days. If there are an estimated 15 million PCs in USA, then it could result in consumption of 35.25 terra watts of power a year— which means a whopping 4,92,748,000 barrels of oil to produce that amount of energy. This is just one aspect of the energy crunch faced by many countries like USA, Canada, UK, India and others.
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Tips on better PC power management

The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program touts figures estimating that people can save $25 to $75 in energy costs a year (roughly 400 to 1,200 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions) by taking these measures.

Energy Saving Tips:
• Increase your RAM to reduce disk usage
• If you’ve set your computer to go into sleep mode when it’s inactive, make sure of the following: close down on Web pages, since animated banners or other content might keep the system’s sleep mode from activating, show down any games or applications that will keep the computer “active”
• Unplug peripherals that are plugged directly into the computer
• Disconnect any virtual private networks
• Unplug power supplies that aren’t being used, since they will still draw power
• Use wired mice and keyboards instead of wireless ones
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Strategic steps down the green IT path

Guidance from Forrester Research, along with real-world examples, shed light on the precarious path toward sustainability

Vendor and analysts can talk about the benefits of pursuing sustainable IT practices until they're blue (or green) in the face. The difficulty at this point isn't necessarily understanding the potential benefits for going green; it's knowing where to start and how to proceed.

Fortunately, organizations with expertise on the subject are stepping forward to dispense and demonstrate guidance down the green path. Among them are organizations such as The Green Grid, vendors such as Sun, HP, and Fujitsu, and research companies such as Gartner and Forrester Research. Forrester, in fact, recently released a report titled "Creating the Green IT Action Plan." As the title suggests, it provides high-level advice on the subject.

The first step companies need to take, Forrester recommends, is identifying and prioritizing your goals. That task in and of itself can demonstrate just how complex a green transformation can be.

For example, your goal might be business-oriented, such as reducing electricity consumption or making better use of existing IT equipment. Then again, your main objective may be geared more toward CSR (corporate social responsibility) and environmental stewardship, such as reducing your carbon footprint, and meeting current and future environmental standards.

Tangentially, Gartner's recent report "Conflating Lean and Green Is Unwise" notes that there may be crossovers between the lean objectives and the green ones, but in general, it's best not to lump them together.

Once you know what goals you want to achieve, the next step is assessment, Forrester recommends. It's like joining a gym on Jan. 1 to fulfill a drunken New Year's resolution to get in shape. First, you submit yourself to a series of prods, pokes, pinches, and a weighing to determine how out of shape you are. That way, if you stick to your regimen, you can go through it again in a couple of months to determine how far you've progressed. (Pants falling down to your ankles as you stride down the hallway is another indicator.)

Where was I? Oh, assessment. Your assessment steps will, of course, reflect the objectives you've set. For example, if you're aiming to reduce energy waste in the datacenter, you might measure the facilities PUE (power usage effectiveness), a measurement devised by The Green Grid consortium that's gaining popularity in the IT world. To measure PUE, divide your total facility power by IT equipment power.

By Green Grid's estimates, "PUEs range from rating of 1.3 (77 percent of the total power supplied to the data center is used to power data processing equipment) to a poor ratio of 3.0 (33 percent of total power actually reaches the IT equipment)," according to the Forrester report.

On the CSR side of the spectrum, Forrester suggests you examine your supply chain and procurement process. The supply chain indeed plays direct and indirect roles in your company's overall green picture, a fact not lost on companies such as HP. The company goes to great lengths to ensure its suppliers don't use chemicals that would violate stringent regulations such as ROHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances), which protects HP's bottom line. But it also goes so far as to train its suppliers in places such as China to embrace better environmental and social practices, because it reflects HP's own corporate values.

One other critical piece of advice from Forrester on the subject of assessment: Specify IT's organizational role. "A crucial part of that is identifying the leadership and execution role of IT relative to facilities, HR, legal, and marketing. Green IT must also be explicitly aligned with CSR and other green initiatives including regulatory compliance and reporting. And green IT efforts must fit with the technology organization's anticipated budget and capacity trajectory as dictated by the growth-of-business requirements," the report says.

As a third overall step in crafting your blueprint for a sustainable IT action plan, Forrester recommends going after the low-hanging green fruit; that is, the quick, easy, relatively low-cost steps toward cutting waste. There are plenty of opportunities here: improve datacenter cooling and airflow; cut print waste; and power down PCs and monitors at the end of the day. Savings here can add up, plus they set the tone organization-wide for a green evolution.

Finally, step four. And watch this step, because it's a doozy: "Craft and communicate an action plan." The communication bit is less daunting: It's a matter of effectively promoting the eco-ambitions to employees through various channels, and making sure they're engaged.

But an action plan itself is a complex document. Forrester recommends breaking it down into four components: "revising processes and metrics; optimizing efficiency of existing IT assets; revamping architecture and infrastructure; and [and] positioning IT to enable green business practices."

Revising processes and metrics is pretty clear and highly important. If your goal, for example, is to reduce electricity consumption, you might want to "forge links between IT and facilities" to measure energy consumption and devise methods to measure it. Another procedural shift, drawing from the green supply chain concept, is to review CSR requirements for your suppliers and the methods you use to measure whether your suppliers are meeting them.

Optimizing efficiency of existing IT assets alludes to making the most out of the hardware you already have. Depending on your goals, it might mean a server virtualization project, a storage-consolidation effort, or implementing a system for managing PC power consumption.

Somewhat related, "revamping architecture and infrastructure" means investing in new facilities and gear to meet a green tech goal. If reducing energy consumption is a high priority, you might consider moving from a PC-based office to a thin-client-based office. Building or consolidating an entire datacenter -- a project we've seen companies such as Sun and HP recently undertake -- also fall under this category.

Last on the action-plan list, there's "positioning IT to enable green business practices." This point relates to in-house technology investments that result in a green (and potentially lean) payoff. Examples might include investing in a teleconference solution to reduce environmentally unfriendly air travel or "looking at alternative energy technologies and suppliers," as Fujitsu recently did with the investment in a hydrogen fuel cell.

All told, I commend Forrester on this report, and I've just scratched the surface here of the document. Over the past several months, we've all read about the various technologies, practices, and projects out there that companies are using in the hopes of becoming green organizations. The report is an important reminder that, tempting as it may be to start throwing resources around to reap rewards of sustainability, planning, assessing, monitoring and procedural changes are critical -- and IT has a central role to play in it all.


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Recycling initiative at Sharjah Colleges

I was delighted to read your story on the hazards of electronic waste and how it can be safely disposed of. It was auspicious that your article appeared in 7-days on the same day we in Sharjah Colleges (HCT) announced the opening of our PC recycling centre.

I have been teaching a PC hardware course at Sharjah Men's College for the past 4 years and every year we end up with a mish-mash of working/broken PC components which just pile up as unwanted junk in our stores. So this year, we decided that we could maybe patch together enough working components to make a few working PCs which we would donate to local schools or charities.

Our students have been so enthusiastic about the project that I am having to beg them to go home at 8pm at night! At present our efforts have been focused on staff and students within the college and the response has been overwhelming!

To date, we have built 12 working PCs and we will be making our first donation next week. Our students will decide which school/centre is most in need of our help. Students also plan to offer on-site support and training to staff in the various schools.

The project has suited perfectly, not only with our curriculum and the goals of our college ( a technology-training college), but it has also served to make our students more environmentally aware. They are now totally au-fait with the harm caused by incorrect disposal of PC hardware and of the difficulty ordinary people face when they try to dispose of these items themselves.

They are also very conscious now of how lucky they are to be students at a college which is so wonderfully resourced for their use!


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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Green Computer: FAQ2

FAQ. I want to "green" my small office to become carbon neutral. How can I reduce my computing carbon footprint?

Ans. PCs have a carbon footprint by the use of electricity and production of heat. You can't do much about the tonnes of water, energy and raw materials that go into making a PC, but you can opt to buy computers that use fewer resources to manufacture and less energy to run. For example, laptops tend to be much more efficient with raw material, are designed to consume less energy and create less heat. So if you have an older PC with a CRT monitor it is time to dispose of this for a new, lean, green model. How much carbon will you save? Some suggest older PCs generate about 100kg a week or 5.2 tonnes a year, which is roughly equal to 10 trees.

Printers waste paper and some produce copious amounts of ozone (lasers), and they use inks and toners, some harmful to the atmosphere. To reduce paper, buy a printer that duplexes (prints on both sides). Choose printers that have multi-functions (print, fax, scan, copy) as these generally use less electricity than standalone devices. Finally, buy more environmentally friendly printers. Energy Star ratings have been introduced in the US ( and Australia will soon follow. Greening IT is part of a wider plan. Reduce, recycle and reuse is the mantra and the sooner we all start thinking about it and doing something the better.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Lenovo ships out green, thin 19-inch L193p LCDs

Lenovo today upgraded its ThinkVision displays with a trio of 19-inch LCDs that help meet green targets and occupy little space on a desk. The standard-ratio L193p is the first LCD to meet the EPEAT environmental standard that demands both a low power draw as well as eco-friendly materials. More than a quarter of the screen is made from recycled material, Lenovo boasts. It includes both a DVI port with HDCP encryption support and VGA for analog video and should be available next month for $299.

As an alternative, the L190x is designed for multi-monitor layouts, according to the PC maker. Also a standard-aspect LCD, the second model touts a bezel just 0.26 inches thick and creates a much less conspicuous gap. Though less environmentally responsible, it compensates with a 1,500:1 contrast ratio, a wide color range, and four USB ports to attach virtually every peripheral without reaching down to connect them to a tower. It also releases in November for $379.

One widescreen display joins the lineup. The L194w shifts to a 1440x900 landscape view with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and both HDCP-protected DVI and VGA inputs that suit it to viewing 720p HD video. Pricing for the display positions it as the least expensive of the three ThinkVisions, costing $259 when it ships in November.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hitachi Announces New Approach to Green Hard Drives

Hard drive manufacturers seem increasingly determined that their component not be the cause of serious draws on system power. Western Digital recently began shipping its Green Power line of hard drives. And now, the latest news comes from Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, which today announces new models that feature significant power consumption refinements.

Hitachi takes a very different approach towards power consumption as compared with its competitor. Hitachi's introduction is simply its latest line of one- and two-platter drives, the Deskstar P7K500. The drives have up to 250GB per platter, and are available in 250GB, 320GB, 400GB, and 500GB capacities, in either Parallel ATA or Serial ATA flavors.

Unlike WD, which varies the rotations-per-minute of its Green Power drive, the Hitachi drives maintain 7200rpm across the board. "7200 rpm is what our desktop customers want," says Lee Johnson, 3.5-inch product marketing manager at Hitachi. With regard to power consumption, "our specs are up to 59 percent better than the competition. We've reduced idel power by 40 percent as compared with our previous drives, the T7K500."

Johnson says that Energy Star 4.0 played a role in Hitachi's current push to reduce power consumption. The hard drive typically uses 7 watts of power-- about 14 percent of the overall system requirement for a an Energy Star-compliant PC. Reducing power consumption has other advantages, too--lower power translates into lower heat, which in turn translates into better drive reliability.

In order to achieve significant power savings, Hitachi made several technology changes. For one, it adopted the system-on-chip design from the Travelstar line of 2.5-inch notebook drives, which the company says are already characterized by their low power consumption.

In addition, Hitachi carries its HiVERT voltage regulation technology over from its notebook drives to its desktop drives. "We've improved efficiency by using switching regulators instead of linear regulators as we're converting the voltages down to those used by the electronic components," explains Jim Wong, senior product strategist at Hitachi. "In addition, with this new system-on-chip design, we also have a more power efficient core module for SATA and PATA interfaces."

The final component is Hitachi's sixth-generation approach to power management. Dubbed Advanced Power Management, this system uses load-unload technology, so the heads are unloaded from the disk when the drive is powered off. This process can provide up to 11 percent power savings in a single-platter drive design, and 15 percent power saving in a two-platter design. The other component of Advanced Power Management is referred to as low RPM idle: in this state, the heads are unloaded from disk and the rotational speed of the disk is slowed down to 5400rpm, resulting in up to a 44 percent power savings in the single-platter drive, and 52 percent savings in the two-platter product.

Johnson says Hitachi expects no performance hit on its power friendly hard drives. Instead, she says, she expects the P7K500 drives to be equal to or slightly better in performance to previous generation on desktop PCs.

"Eventually all of our drives will have the low power technologies in these drives," says Johnson.

The drives should be available in the fourth quarter of this year, with no price premium as compared to the current line of same-capacity drives. The MSRP for the P7K500 is $160.


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Friday, October 19, 2007

Recycling Firms Nationwide USA

Only a handful of full-service electronics recycling firms are available that have nationwide service outlets. The industry remains fragmented, and many firms only offer services locally. Here are a few that should be able to address your total needs regardless of your enterprise’s location.

Horizon Datacom Solutions:
Horizon Datacom Solutions offers full electronics asset recovering in conjunction with specialized partners. Established in 1995, the firm also resells preowned data equipment. Its customers include users, resellers, brokers, and service and repair companies.

Intechra focuses on eliminating the risks surrounding data security, compliance, and environmental impact while seeking to maximize value recovery on IT asset investment. Intechra claims to have pioneered many of the industry’s best-practice processes for IT assets recovery and says it has worked with industry and government to develop national and local guidelines for information security and electronics waste disposition.

MPC (Materials Processing Corp.):
MPC has offered electronics recycling services for more than two decades and works with “clients of all sizes.” The firm says it continually assesses and adjusts its receipt-to-recycle processes.

Redemtech offers what it calls a continuous on-demand process called TCM (Technology Change Management). Like the lean supply model, TCM offers what the firm calls “a continuous, planned process of tech reuse, remarketing, and environmentally safe computer recycling--to optimize IT asset value throughout the life cycle.”

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What To Look For In An Electronics Recycling Firm

• Demonstrated disposal of all materials through recycling channels
• Proof that all data is destroyed, which is not only on PC and server hard disks but also on routers, firewalls, and other data equipment
• ISO compliance
• Detailed labeling of equipment with written proof of disposal procedures
• A “no-landfill” policy
• A willingness to show you onsite how equipment is disposed of
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Dell Sponsoring Green Computing Competition

Dell is sponsoring a contest to encourage the community to "design the world's most environmentally responsible computing technology".

The prize? $10,000 per finalist, and $15,000 for the winner. However, all entries will be made public, so entrants should consider that they're essentially open-sourcing their idea. On the other hand, Dell said that it would not claim any rights over the submitted designs, meaning they will genuinely be used to help the community.

If the design concept sounds a little vague, it is. It's not entirely clear what Dell's looking for. On the other hand, this is a perfect opportunity to do some out-of-the-box thinking. If you're interested, however, some of the entry rules provide some clues.

Entries will be judged by a professional jury. Here's what they're looking for:

DESIGN SOLUTION: Aesthetics as well as a sensitivity to form follows function. The design must not only be visually appealing but be purposeful in its form factor and highly usable by the intended users.

INNOVATIVENESS: What is the big idea relating to green computing technology? How profound is the idea and how innovative is the solution from a green computing technology product design perspective?

GREEN COMPUTING TECHNOLOGY CONSIDERATIONS: How well did the design solution address each of the various Green Computing Technology Considerations listed on the Website?

FEASIBILITY & CONCEPT VALIDATION: How realistic is it? Can it be manufactured in the near term or long term under green manufacturing constraints? Did the entrant do a sufficient amount of investigation regarding what is possible from a functional and manufacturing perspective? Are the research sources cited, varied, and valid? Did the entrant provide proper citations and credit for research and intellectual property referenced?

UTILIZATION OF GREEN ASSESSMENT TOOLS: Did the entrant make good use of assessment tools such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and other green validation and product development process tools that provide guidelines and standards for current thinking and current regulation for environmental product designs and manufacturing?

DOCUMENTATION OF PROCESS & METHODOLOGY: How well has the entrant captured the process of creating the final design solution?

PRESENTATION: Has the entrant effectively presented the concept? Are entry materials neat and well-organized? Has the entrant made effective use of visualization tools? How well did the entrant communicate the ideas and solution using text and imagery? How well did the entrant make use of media to express ideas?

Designs can be submitted as .doc; .pdf; .jpg; .wmv; and .mov. files, so the contest appears to allow some flexibility in ideas as well as formats. The contest entry period ends April 2, 2008.

(Incidentally, the image comes from Homegrown Hydroponics, which describes this PC greenhouse in amazing detail, including the use of PC fans to circulate air. It even criticizes the competition (there's competition?!). Your Halloween special price? $650.)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

HP rp5700 Desktop PC : Energy Saving Computer

The HP rp5700 business PC ($1,299 direct) will help your company with both types of green—saving money and preserving the environment. While green PCs are a trendy topic in the consumer PC space, businesses have thought "green" (in terms of cost savings) for as long as the PC has existed. The rp5700 is the kind of system that will stay with your organization for a relatively long time, and as a bonus, it has less of an impact on the environment than the PCs of the past. It is EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Gold–certified and meets or exceeds RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) standards. The rp5700 is a general business PC, so it will serve well in companies ranging from small mom-and-pop shops up to the largest conglomerates.

The rp5700 as configured here is certified as an Energy Star 4.0 product, which means it meets the newest, most stringent code for saving energy. Its power supply and other components are efficient and have built-in power-saving features. I connected it up to our Kill-A-Watt measuring device, and under typical system operation the rp5700 actively consumed only 52W to 75W of power. This is roughly as much as an energy-saver incandescent 60Wto100W lightbulb. Another extreme example is the high-end gaming desktop, which uses roughly 500W of power. The system will drop down to a low power state when it is idle (after it goes into S3 sleep mode after a set period of time) where it consumes only a few watts of power to keep the system's memory active. Combined over several (or hundreds, or thousands of) PCs in your company, this translates into a significant cost savings in the energy that's not consumed both to keep your PCs running and to cool your offices from all those heat-producing PCs operating at full power. It's a win-win situation for both your company and the environment.

EPEAT and RoHS are certification programs used in the U.S. and Europe, respectively. EPEAT Gold certification means that the system meets criteria above, and way beyond the government's mandate for so-called green PCs. Likewise, RoHS certifies products as having less impact on the environment. Both call for reduction or elimination of harmful chemicals (mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium, etc.) used in the manufacture of components in the PC. Other criteria include recyclability of internal components, energy use, and end of life options (returning the PC to the manufacturer for recycling). As I write this, only four PCs are EPEAT Gold–certified (the others are two Dells and the Zonbu PC), but of course more are coming from other manufacturers.

The rp5700 is designated as HP's "long-life" business PC, which means that HP will be supporting it as a model for at least the next five years. Other computer makers' business PCs are only certified as "image supported" for one to two years. "Image supported" means that the same operating systems and drivers will be available as long as the PC is available for sale. This cuts down on IT time used in testing and qualifying updated rp5700 PCs for your business because the hard drive image need not be retested when new PCs are acquired. It also means that HP will provide pretty much identically configured systems for the next five years, with some updates for faster processors. Over those five years, you can pass the PCs down through your organization, in effect reusing or recycling them internally. What's notable about the five-year promise is that HP will still sell you an identically configured rp5700 PC in 2012 (and therefore one that your IT staffer already knows and that will work with the same operating system disk image your current PCs use).

The "recycling" concept is also backed up by HP's claim that it uses at least 10 percent post-consumer waste plastics in the system's chassis. That's 10 percent that won't go into a landfill or need to be created from (foreign) petroleum. At least 90 percent of the PC's structural components are certified recyclable, as is the system's packaging. That way, you're reducing the need to manufacture more materials both coming in and going out at the end of the rp5700's useful life as a PC.

So aside from all that, how good is the rp5700 as a PC? It's in a standard business small-form-factor case, which means that it will handle most of the tasks you throw at it in a business setting. It has space for two full-size hard drives and a pair of full-size PCI slots. The PCIe x1 and PCIe x16 slots are half-height due to the compact-form-factor chassis. This may be a problem if your business uses full-size specialized cards (like ones supporting laser bar-code readers). The system I reviewed has an optional four-port "USB plus power" card installed, ostensibly for point-of-sale terminal (cash register) use. These four extra USB ports have specialized co-ports that provide extra electrical power to peripherals that support the plugs. (You see USB plus power sometimes in notebooks, where the extra power is to run an external drive or DVD burner.) But there are six regular USB 2.0 ports, a parallel port, and an old-school serial port on every system. There is a pair of 160GB SATA drives in a RAID 1 (mirroring) array, which means that if one of the drives fails, you will still be able to use the computer and get to your data. RAID 1 is a good insurance policy in a system that will see constant use. The chassis is easy to get into, with clearly marked and labeled service points (like hard drive mounts, card slots, and power supply). The case is totally tool-less, so you won't even need a screwdriver to service the system. All in all, it's a well-thought-out business PC.

The Dells with EPEAT Gold certification are Optiplex models, so the rp5700 is ahead of the Dell Vostro 200 and Lenovo ThinkCentre M55e that I've reviewed recently, at least on the environmental front. All three are available with Intel's Core 2 Duo processors, though the rp5700 is a little more corporate than even the ThinkCentre, with its emphasis on long life. The rp5700 is a bit pricier, but it does come with RAID 1 standard, and the three R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

Performance-wise, the rp5700 is good, with numbers befitting its midrange Intel E6400 processor. Scores of 104 overall on SYSmark 2007 Preview are good for the business desktop category. The warranty is a very good three years, for parts, labor, and tech support.

The HP rp5700 shows that the big-system manufacturers are serious about the environment, particularly since "going green" can help both the buyer's and the seller's bottom lines. The system's certified configurations will be appealing to large corporate and government buyers who need to keep stockholders, constituents, and the general public's opinion on the good side. The cost savings over the long run are also appealing to the small operator, since saving a few bucks here and there on energy bills can add up to a lot. If you need goodwill now with the community, or you need to meet green PC requirements, or if you need a PC that will grow with your company over the next five-plus years, take a long, hard look at HP's rp5700.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

IYogi Computer Support Goes Green

New green PC services help individuals and small businesses save energy and money.

iYogi, a next-generation computer support services company, today announced the launch of their Green PC initiative. iYogi's new service is the first in the independent computer support industry to offer customers a way to save money, conserve energy and protect the environment by optimizing their PC's efficiency.

According to Energy Star, a joint program between the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy, users can save up-to $75 Per Desktop PC annually through power management.

iYogi's Green PC initiative is a customized service that increases the energy-efficiency of users' computers starting with three primary undertakings:
1. Computer assessment, analyzing settings and PC energy use.
2. Customized efficiency plan, geared specifically to the individual's usage patterns.
3. Implementing setting changes to maximize the computer's energy use.

This service is free for iYogi's annual subscribers, and can be purchased for $9.99 as a stand-alone service for new customers. iYogi's Green PC website can help users identify ways to responsibly recycle or dispose of their hardware as well as provide insight into how to select new computer equipment that is environmentally friendly and energy efficient.

"Most people do not realize the enormous drain that PCs and laptops impose on electrical resources," said Vishal Dhar, president of iYogi. "Our Green PC service will allow small businesses and individuals to use technology responsibly, saving money in the process. By making small changes in the way you work, something as simply as not using screensavers, you can reduce your electric bill and reduce your carbon footprint."

For more information on iYogi's Green PC initiative visit

About Iyogi:
Headquartered in Gurgaon, India with offices in New York, NY, iYogi provides personalized computer repair for small businessand home office users. iYogi offers 24/7 phone and online assistance for technologies we use every day and supports products from a wide range of vendors. Utilizing proprietary technology, iMantra, and superior team talent, iYogi delivers higher resolution benchmarks and service levels than competing support services. For more information and a detailed list of supported technologies, visit:

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Lenovo to launch "Blue Sky" green PC

Lenovo is about to launch its ‘green’ ultra-small form factor desktop, the ThinkCentre A61e, in New Zealand.

The A61e, also known as the "Blue Sky", is the first desktop to be powered by AMD’s 45-watt Athlon 64 X2 dual core or Sempron single core processors and consumes about half the electricity compared with earlier models such as the A60.

Lenovo says this means A61e users will save an average of US$20 (NZ$27) a year in electricity costs compared with users of older PCs, and around 180kg in carbon dioxide emissions - the equivalent of two return flights from Boston to New York (four flights of 1 hour 15 minutes duration).

Michael Pierce, Lenovo director of environmental affairs told PC World that apart from the low-consumption processors, energy savings had also been achieved by using a more efficient, notebook-type power supply.

By using notebook (SODIMM) memory and dispensing with expansion slots, the A61e takes up 25% less desk space than the A60 and weighs in at about 3.6kg. Optional extras include a bracket which allows the system unit to be mounted on the back of a flat panel display and even a solar panel which Lenovo claims can be used to power the machine.
Pierce was unable to confirm New Zealand pricing and availability, saying this would be announced in a day or two. However the US retail price of US$399 (system unit only) suggests a New Zealand starting price of around $600.


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Sunday, October 14, 2007

IBM's Green Team in the Data Center

IBM will reallocate $1 billion a year in research and development spending and is assembling an 850-strong, worldwide team of energy efficiency experts as part of its Project Big Green, which has the goal of qualifying its facilities as "green data centers" according to specified best practices and policies.

IBM is taking Project Big Green outside the company as well. Green data centers are efficient and environmentally responsible in five strategic business Over 800,000 High Quality Domains Available For Your Business. Click Here. aspects: Diagnostic energy usage capabilities; building energy efficient data centers; measuring and managing energy allocation and usage; making use of more energy efficient virtualization technology; and heating and cooling systems.

Energy efficiency initiative clients are realizing up to 40 percent reductions in power and cooling requirements, increases of as much as 20 percent in server/storage utilization and some have achieved as high as 80 percent reductions in floor space, according to Rich Lechner, vice president of IT optimization for IBM.


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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Better PC, server usage key to going green in IT

The year 2007 has marked a tipping point in how the technology industry needs to address the issue of excess power consumption, greenhouse gases and other environmental issues, according to an analyst from Gartner Inc.

Gartner research estimates that the IT industry is currently responsible for about 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions. Mingay said that while that amount appears to be small, it is actually equal to that of the entire aviation industry, in which a single jet burns through thousands of gallons of fuel with every commercial flight.

"If IT [companies] did nothing, carbon dioxide would grow 5% to 10% [annually]," Mingay said. "It's a mistake to assume IT will be allowed to continue with this growth rate." — Simon Mingay, Gartner analyst

Mingay called the technology-services industry "the biggest contributor" to carbon dioxide emissions, mostly due to inefficiencies related to lackadaisical power use practices.
"Right now, IT power bills are costing more than servers, and data centers and power grids a struggling as a result," he said.

The largest culprits in terms of power use are data center servers, which make up 23% of the IT industry's power consumption, and workplace PCs and monitors, which use 39% of the power in the IT sector. Other sources include fixed line and mobile telecommunications, local-area networks and printers.

"It's death by a thousand cuts," Mingay said. "The sheer volume of 880 million PCs drives those numbers."

The resulting environmental impact equates to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, increases in hazardous and electronic waste and continued used of non-renewable resources, he said.

However, Mingay believes that all is not lost in terms of the IT industry addressing the matter of wasteful energy use. The issue will cause many corporations and technology product suppliers to launch more green IT programs in 2008.

"There's so much low-hanging fruit that the business case is relatively straightforward," Mingay said.

Mingay believe that more companies, and the businesses that supply them with IT products, will have to develop more clearly defined policies and strategies for power use and how to cut down where possible.

Mingay said there needs to be a trend toward measuring and analyzing power consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, if companies and their equipment providers aren't already doing so. Among the steps he is supporting is a changing the philosophy of corporate data centers as being "always on" to "always available," and integrate server virtualization to cut down on the actual amount of servers necessary to run certain data center applications.

But the easiest step Mingay said that businesses can take involves the desktop PC that sits on nearly every employee's desk. Mingay said that between 9% and 15% of office power use comes from standard office equipment, and that failure to turn off PCs is responsible for an unnecessary amount of that power use.

Mingay said that about 60% of PCs are left on after employees have finished work, and that not using things such as active screen savers, and either turning the PCs off or setting them to low-power states can cut businesses power bills in half.

"We're not going to see a biodegradable PC any time soon," Mingay said.


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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Write About the Environment on 15 October: Blog Action Day

On October 15th, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind - the environment. Every blogger will post about the environment in their own way and relating to their own topic. Our aim is to get everyone talking towards a better future. Join This Initiative

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
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Notebook Computers Go Green - Seagate Hybrid Hard Drive Ushers in New Era of Power-Thrifty, Higher Performance Mobile Computing

Seagate ships energy-efficient, fast-responding Momentus(R) 5400 PSD notebook hard drive; heralds new generation of computer storage for laptops, other computers

Seagate Technology , the world's number one hard drive maker, today launched a new era of digital storage by shipping in volume hybrid notebook disc drives that combine disc storage with flash memory to deliver ultra power efficiency, faster boot-ups and greater reliability for the exploding laptop PC market.

"With instant access to content, an increasingly essential part of the digital lifestyle, laptop users expect systems with snappy response, longer battery life and new levels of durability," said Tom Major, Seagate vice president, Personal Compute Business. "Seagate is delivering in volume worldwide the best of two worlds -- hard disc drives and flash memory -- to enable laptop PCs with cutting-edge capabilities and tighten the connection between users and their information."

Seagate has been at the forefront of introducing energy-saving features on its hard drives, and the new Momentus 5400 PSD hard drive ends the perennial trade-off for notebook PC makers. Laptop users want faster systems, but boosting laptop PC performance with higher speed components has traditionally meant higher power consumption and shorter battery life, raising the question: How do you reduce power consumption while delivering faster access to notebook data?

Combine power-efficient, quick-response flash memory with a fast hard disc drive.

The new Momentus 5400 PSD (Power Savings Drive) hard drive uses non-volatile cache, or flash memory, to cost-effectively deliver the benefits of solid state disc drives. The Momentus hard drive places commonly used hard drive data onto a large 256MB flash memory to deliver these capabilities:

Faster boot-up -- Once a notebook is turned on, a traditional hard drive's platters must spin up before boot-up can begin. Hybrid hard drives load boot-up files on the flash memory to minimize this delay. Once the drive spins up, computer files are pulled simultaneously from the spinning media and the flash.

Lower power consumption -- Seagate's Momentus 5400 PSD hard drives reduce hard disc drive power draw by up to 50 percent and extends battery life -- especially important in mobile applications -- by reducing platter spin time. In hybrid mode, the hard drive's spindle motors spin down, dramatically reducing the drive's power requirements.

Greater reliability -- Reducing platter spin time extends drive life by minimizing wear and tear. In hybrid mode, the drive locks its read-write heads in place, enabling the drive to withstand 900 Gs of shock, the rough equivalent of dropping a laptop from a height of six feet to a hard surface.

Higher performance -- Hybrid hard drives also quicken access to laptop data. Windows Vista's ReadyDrive technology uses Vista Superfetch to analyze computer usage patterns -- such as how frequently a worker accesses certain files -- and place commonly accessed user data in the flash memory to shorten system response time.

"We're thrilled Seagate is bringing to market hybrid hard drives that take full advantage of Windows Vista," said Dennis Moulton, product manager of Windows Client marketing at Microsoft. "It is this type of innovation in the ecosystem that helps move the bar, and we're excited about the productivity gains this helps bring to our customers in combination with Windows Vista."

All versions of Windows Vista deliver native support for hybrid drives, so system builders and end users alike can take advantage of hybrid hard drive technology today. Hybrid technology also delivers benefits for desktop, enterprise and other hard drives. Look for hybrid technology on other Seagate drive platforms in the future.

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Friday, October 5, 2007

Telia Goes Green

The Swedish-based firm has started to operate its telecom and datacom networks and all other service production in Sweden using only environmentally friendly “green power”. The company says it will use renewable energy such as wind, water, solar and biomass for all its electricity consumption.

The company expects to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by about 20 percent through these measures.

Telia has been focusing on reducing the impact its activities have on environment in recent years and has managed to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 70 percent, according to the company. They also have brought in many revolutionary measures such as cutting down on business travel, reducing office space and increasing the use of services such as telephone conferences and network meetings via PC.

“We have a growing number of environmentally aware consumers and we want to give them the opportunity to also make a green choice for their telecom operator,” Erik Hallberg, head of Broadband Services at TeliaSonera Sweden said. “Those who choose a green alternative are choosing to make a minimum impact on the environment and help reduce the greenhouse effect.”

In fact, Telia shows many ways to use the telecom technology to save our environment. inlcuding using modern telecommunication devices to meet and talk to each other instead physically traveling from one place to another, lot of energy will be saved and pollution will be reduced.

For example, a survey conducted in Sweden indicates that business people will increase their travel by at least 30 percent in the coming years.


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Thursday, October 4, 2007

UK Firm Develops Green PC

Cranberry unveils energy-efficient SC20 Smart Client.

U.K. technology company Cranberry has developed an energy-efficient computer that it says offers businesses a greener alternative to the conventional desktop PC.

Cranberry's SC20 Smart Client computer is small -- no bigger than a paperback book, says the firm -- and uses only 10 percent of the electricity of a standard PC.

Cranberry CEO Simon Ponsford said the SC20 Smart Client "enables users to run applications wherever they like -- remotely, locally or even virtually -- and companies can control staff access to applications, data and USB devices." Because the system does not require installation and is provisioned automatically, he said it was easy to deploy.

"The real beauty of the SC20, however, is that it uses far less power than a standard computer and produces less heat, which means businesses also save on their air conditioning costs," he said.,138012-c,recycling/article.html

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Monday, October 1, 2007

Dell (DELL) set to become 'carbon neutral' in just over a year

Dell is joining the eco-group of corporate citizenry in a larger way by stating this week that it will be reducing the carbon output effects of its global operations by the end of 2008. What does this mean? Well, Dell will be tallying up all of its greenhouse emissions from all plants and facilities around the globe. It will then measure the effect of all those emissions and will develop a plan to reduce and eventually eliminate them all at some point.

In addition to the eventual elimination of greenhouse gases from factories, the computer maker will also become more energy efficient and will power operations in some areas with renewable power sources. Currently, renewable power sources popular with consumers and businesses alike include solar power and wind power.

Now, in many cases, these ecological statements are lip service for the press along with the added benefit of good PR. But, as competition intensifies, some companies actually turn "going green" into a competitive advantage while remaining competitive at a pure business level. If you were an ecologically conscious consumer deciding between a Dell "green" PC and one from competitor Acer -- with similar prices and performance -- which would you choose? Consumers are where it's at right now when it comes to PC purchases, if I'm not mistaken.

The problem so often seen is that companies really making a difference in trying to help the planet don't market those efforts to the purchasing customers, whether they be consumers or businesspeople. Dell has a chance here to make itself well-known as the "green" PC company -- I hope the company doesn't let the chance fall through the cracks.


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What is Green Computing?

Green computing is the study and practice of using computing resources efficiently. Typically, technological systems or computing products that incorporate green computing principles take into account the so-called triple bottom line of economic viability, social responsibility, and environmental impact. This differs somewhat from traditional or standard business practices that focus mainly on the economic viability of a computing solution. These focuses are similar to those of green chemistry; reduction of the use of hazardous materials such as lead at the manufacturing stage, maximized energy efficiency during the product's term of use, and recyclability or biodegradability of both a defunct product and of any factory waste.

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