ME and Ophelia

Monday, May 03, 2004

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Using computer's sleep mode to save energy and wear and tear

On most evenings, after watching an hour or so of TV, I use a handset to switch the TV on to standby. It stays that way until bedtime when I unplug the surge protector's socket panel, to ensure that my two laptops, printer, TV and cell phone are switched off at night.

Now my niece tells me that a TV switched on to standby uses nearly as much electricity as when it's switched full on. If this is true - and millions of us are doing the same thing all around the world - we are all wasting a mind boggling amount of electricity. My VCR sure is wasting electricity. Although I've only used it once over the past year, it's switched on to show the correct time of day but sits too low down on the floor for me to even notice.

From now on, I'm keeping the TV and VCR switched off. Plus, instead of switching off my powerbook every few hours, I'm starting to use its sleep mode. Which means I'm switching it off only once a day, at bedtime. Hope it's right. Can't bear any more computer heat problems. I got the idea from this Q&A in yesterday's Sunday Times:

Question: Is it better to leave a PC on all the time or switch it on and off when using it?

Answer: Those in the blue corner claim that switching off saves energy and reduces fire risks; the red team says that constant power-ups increase wear and tear on components and lead to long-term waste; I'm in the purple corner. I leave my laptop on permanently, with the screen set to go blank after 10 minutes, and I power down my desktop to hibernate mode instead of full shutdown, which means a faster boot-up. CRT monitors are real energy hogs, so keep them switched off as much as possible.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 5/03/2004
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