Reflections on Earth Hour | 2011-03-28

I didn't participate in Earth Hour yesterday (because it's stupid), but it did get me thinking (which is probably the point). I am already somewhat energy conscious. For example I have things I use infrequently on separate power strips so that I can turn them off when they're not in use. This includes my PS2, Wii, and chargers for my DS and PSP. I feel like this is just common power management.

Anyway, I wasn't home for Earth Hour and I thought about all that was running at home with no one there: 4 computers. I believe this is a remnant of the early Windows XP era, in which you always disabled the "Sleep" option on every computer you used. Anything could happen when a computer returned from sleep! The wireless card could have stopped working, all your programs probably crashed, and it was slow from some incorrectly stored memory from running programs. You might as well have turned the thing off, but starting a Windows machine still takes too long for me since I'm on the computer almost at all times when I'm home. So whenever I set up a computer in my house I go to the power settings and tell it never to turn anything off or sleep.

Even though one of the four computers is supposed to use very little energy, this huge waste of power bothered me. I went around and tested the sleep mode on each computer and it worked. I guess they patched it in XP since I had last tried. I instructed my family to use the sleep button when they are away.

This is all pretty boring stuff, but I just wanted to say that while turning off the power for an hour will not really help the world, taking some time to think about all the power that's used on a daily basis might make a difference (at least in your bill).

-Blaine