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Microsoft One Step From World's Greenest Company 492

An anonymous reader writes "According to this article, Microsoft is only a few lines of code away from becoming the greenest company on Earth." From the article: "Redmond should issue a software upgrade to every computer running Microsoft Windows worldwide to adjust each machine's energy-saving settings for maximum efficiency." The author figures that the upgrade would affect 100 million computers and that the power cost savings could hit $7 billion per year. CO2 emissions would be cut by 45 million tons. But what about the impact on computing?
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Microsoft One Step From World's Greenest Company

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  • Good lord! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:43AM (#16867776)
    Install Linux! Pollute the Earth!!!!!1111
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by h2g2bob ( 948006 )
      That's not really trolling - Linux doesn't seem set up to save power. While there are packages like hibernate [], it's not well advertised, and didn't get installed by default for me.
      • Re:Good lord! (Score:5, Informative)

        by molarmass192 ( 608071 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:45AM (#16868484) Homepage Journal
        I don't know if YOU'RE trolling, but wtf does "Linux doesn't seem set up to save power" mean? Novell's SuSE Linux comes will CPU frequency scaling and suspend to RAM enabled. My laptop battery consistently lasts LONGER on flights than my co-workers who use Windows. Besides all that, Linux is just the kernel, it has facilities for throttling CPU and disks sleeping, it's up to the packager to use them.
    • Re:Good lord! (Score:5, Informative)

      by TheDruidBear ( 1028088 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:29AM (#16868980)
      I dual boot my HP laptop and I get 2.5 hrs battery life from my Mandriva Linux side where I get just over 1.5 hours on my Windows side (and the MS side is set to conserve battery life). Needless to say, I tend to stay on the Linux side. Peace Bear
  • by Zigg ( 64962 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:49AM (#16867824)

    What a phenomenally stupid idea. I have personally used a half-dozen machines where enabling "power-saving" is a recipe for operational disaster. Machines that power off completely. Machines that lock up. Machines that do something and never come back.

    I think the lack of foresight on TFA's part with this inane suggestion reflects pretty accurately on how seriously we should take the article as a whole.

    • Yeah, hmm... $7 billion per year in power savings. Is that counting the $10 billion in additional customer support costs, lost productivity, aggravation and egg on Microsoft's face?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MarkH ( 8415 )
      While the idea needs some more work if it saves this volume of energy it is worth serious investigation. I am afraid the only 'phenomenally stupid idea' is having 100 million appliances which need to be working at full pelt for no other reasons than the way the software on them is designed.

      Imagine the laughs if a new car was brought out which required the engine to be on all the time - because if you turned it off you cannot unlock the doors.

      • by Mayhem178 ( 920970 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:09AM (#16868092)
        Imagine the laughs if a new car was brought out which required the engine to be on all the time - because if you turned it off you cannot unlock the doors.

        You just described every server on the market.

        I know that I would not want Microsoft fumbling around with the power saving settings on my Windows 2000/2003 Server (if I had one) computer just because they think they know what's best for consumers. I mean, we've already seen this mentality from them on numerous occasions, and how many times has it resulted in something useful? WGA protecting the consumer? Bull. How about how any Microsoft product update automatically resets the application in question to be the default application of that type (e.g. anything in Microsoft Office)?

        Now they want to muck with power savings settings through an update. Sorry, I'm gonna pass on that one.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gad_zuki! ( 70830 )
        You can shutoff a computer just like you can shut-off a car. There's a power switch right on the front! And unlike televisions and DVD players and other more popular toys it shuts down completely.

        When modern OS's have nothing to do they sent halt commands to the processor cutting down power consumption greatly. Default settings shut down the monitor in a few minutes when unused. CRTs use a significant amount of power.

        A PC on idle is like a lightbulb left on. Where's the animosity towards the guy who leav
    • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:11AM (#16868770) Homepage
      Is that really what they refer to as being a green company? If they were really green, they'd get rid of all those plastic discs, and distribute all the software over the internet, or at least get rid of the oversized boxes for their software. I know companies that are much more green. Take the Beer Store [] for example. They recycle somewhere near 95% of their products sold. I wish they'd bring back returnable glass bottles for milk and Pop. It would do the environment a lot more good than the current system. I think that food should be pushed into reusable packaging for everything. It would make a lot more sense, and put a lot less stress on our landfills.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:50AM (#16867852)

    People who need better performance would change the settings. The vast majority of people don't need better performance. The vast majority would be okay (performance-wise) running a slightly souped-up C128 with GEOS and the Wave.

    • by Bogtha ( 906264 )

      People who need better performance would change the settings.

      If they were clueful enough to a) understand that their settings have been changed, and b) figure out how to change them back.

      I suspect a decent amount of people would complain about how slow their computer has got lately, and end up going out and buying a brand new computer, just like they do when they get clogged up with spyware etc. It's certainly possible that manufacturing a whole new computer and chucking the old one away is worse

  • Already? (Score:2, Informative)

    by n3tcat ( 664243 )
    What about all the companies that enforce power management settings across their network that remove standby mode etc? And that's just one large example of all of the little situations which would partially negate this ignorantly large savings estimation.

    Not saying it wouldn't help, but you don't force something like this down on a 5 year old OS. Now if they included some sort of detection system in Vista that adjusted accordingly, then that would be helpful for the next gen.
  • I've set our network up to do rather a lot overnight; the "healing process" as I like to call it. Each workstation is completely backed up to a storage server, SourceSafe to the tap-drive(40Gb database), SQL Servers run the maintenance plans (backups to tape, index consolidations, etc), automatic updates are installed and applied (if there are any), and each machine runs a full virus scan. It takes most of the night, and is quite essential for smooth running.

    Basically, by the time people arrive in the morni
    • Um, isn't that what Wake-On-LAN is for?
      • by jimicus ( 737525 )
        Don't know if it's still the case, but historically Wake-on-LAN has been fantastically unreliable.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by blindcoder ( 606653 )
          Well, on my 3year old mainboard, it certainly is.
          Shut Windows down using a short touch on the power button (you'll see the shutdown window), and Wake-On-LAN does exactly nothing.
          Shut Windows down with Start->Shutdown (still funny today) and WOL works.
          Shut Linux down with 'halt', 'init 0' or 'shutdown -h now' and WOL works.
    • Changing just two settings on the average office PC will cut it's useage by over 50% on a daily average, yet hardly any office ever mandates that they be enabled

      - Screen saver totally disabled in favor of DPMS suspend after 10 minutes of inactivity and monitor shut off after 15 minutes

      - Set hard drives to spin down after 20 minutes of inactivity.

      See how easy that was? It didn't affect your backup plan or anything else. The hard drive setting ALONE can save you 15% or more, especially if your office runs lot
  • If the installed base of PCs was comprised of many different OSes each of comparable market penetration, this would require almost every OS vendor to make these changes -- assuming of course they all had something akin to the Windows Power control applet in the first place. In fact, this *could* be one of those times when having a monopoly desktop OS is a *good* thing.
  • by ceeam ( 39911 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:52AM (#16867872)
    Please disable "screen saver" feature altogether. DPMS sleep modes work much, much better for "screen saving" (and screen saver of course do not save energy at all). Flying shits and "nice" landscapes may be kinda fun for a first time but that time ended about 20 years ago. Oh, same applies to all unices and macs of course. I have colleagues who have screensavers running on there PCs/laptops for _days_ (as on weekends) and monitors never go to sleep. Sigh.
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )
      On todays systems with todays power saving mointors and video cards, there is NO excuse for not having minotor power saving mode enabled at some level.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cragen ( 697038 )
      Your idea has a (perceived) flaw when it comes to reality. Example: All US Army PC's are now required to have screen savers that activate (w/approved password) after 10 min. of inactivity. Not necessarily a great idea, but the Army thinks it is so us folk that work for them have that capability enabled on our PC's whether we wish it or not. Heck, we can't even change the background via screen settings as that tab is disabled. Sigh... Cragen
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The worst thing about screen saver is that it doesn't save the screen either, because every components in the monitor have life span. As long as it is running, it is running towards certain death. The screen saver only make the monitor die faster.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrXym ( 126579 )
      I have colleagues who have screensavers running on there PCs/laptops for _days_ (as on weekends) and monitors never go to sleep. Sigh.

      Which raises an interesting point. I expect if someone were to study how many computers were doing anything useful during out of office hours, the figure would be 10% tops. It seems like it would be an easy way to compel companies to use energy saving settings by hiking the electricity rates out of office hours so that leaving machines on that were doing nothing cost them r

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _xeno_ ( 155264 )

      Even worse are screensavers that waste energy. Whenever I'm running under Linux and XScreensaver pops up, the fan on my laptop slowly starts to ramp up to "jet aircraft" levels. I have a feeling if I SSHed in and pulled up top, XScreensaver would be using 100% CPU to pull off 100FPS of lines moving around.

      Personally I prefer something like the default Windows 2000/XP screensaver, which is just the Windows logo being displayed at a random location that changes every couple of seconds. Very low CPU power

    • by antdude ( 79039 )
      I wished screen savers would pause/stop when DPMS come on. I noticed this in Windows and Linux so far. I also avoid 3D screen savers due to 3D card usage.
  • .. that let Microsoft globally turn off those flashy LEDs and stupid crap that people use to customize their PC cases with. Clearing stores of the USB attached crap they sell at Christmas would help too - my local store is selling USB powered plastic fake-fish fish tanks, cup warmers and much more.
  • by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <enderandrew AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:52AM (#16867882) Homepage Journal
    I've seen server rooms that run off DC and have substantial power savings.

    Google suggested a new standard for ATX power supplies that is supposed to have again, substantial power savings.

    There are solutions out there without a doubt. Big businesses would save money on their bills.

    So why is no one interested in saving money?

    Bueller? Bueller?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:10AM (#16868096)
      Because most businesses have a hard time seeing past the initial cost differential of buying a DC server vs. an AC server, nevermind the cost of making your server room DC rather than AC.

      Not sure about the ATX power supply, but I have to say that most of the equipment in most server rooms (remember that Google uses biege boxes, rather than vendor specific servers) don't use a standard ATX powersupply anyway - the form factor is way different, even if the output voltages are the same. That would cost a fortune to change out for most companies too. And in this day and age of "where's the profit?" you will be very unlikely to convince anyone to spend money now to save it in a couple of years.
  • Suuuuure (Score:3, Informative)

    by Andy Dodd ( 701 ) <{atd7} {at} {}> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:53AM (#16867900) Homepage
    Number of non-mobile computers out there that support CPU frequency and clock scaling - Very few.

    AMD has only had that on the market for desktop CPUs for 3-4 years (or less), and Intel has only had it on the market for 3-4 months (since the Core 2 Duo launch for the desktop). No previous Intel desktop CPU supported any power management of significance.

    This is one of those aspects of hardware that can't be changed in software. If the hardware doesn't support it (and for a few more years, most machines won't, people overestimate how often the "average Joe" replaces his hardware, same for corporate users), no software update will do a thing.

    If he's talking about suspend and hibernate - That stuff is disabled by default because it rarely ever works properly. Of all the machines I own, only one (My newest machine) can wake up from hibernation with 100% reliability. If Microsoft tried to force hibernation to be enabled on all users, they would have a massive lawsuit on their hands due to all the machines that can't handle it.
  • by lennart78 ( 515598 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:54AM (#16867918)
    Car companies could drastically reduce emissions is they would would just limit all internal combustion engines at 3000rpm. Think of what this would do for emission levels.
    Or that the engine would shut itself down if you let it run stationary for 30 seconds.

    I think I just solved the entire global warming issue!
    Onwards to the meaning of life!
    • by DrSkwid ( 118965 )
      I read that 2 minutes was the point at which cutting an engine saves fuel.

      Trying to find a link for that is a tad tricky.
      • No! You're doing it wrong. Don't be scientific about it, just say: An engine that's not running is not using any fuel.
        Stick to these kind of logics and people will think you talk in simple truths. Next thing you'll be president of the USA.

        OK, sorry, I'll take my pills now and get back to work...
      • That's what people *say* but I'm not entirely sure. I've been doing a bit of engine-start calibration recently, and mostly it depends on the calibration. Let's say to start an engine, you get a primer pulse of 100ms, then 5 revolutions of fuel before hitting idle speed, then you're running normal (on a warm engine, so there's none of that goofy warm-up stuff).

        Let's say, for instance, that running at idle you have fuel pulses of 4 ms. Let's say this is a 4 cylinder. So, the primer pulse is 400 ms of fuel

  • GPO (Score:5, Informative)

    by skinfitz ( 564041 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:55AM (#16867938) Journal
    What they should do is allow machine power settings to be controllable from an Active Directory policy object. Network admins would then have fine control of the power usage of their desktops.
    • What they should do is allow machine power settings to be controllable from an Active Directory policy object. Network admins would then have fine control of the power usage of their desktops.
      Vista allows power management settings to be managed by policy object.
    • Re:GPO (Score:4, Informative)

      by VoidEngineer ( 633446 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:00AM (#16868654)
      Power usage settings are stored in the registry, and therefore can be controlled via the Active Directory by pushing out registry scripts, both at the computer profile and user profile levels. Windows machines *can* be controlled by Active Directory in the manner you are speaking... the trick is learning how to use Active Directory well enough to implement those changes when there isn't necessarily a nice graphical interface and a 'click here' policy object. I think what you mean to say is that they should have a nice Active Directory panel specifically for domain computer power usage policies.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by skinfitz ( 564041 )
        No actually I'm pretty sure I meant that they should provide a GPO for managing power.
  • Even better (Score:2, Insightful)

    by k-sound ( 718684 )
    Microsoft could also use their online updating powers to make windows secure, thus reducing the power consumption caused by viruses, spyware, virus scanners etc.that use 90% the resources on the average windows box.
    • by Nate B. ( 2907 )

      Expending resources on useless and harmful activity certainly must account for much of the energy consumption. It would be fantastic if someone could quantify this impact, although that would be "embarrassing" for MS and thus won't be done.
  • If the processor(s) weren't so busy running such piggy code, perhaps they could automagically throttle down without any coaxing from Redmond and without affecting those of us who need to have their systems running full-bore 24/7.
  • How exactly? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chrismcdirty ( 677039 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @08:55AM (#16867950) Homepage
    How would this make Microsoft the greenest company? As far as I can tell, it wouldn't. It would make the companies that use MS products greener companies. It would have nothing to do with the net energy that Microsoft uses.
  • Vista (Score:4, Informative)

    by mobby_6kl ( 668092 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:02AM (#16868018)
    Vista already seems to have a more power-saving profile by default, I was surprised when I couldn't VNC into it a few hours after leaving. Turned out (when I physically got there) it entered the suspend mode. Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway, hah!), the power settings are back at Always On.
  • Not that easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khendron ( 225184 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:04AM (#16868050) Homepage
    Can you imagine the support nightmare Microsoft would unleash upon themselves if they did what the article suggests?

    Articles like this underline a huge problem in the software industry. Too many people think that software is easy, and that all any problem needs is a few software tweaks. Too many people are willing to offer up solutions without thinking the issue all the way through.

    It is attitudes like this that lead to failed billion-dollar IT projects, most of what is offered on the Daily WTF [], and VB hacks promoting themselves as software engineers.
  • by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:05AM (#16868052)
    Those computers are not theirs. So if I have a computer and I save energy, it is I who should step up, not the who told me to do it to save money and not the person I tell to implement it.

    If it were that easy, I am also one step away from being the greenest person: Everbody, turn off all your computers. Do not drive your car and don't use any electricity.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by schon ( 31600 )
      Why would Microsoft be the greenest? Those computers are not theirs.

      Obviously you haven't read the fine print in the EULA! :)
  • a) Install pskill
    b) Kill -9 -1.

    Job's done!

  • someone please write a worm that sets power-setting to maximum. The world will be a better place in no time...:-)
  • Oh, come on... (Score:4, Informative)

    by pointbeing ( 701902 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:09AM (#16868088)
    Apparently unlike some I actually read TFA.

    I don't see where Microsoft commented one way or the other. What we have is a blogger with an idea to inflict power saving modes on people. MS is *way* smarter than that.

    It's one of the down sides to free speech on the internet - even people who have dumb things to say can be instantly (and globally) published. ;-)
  • by lancejjj ( 924211 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:10AM (#16868102) Homepage
    I figured out that my PCs were consuming more electricity than my fridge, dish washer, and clothes washer. Combined.

    I made a chart of actual electricity use of various PCs and Macs on my blog: PC and Mac power consumption [].

    In a nutshell, my annual power consumption went down by 30% (!) once I started to power down my home-built "home server PC" when not in use.

    I also figured out that when buying a new PC that is going to see a lot of use, power consumption should be a factor. If you're saving $100 in purchase price, but spending $50/year for additional electricity because the cheap PC's power supply is grossly inefficient, well, have you really saved anything if you keep that machine for 3 years? The short answer. NO.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Overzeetop ( 214511 )
      You guys must live in amazingly temperate zones, or perhaps really hot ones, where every watt of power used in your house has to be pulled back out by a cooling unit. I have an 8 drive tower and a server. Presuming that the drives get exercized regularly, I'm pulling about 75 watts, on average and with inefficiencies, maybe (maybe) 150w at the 120v outlet. So here I am at about $7 a month. Except, of course, that the unit operates in my basement, which I generally have to add heat to in order to make livabl
  • $28.25 billion dollars of cash on the balance sheets. That's a lot of green!
  • by dlc3007 ( 570880 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:16AM (#16868160)

    I'm sorry, but I don't see a problem here. This seems no worse than turning on the Windows firewall by default. Those of us who spend a lot of time tweeking and modifying our machines would obviously configure our systems to behave the way we want them to. People who don't care won't care anyway.

    I have no issues at all with my sister's computer going into a power-safe mode by default. My grandmother's computer could certainly scale back when she's not playing solitare... could probably scale back while she's playing solitare.

    Please don't get your panties in a wad just because we're talking about Microsoft here.

  • I'll choose what settings to run, esp on machines I need to backup at random times during the night.

    yes it would be nice to turn the things off/standby/hibernate but it wouldn't work here..
  • Err, I hate to mention this, but for the poor people stuck using Windows as a server platform, wouldn't this mean their entire server room would quietly go to sleep each night, and then require someone to be in to power up every system and ensure they come back from sleep okay? Which is not what I'd call a trivial task...
  • I will deceide my systems power settings, the default ones out of the box are often too much more me. I am all for saving energy, but most of my systems I need completely awake and alive all of the time.
  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @09:28AM (#16868278)
    Of course wasn't it Microsoft that implemented all of the power down features because it took so long to boot Windows in the first place that people didn't want to wait so long for the computer to power on? Wasn't it also the bloated Windows code and feature creep that made it necessary for ever faster cpu, ram, video and storage requirements, which all equate to more energy consumption? Isn't also true that Microsoft Vista is going to tax these resources even more? So, isn't it a bit hypocritical to talk about how "green" Microsoft would be by forcing computers to power down?

    Maybe a better solution would be an OS designed to run on lower powered devices from the start instead of trying to make the high horse powered PC of today more efficient. As an analogy, although there have been improvements with technology, an eight cylinder automobile is not going to ever be as fuel efficient as a four cylinder one. Nor will a four cylinder be as efficient, say as a fuel-cell powered one. Likewise, as long as the system requirements to just run Windows (not even applications on Windows) keeps increasing, the PC will continue to consume greater and greater amounts of power.

    We all know, even if we don't want to admit it, that personal productivity for the business masses, anyway, has ceased to improved, at least significantly, from the latest releases of Windows. Why? Because of those 600 million computers quoted in the article, most are used for things like word processing, simple spreadsheets and surfing the web and to do email. Stuff that computers capable of running Windows 2000 and Office 2000 (if not earlier versions) still do quite well. Sure new versions make it easier to get pictures of our cameras and to create music, etc. But the vast majority of people aren't seriously doing that work and those that are, use specialized tools, anyway.

    Now, many will argue, and I would agree, that hardware is cheap, relatively, anyway. However, the point of the article was not about cheap hardware, but about saving energy. And the point of the matter is that as long as we keep adding fluff and flash to the OS, forcing bigger and faster computers, which translates into greater power consumption, they will never be "green." Even if they do power down when not in use, they will still use far more energy than is needed to actually perform the task while they are on.

    If Microsoft wants to truly be known as a "green" company, then they should design the next version of Windows so that it runs on less hardware than what is currently required, so we don't have keep to filling up the landfills with technically good computers that become obsolete, just to stay compatible every time Microsoft releases the latest version of Windows.
  • If you are using AMD CoolnQuiet then turning the powersaving mode to anything but the minimal power saving profile in Windows results in running at full clock and voltage all the time. With my well ventilated Athlon 63 x2 4200+ this results in a CPU temperature jump from +10 over ambient to +20 over ambient when idle. It's true that AMD's need to select minimal power saving is completely backwards and unintuitive, but it's reality for anyone running a modern Athlon.
  • "The upgrade would adjust the machine's energy-saving settings for maximum efficiency. Of course, this upgrade would have to allow critical systems to opt out. Nobody wants air traffic control computers to suddenly go into deep hibernation. But correcting for critical systems should be very simple for a company that churns out millions of lines of code every year."

    Wow, this paragraph made me soil my jeans. What's scarier: a) critical systems running Windows, b) critical systems running Windows connected to
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:10AM (#16868766) Homepage
    We have an intiative here where I work, (1000s of seats). Turn computers off at night. This over the last couple months has saved a significant amount of power, much more that I thought it would. This has reduced our power bill (and not everyone is doing it).

    The biggest thing MS could do, is to use the screen saver to black the screen (put monitor into standby aka orange mode). This would at least reduce screen power comsumption. Its amazing when roaming around the city, the number of default windows screen savers/login screens you see running all night.
  • Sarcasm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:13AM (#16868790) Journal
    [sarcasm]This of course compensate for the wastes generated by all people upgrading their computer when a new version of windows is out. Surely upgrading to Vista and changing computer is easier than changing a windows setting.[/sarcasm]

    Please note that while sarcastic, I am happy that the mass market blindly following the trend help fund the R&D effort to produce the better computer I need to run my computer-vision programs...

    [Linux zealotery] You can surf the web, play divx, mp3, program and write emails using Linux on an "old" (maybe 3 years) configuration. They are less powerful but generaly use less power. Needing a PIV 3 GHz Dual Core with 2 Go RAM and a graphic card with more memory than I have in my file server for reading emails and DVDs is the real waste, Microsoft is only somehow compensating for this.[/Linux zealotery]

    [mod me insightful] Linux is not produce by a company but by individuals on their free time, we can't give its "green rank". But if we want to compare this network of people to a company like Microsoft you have to consier some things :

    People in large companies tend to use more resources than people on their free time, be it paper, power, AC, better computers, etc...

    The "Linux network" only has programmers. No marketing department, no administration, no financial department, etc... each one of these producing their own wastes

    Linux is often used to "recycle" old PCs into education tools or simple media boxes. Do do that with, say, Win 95, you would have (in theory) to 1) find a licence 2) forget about internet connectivity because of all the nasty stuff Win 95 is vulnerable about 3) forget about recent software, even those which are lightweight.[/mod me insightful]

  • Group policy ftw (Score:3, Informative)

    by PFI_Optix ( 936301 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @10:21AM (#16868872) Journal
    The blogger is advocating Microsoft forcing users to accept drastic changes to the way their PCs function. Because if "opting out" were easy, we'd all do it and there would be no savings.

    However, it is quite simple to use group policy and scripting to make use of energy saving features and shut down PCs when they are not being used. I know, the school district I work for uses them.

    We have over 1,200 computers in the district, and every one of them will power down its monitor after 15 minutes idle. We've had to disable hibernation because it doesn't work properly on older systems, but we are powering down hard drives after 30 minutes. At the end of the day, the only workstations not powered down are administration and IT--less than 50 total.

    Something not mentioned in that article: MS hasn't been able to make hibernation and suspend 100% reliable, and they've had years to work on it. Now this guy wants them to force us all to use it. No, thanks. Maybe when he gets a CS degree and can fix MS's code so that all the energy saving features work right on every PC they encounter I'll consider it, but until then this guy needs to shut his trap about things he doesn't understand.
  • by supremebob ( 574732 ) <> on Thursday November 16, 2006 @11:10AM (#16869526) Journal
    This would be a great idea if Windows power management actually worked half decently. A lot of the Windows XP machines that I worked with crash when you put them into standby mode, and even more of them will not come back out of standby without an application hanging or a hardware device disappearing from the hardware profile until you reboot the system. I'm not sure if it's a problem with Windows itself or with the drivers that manufacturers are releasing (probably a mix of both), but it's certainly not something that I could rely on if I had open applications running when I was away from my desk.

    I have a hunch that this blogger is a Mac user, and hasn't experienced how bad Windows power management can be. My Mac Mini comes in and out of sleep mode without any problems (as long as I don't have my HP printer plugged into it), but that's a lot easier for Apple to do considering that they more control as to what hardware and software goes on their systems.
  • Impact on Spam (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Thursday November 16, 2006 @02:16PM (#16872512) Homepage Journal
    Besides the impact on the environment, think of the impact this could have on spam. Given that the bulk of spam comes from infected Windows desktop machines that probably don't have to be on when nobody is using the keyboard and mouse, a scheme that automatically shuts down (or suspends) these machines after a couple of minutes of no user activity could severely reduce spam.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27