Archive for the 'screen' Category

How Much Electricity Does a PC Use?

November 12, 2006

Save EnergyIt was brought up as a question in my household today. How much electricity does your computer(s) take up? My answer was a somewhat uncertain, “ummm…not much…”

As usual Google beaconed and I happened onto this wonderful website that explains just how much power your computer is taking up at it’s various stages of operation. The author of the website explains in painstaking detail the different measurements with statements like:

Add another 80 watts for a 17″ CRT monitor, or 35 for an LCD monitor. Don’t forget related devices. My cable modem uses 7 watts, my D-Link DI-604 router uses 4.5 watts, and my Motorola phone box for use with Vonage uses 2 watts while idle (3 when I’m on the phone)”   -Click for link to site

This website does not tell you how much your pc is using, but it talks in averages and gives you a good idea. I am usually pretty good at turning my PC off during the day when I am out and at night when I am asleep. I had never thought of my Thinkpad causing much of a power drain, but as it has the same general components and a Pentium 4 2Ghz processor, maybe it does.

I went ahead and changed my power settings on both PC’s. If you are not sure how to do this go to your control panel on a Windows machine and select “Power Options.” While I have been sitting here, I heard the HDD power down in my Thinkpad and a few minutes later, the screen went down. The new power management is in effect.

The website that I found has other questions that are addressed about laptops, people talking business with multiple computers and even dispels a few myths. The old “Turning my PC on takes more energy than leaving it on” is gone.

Tell someone about PC power management, turn it off when you’re not using it and let’s save some energy.



Should You Be Excited About the New Microsoft Zune?

November 4, 2006

Zune 1I find myself really excited about the upcoming Microsoft Zune “ipod killer.” Microsoft promises this baby to be one hell of a device and is promoting it on a great looking slick website. (Thanks to the Global Geek Podcast Blog for the link) I am the proud owner of a completely scratched iPod 30Gig, Video. The Zune however offers some really promising features. According to many sources the Zune is unable to play anything buy Microsoft licensed music.

My first impression of this obviously user crippling decision was that it puts Apple and the iPod in an even better position. Not only do they have 70 Percent or more of the market, the new player that Microsoft is releasing can’t even play music you have been downloading from the iTunes Music Store for the last few years. Microsoft is trying to carve out a section of the market just for them, for Microsoft Zune owners not to be able to use both as they are not interchangeable. I believe in this age of media consolidation it is a critical error on the part of Microsoft. Exclusiveness in brands should be disappearing, not coming further to bear.

I have also head multiple reports that the Zune is unable to connect wirelessly with its “built in wireless” that Microsoft is raving about to anything but other Zune devices! With almost every home computer network running a wireless network and hotspots on every street corner, a simple email checking utility / web browsing through the on board wireless would have made Zune very attractive not to mention having one up on all the current iPods.

According to the Zune official website the device will be released in ten days, that’s November 14th 2006. I have been talking to a lot of my technically like minded friends who all use portable mp3 players on a daily basis and all but one had never even heard of the Zune! As I said Apple’s market share at 70 percent is going to be a tough sell to beat but these are experienced mp3 player users/buyers who are unawares.

The way I see it there are several main points that cause me pause (no pun intended) about the Zune.

  • Inability to play music downloaded from the iTunes music store, no transfer of license suggested, no nothing. So much for fair use…
  • Apple already hold 70 percent market share with the iPod on portable mp3 players. Microsoft’s Zune marketing hasn’t even reached mp3 player users, let alone those who don’t know what the portable players are yet.
  • The built in wireless support of Zune is crippled to only allow you to connect a Zune to another Zune and not a wireless access point of wireless enabled PC. I am sure (hope) that someone cracks that in the first 24 hours of the Zune being available.
  • The Zune is too little too late. It has video support and nice menus, big whoop. It certainly is a big whoop coming in at much larger and thicker than the video iPod. The screen size might make up for the overall mass of the device, but it will really to have work to impress.

I can’t wait for my first opportunity to play with one of these little babies. I would love to try out Microsoft’s version of itunes and share music with other Zune users. Hey Microsft – send me one to review!