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Goodbye For Now Site News
It's back to Rob for next week's hints. He's been keeping me up to date on his vacation activities, with fun in the sun, drinks with umbrellas, pool-side massages, and much more. Ah, the joys of Caribbean vacations...

If you've paid attention to the ruckus about this week's poll, in which I was ardently flamed, you might want to check out my thoughts on the issue. Or you might not.
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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: frickster on Oct 05, '07 07:37:28AM

I blame electricity waste on people like Al Gore... He probably uses more electricity running the air conditioner in his house in one day than all the dsl/cable modems in the United States running constantly for a month...

He's on the board of Apple. He invented the Internet. You should send this thread his way. But wait! He drives (or is driven in) a fleet of SUVs, and serves endangered-species fish (Chilean Sea Bass) at his daughter's wedding...

So much for the environment.

Pfft. TIRED!!

---
-frick



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: frickster on Oct 05, '07 07:39:41AM

Ooops... Hit the enter key...

Leave the environmental stuff to the hippies, and stick to the computer hints. We're all aware on some level of the environmental implications of electricity usage, and the poll, while slightly relevant, is not a Mac OS X Hint.

---
-frick



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: wayneDL on Oct 06, '07 08:31:26PM

I've known more than a couple "hippies" who were into "the technology". As for me, I think affluent people living in an industrialized, high-tech world have a responsibility to be self-critical about possible negative repercussions of their petro-electro-centric lifestyle--for people the world over, for the only habitable planet within reach, and for own health and happiness. That said, I haven't turned my DSL modem off in about 3 years, and I was under the impression that stuff like that uses a negligible amount of electricity.



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re: Goodbye For Now
Authored by: conundrum on Oct 05, '07 07:57:05AM

I would like to say not everyone feels like the flamers. I thought it was a great hint. Yes, it was a hint. I'm sorry you got flamed and I totally agree with your thoughts, especially on your blog. I am one of the 5.5% in your poll. Where I live, most of our power comes from hydroelectricity. While many say it is green power, the animals and people who's land got flooded by the building of the dams might say otherwise.

Funny how some will say they are all for conservation but can't be bothered to turn off their computer and related peripherals when they are not needed. No wonder this planet is dying. I may not be perfect in energy conservation, but I'm trying.

It was great having you here, Kirk. Hope you come back soon.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: tyip on Oct 05, '07 09:10:40AM

Hey, you did good, so don't lose heart. Every time you speak, there's a chance of getting flamed, especially from Mac lovers who tend to be more vocal and opinionated. Hope to see you soon. :-)



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: CatMac on Oct 05, '07 09:18:43AM

Made me think, may lead to change. Hang in there.
Peace



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: mooman on Oct 05, '07 09:30:38AM

You did perfectly fine! :)



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: ecco on Oct 05, '07 10:12:58AM

America, how strange.

Do you really discuss about power saving over there? It is unthinkable in Europe to leave your computer on while on holidays.

Sometimes there's more than an ocean between us :-)



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: Felix on Oct 06, '07 02:20:37AM

>> It is unthinkable in Europe to leave your computer on while on holidays.

Not if I need at access my files remotely. Where do you come up with this sort of drivel?



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: itistoday on Oct 06, '07 10:56:11AM

As a good Mac OS X Hintster, you should know that you can accomplish that, without having to leave your Mac on all day. Simply use the Energy Savings system preference to have your Mac wake up at certain times of the day and turn itself off at others. No need to keep it on all day.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: pub3abn on Oct 05, '07 10:17:33AM

I enjoyed your post. Usually comment-generating (and flame generating) articles are the ones that make people think.

I'm not sure about your figures, though. On your post linked above (to mcelhearn.com), I wanted to make a comment, but it required a separate registration, so I'll just make it here.

You talk about "gas guzzling SUVs." I hear that phrase so often. I happen to have an SUV (a Jeep Cherokee). And you know what? It gets exactly the same mileage as many of the plain ol' non-SUV cars out there (about 20-some). Even the "energy efficient" cars promoted in magazines often get little more than 25 or so mpg, with a few exceptions such as hybrids that may get 30-50. So please avoid blanket statements about SUVs. Maybe "gas guzzling non-hybrid cars" would be OK. But not everyone can afford them.

Also, in that article you talk about saving "one or two hundred dollars extra" per year. Considering that my electric bill for the year is about $700 (wild guess ... varies between $40 and $80 per month), I doubt that turning off the trickles on devices (many of which have built-in energy saving features) would cut the bill by a third. Maybe your energy costs are much higher. But not everyone stands to gain much by this advice.

Again, why not focus on how people can offset their convenience usage (solar, wind, etc.), rather than doing away with it?

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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: tatilsever on Oct 05, '07 05:07:44PM

My 1.6L engine 4-door non-hybrid Nissan Sentra has a 39mpg EPA highway estimate. An SUV with a similar passanger volume gets almost a third less along with a higher chance of rollover. It does not matter how vainly you try to justify it, SUVs are more wasteful. If it makes you happier to drive an SUV, you are welcome, but in that case why try so hard to show that there are others who are almost as wasteful as you?



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: pub3abn on Oct 06, '07 08:09:53PM

My point was that SUVs like mine are not worse than many non-SUVs, and therefore the focus on SUVs is misleading; better to focus on actual fuel efficiency. I've been hunting for a more energy efficient vehicle (and still am), but was surprised to learn that many of the vehicles listed as energy efficient by third parties were scarcely better than what I already own.

Here is a government website rating cars by fuel efficiency. If you select the Family Sedan size for the current year 2008, you will see that of the 60-some family sedans listed, only about 5 do significantly better (4 mpg or better) than my Jeep Cherokee SUV. In fact, most of the sedans are in exactly the same range as most of the SUVs. As a matter of fact, there are more SUVs with fuel efficiency >= 25 mpg than family sedans >= 25 mpg.

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This "Good" is the enemy of "Enough"
Authored by: WaltFrench on Oct 05, '07 10:21:06AM
...do you think about the power you waste...?
Howzabout turning those moralizing pieties into some real results?

Let me guess (hard data welcome): My DSL gizmo and WiFi router, between them, use maybe 30 watts, and turning them off 20 hours a day would therefore cut about 4 kWH per week. The latest DOE figures I found ($0.104/kWH) means that I could save about 45 cents per week by making two or four trips down to the basement each day, "earning" less than $2 per hour for the short trips. That's assuming the power cycling doesn't cause my the power supplies to fail sooner or the cords to fray to death, requiring money and energy to produce new ones and recycle the dead ones.

I hope you can serve yourself & the environment more effectively than thru an activity that saves worth one-quarter of the minimum wage rate, by using some elementary social and intellectual skills. The energy / warming issue is too important to trivialize with clutter that gets the world nowhere.

Maybe by organizing a donation drive for your local schools, libraries, non-profits or gov'ts to convert from CRT to flat-screen. Maybe by setting up a campaign to get local companies' IT depts to optimize Energy Star usage on their Windows machines (rather than letting stupid wavy corporate logos burn away 24X7 on hundreds of machines). Maybe in more creative ways. This site is all about creative ideas, no?

But please, don't cite the least efficient activity imaginable as a paragon of efficiency.

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This "Good" is the enemy of "Enough"
Authored by: kirkmc on Oct 05, '07 10:55:30AM

The particular activity was the result of a conversation (well, an iChat) between Rob and I. I raised the question of turning off devices, and asked if he turned off his network access. From there, he suggested I mention it in the hint, then set up the poll. We could have mentioned turning off your Mac insted, though I would assume (or at least hope) that the majority of readers don't leave their Macs on all the time doing nothing. Rob, however, was sure that the majority didn't turn off their network access, hence the poll.

I agree that there are many ways you can save energy beyond turning off your cable/DSL box - more efficient insulation in your home, less AC, lower temperatures in winter, etc. But this was just an example that came up in a conversation. It's a shame that so many poster focused on that as a criticsm rather than address the real question of wasting energy.

Kirk

---
Read my blog: Kirkville -- http://www.mcelhearn.com
Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more



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It was a great poll
Authored by: lotek on Oct 05, '07 10:21:35AM

...IMHO.
Thread's very interesting to read — and I, for one, feel it does tell something about the community.
Maybe a lot of posters here would rather do without a car than without their ISP... Anyway, there are good arguments here and there.
Judging by the number of comments — and animus of some —, I'd say the issue was relevant. Thanks for stirring it up.
Let's run the poll again one year from now — I'd be curious to see the results.
Cheers,

lotek

---
Speak in French when you can't think of the English for a thing, turn out your toes as you walk, and remember who you are.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: hexghost on Oct 05, '07 11:25:21AM

Kirk,


Ignore the trolls - they obviously don't run a business or care about where their money goes. As head of IT at my company, we recently instituted a mandatory policy where employees turn off their machines at night when they leave. Since most of them complained about this we let them substitute "off" for "hibernate" (not sleep but actual save-to-disk hibernate). Obviously the servers had to stay on, but just from 25 people turning their monitors and machines off at night we saved over $400 a month - and that's just a conservative estimate, so we're probably saving even more if we took the time to actually measure the power usage. Some people may balk at that amount - but it's the same amount as one of our T1 lines!

The moral is, money is money, and if you don't care about wasted money then you probably don't care about other important things as well!



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: morespace54 on Oct 05, '07 12:43:34PM

Kirk, I though that it was a good call.
I know energy waste is like a buzz word these days and people kind of feels tired to hear about it. But still, I think it's good to think about it once in a while. Hey, that could make the (real) difference between us our elder! ;) Keep it up!



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: Alrescha on Oct 05, '07 01:46:08PM

I'm one of those people who doesn't turn off my cable modem. I also don't bend over while I walk down the sidewalk to make sure I miss all the ants.

I value energy and I value life (I'll chase flies out the window before I'll smash them to bits) but I think we've lost our perspective here.

My cable modem uses about 6 watts. In a year it uses roughly the amount of energy in one gallon of gasoline. That's about $1.89 in crude oil cost. If saving energy is your goal, there are much bigger fish to fry.

A.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: tatilsever on Oct 05, '07 05:04:41PM

Don't worry about it Kirk. Some people like to live in denial. If you mess with their delusions, they try to shout you down. There is no reasoning with them, so why worry about them. I enjoyed your reminder that I could save a little electricity and money.

No, I don't bother turning off my router and base station at night, but I also don't feel the need to wash off my "guilt" by trying to find examples of people who use even more electricity for their AC or of cars using more gas than a random SUV. It is easier to slap a "Support Our Troops" sticker on your hulking SUV than sacrificing even a tiny bit in your lifestyle.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: FenrisUlf on Oct 05, '07 10:51:17PM

Or people could simply stop looking down their nose at other's choices, respond to what they aspire to when asked, and keep it to themselves when not asked. Speaking in generalities is fine, but pulling out the "SUV" card and all the other divisive buzzwords is pointless as it is childish. Offering enlightened views on how much better you are at conserving energy is about as useful as crap-flavored ice cream. And pointing the "denial" wand at those who simply disagree or at the most don't care is nothing more than the elitism that creates the rift we have now in the whole energy discussion. It serves no useful purpose to goad people, get their venom and step back in "disbelief" at why they'd be pissed at your statements. Simple as pie...

The "SUV driving energy hogs" aren't interested in you preaching to them any more than when Al Gore does it. Frankly, if an SUV makes you happy... you only go around once. Having a person in a Prius wag their self-righteous finger at you while you drive to the Taco Bell doesn't help anything... (and I'm speaking in the royal "you" here, for those who failed English... substitute "yous" or "y'all" where appropriate.) If you enjoy your electric car, solar powered sail bike, or earth-friendly hemp sandals... good for you. That's the great thing about individuality and freedom.. what's good for you isn't always good for the next guy.

If someone leaves their machine on 24/7... and you don't agree... great. Leave it at that. Making blanket assumptions (and unfounded character judgments) based on a few comments serve no purpose other than to polarize the issue further, and we get even _less_ done than if we had worked together. And yet people still feel like they have to tell _others_ to sacrifice... you first.


And yes, I drive a big truck. So what? It serves a purpose. I can't haul bricks and sand in a Prius. But if I drove it because I liked it, why would that make me evil? (As some like to mention...)

I read Kirk's views on it, and yes... he's pedantic about it. Grand show of it all, I must say. If he (or you, or anyone else) doesn't think so, then the speck in your brother's eye is indeed larger than the log in your own.



---
Who are you that walk across the graves of giants at this late hour?



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: n1mie on Oct 05, '07 05:52:31PM

The comment about turning off, not even sleeping, your Macs assume that they aren't doing work during that time. I keep mine busy 100% of the time. The monitors go into sleep mode, thus saving most of the energy normally consumed.

PS - I work in Nuclear Power ... much mo better than fossil.

---
--Chip



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use less electricity
Authored by: Scripter12 on Oct 06, '07 01:12:25AM

Using less electricity is always a good idea. The amount saved by turning off a modem and router will vary from person to person. It is good you made us think of this. Silent devices like this are often skipped over when we think about our power usage.

A router and modem might only use 10 or 15W but if you include that in you list of other devices to regularly power off that may come to a much more substantial sum.

Even just 10W can be important. If a million of us (0.3% of the population) did this every night that could come to something like 50 megawatt-hours every day and that is nothing to sneeze at.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: coreyjf on Oct 06, '07 06:05:16AM

Environmental issues are a legitimate concern, but I do think there are perfectly valid reasons the leave you router, modem and computer on.

VOIP: Many people aren't comfortable with not having a working phone after they go to sleep, especially parents.

Time resource management: Downloading large files, system updates etc...

Curing cancer: Distributed computing gives researchers access to computing power the might not otherwise have.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: Ezra Balaraj on Oct 08, '07 04:57:02AM

Thank you for manning the fort during Rob's
absence.

---
aebex



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: newbish on Oct 08, '07 07:25:20AM

A little food for thought:

My PowerMac G4 with all its peripherals was consuming nearly 400 watts. The old 21-inch CRT monitor consumed another 275 watts on top of that. Even though it was managing a lot of items in my household environment, I programmed it to power off in the evening once it had completed all its duties.

I traded it out with a MacMini — which even under a full load barely reaches 39 watts of consumption. The CRT has long since been replaced with a 23-inch flat panel Cinema Display at 90 watts of consumption active, 3 watts in sleep mode where it spends most of its time.

675 watts vs. 42 watts (screen is off, most of the time). And that was just one component! Sadly, I can't shut off the router because all my sensors are using ethernet connections to communicate to the household server/controller (the Mini).

Swapped out 30 60-watt lightbulbs with 30 15-watt flourescent bulbs, taking my lighting down from 1800 Watts to 450. Then, swapped out ten of those lights with LEDs, resulting in shaving another 120 watts (estimated at this point) off the 450 to bring it to about 330.

Just those items alone resulted in an 65% reduction in my electricity consumption (85% if I don't include household appliances) and a corresponding reduction in my electricity bill. That is a sizable chunk of change each month! By taking over the household management from the G4, the MacMini paid for itself in less than a year, due to the reduction of the electricity bill.

I took my energy savings one step further. Looking at what I used to pay in the electricity bill and what I pay now, I took the difference and invested it in several companies. What I save each month based on what I used to pay, I dump into various stocks and mutual funds (yes, AAPL is one of them). So, not only am I seeing my bills go down, the money I invested has resulted in fairly significant returns. It is one thing to look at the straight dollar value that these things have saved me. It may take up to eight years before everything has paid for itself based on that. But when I look at the money I've made due to my investing the saved money, everything I bought has actually paid for itself and actually made me money.

In the end, it is astonishing just how much I've accomplished just by turning off a little bit of electricity. A Mac can turn itself on and off at specific times. Add remote electrical controls to that, and a Mac can turn itself on and then turn on your router remotely, and then turn everything off in the evening. That can save you yet another couple dollars per week, just doing that little thing. Just a couple dollars per week add up very quickly.

I think Kirk started a really good thread here. It triggered a lot of discussion, and that means that a lot of people are now thinking about what the effects might be of powering down certain items when not needed, or at least reducing power consumption when powering down isn't an option.



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: rkilgard on Oct 08, '07 08:09:22AM

Ok, I admit I was probably hasty in my initial reaction to the poll--the argument that the routers, devices on standby, etc. is a drop in the bucket compared to major appliances is beside the point. For those of us that live in this convenience society, it's easy to forget the little things we can do that might make a difference.

For example, I recently took over management of a network of around 30 Macs in an academic department. These machines are on 24/7. I came in to the office on Monday morning and was welcomed by the glow of many CRTs happily displaying the login screen that they had probably been displaying all weekend. If I were to suggest to my users that they turn off their workstations when they leave for the night, I suspect my suggestion would be met with hostility.

On a personal level, I feel that I do quite a lot--I don't have air conditioning, I walk to work, I have all compact florescent lights, my personal computer is a PowerBook and all my computer peripherals are off when not in use. Given that the computers and peripherals in my office (just my office, not my whole network) consume more power than my entire house, the critique that I should do even more in my personal life hit a bit too close to home.

Thanks to this discussion giving me a swift kick in the butt, I will be changing the energy saving preferences so that the machines in my department *at least* sleep when they're not being used. And I'm going to investigate what other energy saving changes I can make in the workplace. I'm not going to be turning off my router at night though--it's just a drop in the bucket. ;-)



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I flamed you first, but you're still unassailable
Authored by: Lectrick on Oct 10, '07 09:00:32AM

Please don't take my initial flame (too) seriously. I just felt like there was a tone in your wording of "why can't everyone be as thoughtful as me". It happens, you probably didn't intend it. I COMPLETELY SUPPORT your macosxhints efforts however, and I am very glad that you are vigilant (militant?) about saving energy. I just had an issue with the wording of it. Perhaps it wouldn't have ideally taken place in a public forum... and I actually broke my own rule of "public praise, private criticism"...

I actually wish more people would be as thoughtful about it as you are and if your wording was the symptom of a latent outrage, perhaps I understand.

I think that everyone would love to use less energy, but not as many are ready to make some of the sacrifices (such as me, who relies heavily upon it).

I also, by the way, didn't entirely agree with the sympathetic reply to my comment which talked about "propaganda". I don't like it when people make things political, so that dude actually peeved me too, lol. No one can disagree that the side-effects of using energy are real, and whenever someone starts throwing around charged words like "agenda", my skin crawls.

So please take heart. I love macosxhints (and everyone who works on it by association), but I suppose we're a sensitive bunch ;)

---
In /dev/null, no one can hear you scream



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Goodbye For Now
Authored by: robogobo on Oct 12, '07 04:44:24AM

Kirk, a few things:

1)Bottom line is- you're right. Of course you are. Anyone who promotes energy savings is always right. That's because it's the right thing to do. I was just thinking about this the other day, when I returned from a week-0long holiday to find I forgot to unplug my routers. My first reaction was "shit, I wasted clock-hours on my Airport Express", knowing they have a limited life. Second, I thought of the energy wasted. But only second. You opened up a can of worms best left closed, and forgot that fundamental dilemma of individual vs community. In your model, taken to the extreme (which is what you did), we find the essence of commun-ism (sic). In a perfect world, we would realize that the individual always benefits by acting on the good of the whole. There, your post would be a no-brainer, and would be built into the general mentality, as would any other act of efficiency. But we live in a capitalist/consumerist world, and we must look out for our own good before that of the community, simply because there are others doing the same. Simply stated- we are not ants. Ants don't need to be convinced to work for the colony; rather, they just do it. We need convincing, and so you must employ a degree of rhetoric that considers the various individuals' unique situations. Yours simply did not, and you got the appropriate (though inappropriate) replies.

2) I think you need to reconsider your approach to web-based "discussions", particularly when you're acting-moderator for such a well known board as OSXHints. I think the main problem is that your back-and-forth with the flamers appeared unprofessional, and sometimes just the act of responding evokes emotion and does nothing more than add fuel to the "flame". As moderator, you must shape the environment, especially when you're actively participating in a discussion.

3) This is just for my personal convenience: Try to keep the discussion on one board, so I don't have to sign up for the 1000th blog/bulletin board out there. Maybe your goal was to move the heated argument off OSXHints, but here we are, still.



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