So there are enough tree huggers out there that are bent on recycling and saving the world and certain things in it like the rain forest, ozone, star-nosed mole, etc. I’m not necessarily against all of that, I’ll rant about how we spend our money later. What I wanted to share is a concept of saving the world one byte at a time. Divulge my inner-crazy for a moment and read on…
If there are less bytes floating from computer to computer the world would be a little happier and a little cleaner. The more bytes your computer has to crunch the more power it needs so the more power the power stations need to produce therefore more pollution. Our current solution for dealing with this is making more energy effecient computers. Well, energy efficient means slow. Computers need power to do their thing. The more power you can give a computer the faster and better it does its thing. Period. If we make slower computers, we’ll all go crazy waiting for things to load then we’ll want fast ones again. Think about your day to day tasks that you complete on a computer. If you cut your work load in half, your computer would have to work half as much therefore effectively saving about half as much power (which in turns requires less power to be generated).
Don’t believe me? Download something that will cause you computer to compute and crunch. Try the SETI@Home app from http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/. This is a little app that downloads data from a server and processes it in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Whether or not you believe in aliens, this app will use your computer’s resources to crunch data. This will make your computer work hard when you’re not on it. Now monitor your home’s power consumption, or at least your monthly bill. It will go up, and noticebly. Why? Because your computer needs power to do its thing.
So how can you help stop this energy consumption crisis? There are a few things you can do which will help minimize how much crunching your computer will do, and in turn minimize its power consumption. Also, by minimizing what your computer does the services that serve your computer will be minized as well.
Check your email
Unsubscribe from e-newsletters. Take a look at your junk e-mail folder in your email system and read through and manually unsubscribe from newsletters that you are apparently not even reading. Important note, some of your junk e-mail might be legitimate spam (oxy moron I know). Basically, there will be emails in your junk e-mail that are spam, not newsletters. Unsubscribing from these might open you up to more emails. Pay attention to what you’re looking at and unsubscribing from.
Stop receiving your “important” alerts. Very similar to unsubscribing from newsletters, but instead check out the emails that do make it to your inbox. Do you really need them? Do you need an email alert everytime someone comments on your Facebook? You go to Facebook daily, why waste bytes on email alerts? Update your profile and stop receiving these emails.
There may be some alerts that may be real important like from your bank or work. Keep these, but look at the data being sent. Can you configure your alerts to send less data? Why receive an alert from work that is 2 paragraphs long, when all you’re going to do is log into the system and read through it anyway? Can your alerts be reduced to a sentence or two? Can the alert be sent via SMS to your phone instead of email?
How this helps: If you use an email client like Outlook, unsubscribing will minimize the amount of bytes your computer downloads and crunches. Also, each email that is downloaded is also processed by your antivirus scanner, yup, that means more crunching. Unsubscribing will also minimize the amount of bytes sent to your email server, and other network devices like your home modem, router, your ISP’s routers and firewalls. And finally it will minimize the crunching the sending server has to do as well. Unsubscribing from that one email that you never read will reduce the bytes from the source all the way to your home. Easy enough!
Really Simple Syndication
Also known as RSS, really simple syndication allows people to subscribe to a feed, like a blog or twitter, and read a summary of the item. If there is interest, then they can click to read the full article. So instead of going to your favorite news website and blogs, get a free RSS reader and subscribe to the lists and sites you love most.
How this helps: Using this blog post as an example, if you were to read it through an RSS reader, you would get a summary, a small portion of the article, and then a link to read the entire thing. This allows you to choose whether or not you want to go to the site and read the article. Also, because the RSS reader is only downloading the content, there is no wasted bytes on the site images, ads, and other stuff that clogs up the internet. You simply download text and read text. Pretty sweet!
Chances are your computer is talking to the internet more than you know! Windows, Antivirus, iTunes, Quicktime, Rhapsody, Instant Messengers, Adobe Acrobat, Logitech, Dell and more all connect to their associated servers periodically to check for updates and statuses. In most cases this occurs behind the scenes and you only find out about it if there is an update available. Go through your installed applications and disable the automatic updating. Important note, do not disable automatic updates for Windows or your Antivirus. These two components are critical to remain as up to date as possible.
How this helps: When your computer starts up, shuts down, is idle for a period or whenever else it wants, your applications check for updates. They crunch some bytes on your computer, then send these bytes to their server (over several routers/firewalls/etc) and then their server crunches the bytes and returns more bytes. In most cases, this transaction results in nothing, there is no update available but your computer is checking anyway. By disabling the automatic updates (again, do not disable them for Windows or Antivirus) you are limiting the amount of automatic crunching by your computer. At any point in time you can manually update your applications when you want to. Why upgrade when it isn’t broken?
Do your part
If we all contribute and reduce the amount of crunching our computers need to so, we can and will reduce the amount of power needed. Some of the side benefits will be faster internet browsing speeds since the internet connections aren’t all clogged up with useless bytes.
If you have other ideas on how to help reduce your computer’s power consumption, let me know!!
I decided to rename my blog from Youth Min 101 to my twitter account Happy Realist. I am definitly still pursuing youth min, but at a slow pace. I will still use this blog to share youth related stuff, but I wanted to tailor it to some of my own non-youth related stuff.
Why Happy Realist?
I am considered an optimist. It can drive my friends crazy. I can see the best in every situation. Of course, there are times where finding the best isn’t the best, like mourning the loss of a loved one. There is no reason to find the best, just mourn, take it in and live. Another example is the discovery of cancer. A good friend of mine was recently diagnosed. I didn’t try to find the best in it, I just prayed and support him in any way possible. Cancer sucks. Anyway, for the rest of your life, you can choose to be happy and choose to find the best in everything.
I’m not always happy. I consider happiness as a conditional emotion. I’m happy in my success and frustrated by my failures. I am, however, full of joy that is fueled by my faith in Jesus Christ. I can know that no matter what happens, good or bad, that my Savior is watching out for my best. He has my best in mind at all times. Knowing this, and believing this helps me find the best in everything. Going through tough times financially I could always see the bright side, knowing that money would come, knowing we will eat our next meal. And you know what, we never missed a meal!
There have been times where I felt like my best wasn’t Jesus’ priority. These times I wonder why is this or that happening to me. Actually, if I’m honest, everytime a significant issue occurs in my life that’s my first thought. Why me? Sometimes it takes me a day or two to get back to reality. What is reality during these times? Jesus does have my best in mind. That’s the realist part. With a personal relationship with Christ your reality includes the supernatural. Regardless of what happens here on earth, reality says that I serve an almighty God who loves me and will take care of me.
So, I look forward to blogging more, sharing thoughts and having fun.