Greener Computing

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This submission to Techrite’s TechTalk may be somewhat controversial so we would like to point out that there are a number of opinions available and that they all have very good points to consider.  Computer techs like us have observed a trend with technology with regards to making equipment last longer.   These observations are the culmination of over 30+ years experience.

Not Everything has Changed Over the Years

We’ve seen computers change considerably over the past 25 years.  They’re more efficient with some regards and less in others.  Not only does the consumer have a larger variety of technology available to them, there are a number of options for disposal.

The bottom line should dictate how business is done, however many people are successfully following old procedures utilizing new technology.  This creates an inefficiency presenting wastes of energy, time and equipment.

Please consider the possibility of saving money, time, and reducing the overall carbon footprint on the Earth.

Beneficial change is composed of an algorithm taken from the following phrase: “It takes money to make money.”  Anyone with money cannot deny this but we would also like to present that it takes time to save time.  This time is an investment to commit and understand how change will benefit our organizations.

Basic electronics have changed over the years.  The components used to build computers and peripherals have become cheaper and their life span has decreased dramatically.  There are computers built in the 80’s still in 24/7 commission but there are no computers from the 90’s that have not required major component replacement.

Where to Start and What to Focus On

  1. Turn it off:  Try not to rely just on power save mode, turn the power off using a power bar switch.  Components are designed to live only so long and then they ‘blow’ rendering your device useless.
  2. Repair Instead of Replace:  When your LCD monitor or motherboard in your computer stops working, seek a free estimate to have it repaired.  Not having to replace a computer means you will save on labour required to reinstall and configure applications and data migration.
  3. Hand-Me-Down:  Sometimes it is necessary to replace a server/workstation with something more powerful to meet recent software demands.  Consider passing this hardware along to another workstation that would benefit from the upgrade.  Companies that do not have their own onsite tech department could use replaced systems as backup computers intended to reduce downtime should disaster strike.
  4. Recycle Responsibly:  Please be sure to recycle as much of your technological waste as possible.  There are a number of local facilities you can deposit your items at no cost.  Contributing to our landfills seems senseless and presents future complications left for future generations to deal with.
  5. Virtualize and Reduce:  These days, one or two new servers can operate much more efficiently then four or more older ones could.  When upgrading, take virtualization into consideration and consult professionals.  Sometimes network equipment needs upgrading/replacement and a reduction in components will reduce power consumption and technical support time.

Responsible Administration = Greener Computing

Responsible Administration starts at the hiring process.  Make the spirit of Greener Computing a topic of conversation with your employees and an important point on the list when consulting with professionals.  Take advantage of the phrase that “The customer is always right!” and choose to save money by reducing electricity, operating costs, use less paper/ink, fixing broken equipment and powering down appliances that are not being used.

Just because one person can afford to replace and possibly even waste resources does not mean the Earth can accommodate it.

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