Sunday, April 22, 2007

Earth Day 2007 - Do your bit to Save the Planet

There has been a spate of recent press articles on how our planet is being ravaged by increasing green house gas emissions. I think it is time that individuals do their part to reduce their carbon foot-print; I decided to start by reducing my energy consumption. Saving Energy is easy and every little thing you do helps out. You can:

1. Ride the bus once a week
2. Replace incandescent lamps with compact fluorescent lamps
3. Put your computer to sleep/hibernate
4. Turn the lights off in a room as you exit it

I either walk, ride my bike or take the bus to work everyday. I have started buying compact fluorescent bulbs and I turn the lights off if I don't need them. The one thing I have been trying to get right is putting my home machine to sleep when it has been idle for a certain period of time. In honor of Earth Day, I decided it was time to research putting my Media Center PC into Standby mode. Using the default Power Management options in Windows XP MCE resulted in my first encounter with the Black Screen of Death. The system would go into standby but when it would resume, the drives would power up but the system would hang.

After many abortive attempts at fixing this problem, I have found a working solution - "The MCE Standby tool". My PC goes into the Standby state after 15 minutes of inactivity, wakes up in case a recording has been scheduled and goes back to sleep if I am not around. The homepage for the tool has a detailed description of how the tool needs to be configured and how it should be used.

if others benefit from the hour I invested researching this, I would consider my time well spent. This is my energy saving story for 2007. What is yours?

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