Tag Archives: energy

How to Save Energy With Your Computers

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FlavioGomes asked the Lockergnome community how we can save money and energy with our computers. He has to leave his machines on all day, and he claims that it makes a big difference in his electricity bill each month. He’s hoping to find a way to cut that down, without having to turn off his machines. Any advice or tips you have will certainly be appreciated!

Generally speaking, the best way to save money is to not use your computer. If you are using it, you may not want to use it to its full potential. Notebooks have certain features which can keep the processor cool and clean, unless it needs to do something processor-intensive (such as video editing). The things you’re doing can save you money.

If you’re going to be away from your machine, you might think about turning off the screen. That can save you money without having to turn off the computer. You could also put the machine into hibernation or even shutting it down entirely. I know it’s a pain to have to wake the computer back up or power it up. However, you have to weigh the pros and cons. Do you want to spend a moment or two powering back up… or do you want to pay more each month on your electricity bill?

Turn off peripherals when you aren’t using them… especially laser printers. Those suckers eat up a lot of juice when they’re just sitting there.

If you have any other money-saving tips, please pass them along to the community – either here on the blog, or in the original thread on Lockergnome.

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When Do You Power Down Your Laptop?

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One caller to the live show the other night wondered if it’s a good idea to turn off your laptop when you are finished using it. Many people simply let the machine go into sleep mode or flip it to a screensaver.

When I am done using mine, I tend to turn it off completely if I know I won’t be using it again soon. If I’m traveling and using it often, I let it go to sleep and just get a bit of rest until I need it again. It doesn’t hurt anything to let it sleep for awhile, but I don’t recommend doing it for long periods of time.

Despite the advances in power-saving technologies, it’s better to turn off (and unplug) a device when not in use for awhile. Sometimes, it all adds up when your power bill shows up.

It’s interesting that this question was asked the day that it was. Just that day, a new service from Microsoft popped up on my radar. Microsoft Hohm can help you save money on your energy bill. After you register (for free) and answer several questions, the site will make recommendations based on your answers.

Sadly, I am the Griswold of my neighborhood. I use entirely too much power. I can’t help it! I love my gadgets, gizmos and electronics. It’s an addiction, and I don’t want a 12-step program. I will proudly stand up at the block party and yell “Let there be light!” You don’t think my neighbors will hate me too much, do you?

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No Kids Meal Toys in Fattening Fare

Santa Clara County out in California has announced that they will now regulate what kids meals are allowed to give away toys in the hopes that your children will become healthier. Any meal which has more than 485 calories, 600 milligrams of sodium will no longer be allowed to offer a toy along with dinner. Additionally, if the meal has more than 35 percent of calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from added sugar, the toy ban will be imposed.

County Supervisor Ken Yeager says that the new ordinance will “prevent restaurants from preying on children’s love of toys to peddle high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium kids’ meals.” This, of course, rules out those super-awesome Happy Meal toys that every child crave. Can you imagine where the world would be right now if we had never had the Beanie Baby craze several years ago? I shudder to think about it, honestly.

While I applaud the fact that the county wants to promote healthy eating, I cannot help but think there has to be a better way. Why are you going to deprive children of something they love because of bad choices their parents make for them?

All of the software and applications we collect for you are 100% calorie-free!

How to Save Electricity

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If a device is plugged into the wall, it’s using electricity. Even if it’s not turned on, it’s still draining your wallet by running up your power bill. You may want to look into a device that can help you cut that bill down, and save on your energy usage! There’s a way to do it easily by using TrickleStar’s devices.

Using either the TV TrickleSaver or the PC TrickleSaver, you can cut your energy consumption quite a lot. Using them reduces the standby electricity used by devices. There’s a built-in relay that switches off devices that consume standby current.

The TrickleStar TV TrickleSaver reduces the standby energy consumed by TV accessories. The product has inbuilt current sensing circuitry to sense when a TV is on or Off. When the TV is on the product will switch On all peripheral devices. Conversely when the TV is Off, the product will switch Off all accessories.

Conversely, the TrickleStar PC TrickleSaver reduces the standby energy consumed by PC Peripheral equipment. The product connects to a PC via a standard USB connector and detects the power status of a PC via the USB port. When a PC is powered up, the product will switch on all peripheral devices. When a PC is switched off, the product will switch off all peripheral devices.

Why not make the Earth a friendlier place by cutting down on the amount of electricity you use? Heck… you’re saving yourself money as well, so you really have no excuse!

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What Fuels You?

Traci asks: “What fuels you?”

I answer:

  1. In the morning, coffee.
  2. Reading email, Facebook, and Twitter.
  3. Installing new software.
  4. Experiencing laughter.
  5. Really good sushi.
  6. Sponsors and donations.
  7. Learning something new about myself.
  8. Getting new hardware / firmware.
  9. The desire to constantly forge a legacy.
  10. In the evening, the promise of tomorrow’s coffee.

So, what fuels YOU? Answer Traci via her Twitter account or her blog. Of course, she also recorded a video via her YouTube channel:

What is Motivation?

Geek!This is Ken Matthews’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Motivation is that inner feeling that drives one to achieve a result. It is an internal energy that moves one to actively pursue a goal, a desire, an end. Many words can be used to define motivation. Here are a few: passion, drive, fire, enthusiasm, heart, tick, itch, motor, engine and so forth. These words all can be used to describe an intense emotion we call motivation.

Millions of dollars are spent each year to hire motivational speakers. They are in demand, and rarely is there a day that goes by when someone is not speaking to a business, an organization, a civic group, or some other massive audience of people on the subject of motivation. Many feel this is the key to success in whatever you are in pursuit. Motivation is important, but before one can become motivated one must have a target, a goal, a result, or a desired end. It is the substance of this result that will determine, in many cases, the level of motivation.

What is it that motivates you today? What compels you to get out of bed in the morning? What motivates you to go to work or go to school or even to interact with those you love? What motivated you to come to church if, indeed, you are a church member? What motivates you to remain apart of the things that matter most in your little world? We are all motivated by something and maybe it is time to start thinking about it because our level of motivation will greatly determine our level of success.

Sometimes we face challenges in life that are very difficult. There are circumstances and situations in life that rob us of our energy and may put us in neutral or reverse if we do not have what it takes to overcome these times. The key to overcoming these trying times is wrapped up in this concept of motivation. If we are living with motivation, living with passion, we will be able to push and press our way through even in difficult times.

Successful people are a motivated people. They are people who live with a passion to reach a desired end. Motivated people are not hindered by the challenges and roadblocks of their life, because there passion in life sustains and empowers them during such trying times. If we desire to be successful in life we must set a course to accomplish goals and ambitions that we are passionate about and live with a drive to fulfill that hearts desire.

What are the Best Energy Drinks?

Geek!This is Lee Jacobson’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

Energy drinks have been growing more and more popular with billions of them sold each year, but what which one is best? I’ll be rating my five favourite energy drinks by the following categories: taste, price, energy, look, name.

To start off, I’ve been trying as many different energy drinks as I could find for about two and half years now – and have about 3 – 5 on an average day. So, here is what I think…

5. Monster

  • Taste – 2/5
  • Price – 3/5
  • Energy – 5/5
  • Can Look – 3/5
  • Name – 4/5
  • Total – 17/25

Monster is one of my favourite drinks just because of the kick it gives me. I feel more energetic when I have one of these then any other drink I’ve tried. I’m sure part of it is down to the slightly larger 500 ml can it comes in, but it really gets you going. The first time I tried it, I spent most of the day running around shouting ‘MONSTER’ to my friends. The only problem is that it has a sweet-apple-like taste to it, which doesn’t do it for me (though it’s a great energy drink with at decent price).

4. Nerd

  • Taste – 3/5
  • Price – 3/5
  • Energy – 4/5
  • Can Look – 3/5
  • Name – 5/5
  • Total – 19/25

Nerd has to be one of the best named drinks on the market! On their site, it says it was ‘Formulated by a medical student for college students’ and it has some unique ingredients, which apparently help your mental focus and memory. It’s also supposed to be for gamers, which you may very well be. So, this could be one worth checking out. It has an original fruity taste to it at a good price. You do get quite a boost from this drink, but if it really does increase your focus and memory, I’ve never noticed it. The big problem with this is that I had to order it online, and I think it’s only available in a few stores in the USA (with me living in the UK, this drink can be quite troublesome to get ahold of).

3. Rockstar – Juiced – Guava

  • Taste – 5/5
  • Price – 2/5
  • Energy – 4/5
  • Can Look – 2/5
  • Name – 5/5
  • Total – 18/25

I really do love the taste of this drink. It has a refreshing and original fruit-like taste to it – but it isn’t too sweet. It also leaves a nice aftertaste behind. It’s greatm apart from coming in a purple / pink coloured can! I feel very self-aware when I drink this drink, which is a shame (because it is a great drink). It’s also quite expensive, as I find all drinks in the Rockstar range are coming in higher than other energy drinks. I do like the name, and the design of their cans (when it’s in a different colour). It gives a good amount of energy, and I do get quite hyper after this drink – but it is a larger 500ml can. Overall, I like this drink if I want a treat.

2. Red X

  • Taste – 3/5
  • Price – 5/5
  • Energy – 3/5
  • Can Look – 2/5
  • Name – 3/5
  • Total – 16/25

Most of you have probably never heard of this energy drink, but it’s probably my most-purchased energy drink ever. It provides amazing value for money! I know there are other cheap energy drinks out there, like Red Rooster, but most of them taste like watered down Red Bull. This one has quite a nice taste. It’s definitely not the best energy drink out there, but I like it. Red X also comes in a bottle, which is handy for me to carry around while I’m at college.

1. Red Devil

  • Taste – 5/5
  • Price – 4/5
  • Energy – 3/5
  • Can Look – 4/5
  • Name – 4/5
  • Total – 20/25

This drink is my favourite for a lot of reasons. It has a great taste, for starters! Plus, Red Devil has a sort of sweet berry taste, and is the most refreshing energy drink I’ve had. The price is very good, but only with a slightly smaller 250ml can. The can looks great with its red, black, and sliver colour scheme. To finish, it has a great name and I really recommend this drink because of its original taste and value for the money.

What do You do for Extra Energy?

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Gummi Bears are just plain good. Most kinds of “gummi” candies are yummy. A few years ago, I put a Vader helmet onto a Gummi Bear and took a picture of it. You may not care about Gummi’s, but I bet you would if you knew they could keep you awake. If you aren’t into drinking those sugary drinks that will end up making you crash hard, and just don’t like the taste of other energy drinks… why not check out the new Loud Truck Gummis

The first energy Gummi with Guarana Extract (natural caffeine) & other Vitamins such as B12 & C which are known too stimulate metabolism and increase performance. You’ll enjoy the long lasting, great flavor and the maximum energy boost.

Loud Truck Gummies are produced using some of the best natural ingredients available, including Brazilian Guarana. This native of the Amazon is made from a gum containing the active ingredient, tannin. This astringent agent acts to stimulate your energy, much like caffeine, and is completely safe. Natives of Brazil crush the Guarana seeds and have made an energetic treat from them for centuries. Loud Truck contains Brazilian Grarana because of its natural properties. Natural energy is better for you, AND you experience no crash, like you do with other products. Physical and mental alertness are also energized in Loud Truck Gummies with theophylline and theobromine, the same substances found in cocoa, which are also present in Guarana. An additional benefit is weight loss, achievable using these agents, which serve to increase metabolism and reduce appetite. With Guarana, you may also experience increased alertness and improved athletic performance. It can also help with some forms of headache, especially after ingesting alcohol.

These also have Vitamin B12 in them, which is good for assisting with memory and learning. The Vitamin B2 in it will help with your immune system. Mix these with the Vitamin C in there, and they can help boost your overall health, as well.

The taste of them is actually good. They taste great. You’ll never realize there’s a difference between these and “real” Gummi Bears.


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Energy Efficient Cars: What you Don't Know

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Bad Bad Leroy Dan had to call me to interrupt a video I was trying to do on saving energy. You know I had to record it when he started saying that our Government is not allowing us to save energy. There are six cars built in America that get more than 35 miles per gallon… but Americans are not allowed to buy them. They are all exported right out of the country.

One of the keys to restarting the American economy is staring us in the face. While our future hinges on the rapid adoption of fuel-efficient vehicles, our government stands in the way of a rapid free market solution. 35 MPG can be an immediate reality, with one domestic manufacturer, if the United States government would only allow it to happen. Our elected representatives need to be aware of the facts and make the appropriate decisions.

All-in-all, a dozen Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep diesel-engined models are currently available outside of the United States, but are not sold domestically. Here’s the eye-opener … half of those models currently achieve 35 miles per gallon combined. That’s 35 MPG … right now. And what’s even more crazy? All of these 35 MPG cars and SUVs are built in North American plants by North American workers … American citizens cannot buy and drive the fuel-efficient cars they build.

Because these vehicles use Diesel fuel, they don’t pass the Emissions standards. Therefore, even though Americans make these vehicles and could really benefit from the mileage these get… we can’t buy them.

What if the federal government temporarily rolled back the emissions requirements for one or two years, to allow the sale of these fuel-sipping vehicles while Chrysler and its partners complete the engineering necessary to meet the current regulations?


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How to Save Energy

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The cost of energy these days is outrageous. Many of us cut corners wherever and whenever we can. Ryan_Leaf sent in some excellent tips to help all of us conserve energy. How many of these do you already do?

  • See how much power you are consuming You have to start somewhere, and by knowing how much everything consumes you can tell what you might want to remove or replace. You can use something like the Kill A Watt, which will display how much power you are consuming. Take a pencil and paper, and write down what you’re testing, and how much it draws. I was told that the “VA” mode gives the actual amount of energy that you are paying for. If you forget to hit the “VA” button on the Kill A Watt, and don’t want to redo the whole process again, plug it back in and hit the “PF”, or “power factor” button and then use the formula ‘Watts / PF = VA’.
  • Adjust your computer’s settings This is a simple and free way to cut back on consumption. In Windows, you can set the monitors and hard drives to turn off after a certain length of time. However, if you set it to four hours before they turn off it is almost pointless. Set it to around 30 minutes. Windows also allows you to put your computer into Stand-By or Hibernate mode. Consider telling it to put the computer to Stand-By mode after approximately 45 minutes to an hour. If you are working on something at night and don’t want to re-open all of your work when you return, enable Hibernate mode and ‘hibernate’ it overnight. This draws no power at all, so it’s optimal if you’re going to be away from your computer for any length of time.
  • Turn it off Do you really need to have the television on while you listen to music? Is it necessary to leave your computer on overnight, idle? By turning off items you’re not using, you can conserve a lot of power. Consider plugging items into a power-strip or surge protector if you don’t already. Many televisions and other consumer electronics still draw a considerable amount of power when they are ‘off’. By turning off the power-strip you stop it from drawing power completely.
  • Try to replace the biggest consumers If you still have a CRT on your desk, replace it with an LCD. Not only will this improve the clarity of the screen, but it also will draw much less power for the relative screen size. In addition, if you still are using incandescent lightbulbs, replace them with compact florescent bulbs. Also, if you have an older computer that draws a lot of power, consider replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient one. New computers not only improve performance, but many, if not all, include better power-saving features. I personally switched to a Mac Mini recently, and was shocked it only drew 23 watts on the desktop, and 1 watt in ‘sleep’ mode.


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