i want a $100 laptop. i will wrestle a starving child for one.
"Laptop batteries can be recharged using a rip cord, a crank, a pedal, a
car battery, or solar panels"
are they going on sale in the west?
On Thu, 26 Jul 2007 10:54:30 +0200, "Julian Oliver"
..on or around Wed, Jul 25, 2007 at 05:10:11PM +1200,
Julian Oliver wrote:
if you're using a CRT you shouldn't be.
LCD users can dress in white.
ah, but LCDs don't look the same.
BTW, this 750 megawatt-hours/year is not actually very much at all.
If you convert it to megawatt hours per hour, which is to say,
750 / (365 * 24) = 0.0856
you get 85 kW. Heaters, kettles, and vacuum cleaners use in the
order of 2kW each. Hot water cylinders and ovens use more. So a
power cut in a tiny place like Otira or Ophir, where everyone is
sitting in front of their heaters drinking tea, will save more power
than blacking out google for the whole world.
that may be true. i suppose what this points to is the need for a
sense of scale where power consumption is concerned. i could certainly
do with a big colourful graph pairing objects based on mean power
moreso, perhaps it is far too easy to ignore the T.V in conversations
about screens and power consumption: they are still far more
ubiquitous and consume around 10w more power than a CRT on average
There are other effects to consider too. In
winter the 15 extra
watts from a white screen are not entirely wasted. The power ends
up as heat, and you're warmer for it (huddle close to your monitor).
relatedly, i remember reading that one intended secondary function of
the OLPC was as a lightsource in regions with poor electricity
Another perspective is that an ordinary car
engine will generate
about 85kW when it is going fast.
Nonetheless, before that, Julian also wrote:
i've argued for years that working in a
terminal environment with
white text on a black background gives me more battery life on my
laptops. perhaps we'll see 'Carbon Offsetting' in the context of
high-traffic sites in future..
this principle could even be extended further to software design:
bad software design can lead to unneccesary loads on the system
(redundant clock-cycles, memory leakage, bloated file formats): an
MS Word document is typically much larger than other document
formats of similar features and so requires more hard-disk useage.
this is multiplied when sent over a network: how many millions of
watts would be gain a day if using the Open Document Format
similarly user interfaces with excessive eye-candy (animated
toolbars, panels and windows) could be seen to be less
There is increasingly something in this. In the last few months,
even weeks, a lot has been done to the Linux kernel and various
parts of the X desktop to save power. For example, this page shows
a few patches giving a 25% power saving:
hah, i didn't know this was actually going into the mainline kernel so
soon. that is great news (even if just selfishly from a laptop user's
This works by doing nothing in longer stretches
than before, so
the CPU can get better sleep. Desktop animations continually wake
it up, so your plain desktop *is* friendlier, and it will be more
I think this has partly been spurred on by the OLPC project, whose
laptop is supposed to go completely to sleep between keystrokes.
i was fortunate enough to get a close look at one of these machines
recently and was really impressed. at US200.00 (coming soon to a
developed country near you) i'll be buying one.
if camping and hacking should ever find themselves together..
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