Power play

Industry and government leaders are supporting efforts to reduce the energy consumed by computing resources, even if it means stating the obvious.

On Aug. 27, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Citrix Systems are sponsoring Power IT Down Day to raise awareness of simple ways to save energy.

Meanwhile, the General Services Administration recently added BigFix's power management software to its SmartBuy program. The software could help agencies save as much as $50 annually in electricity costs per computer.

Those are good ideas, but it might be better if employees made such efforts unnecessary. After all, they are aimed at nothing more than turning off equipment that's not in use. Power IT Down Day isn't calling for work to stop, just for employees to turn off their computers, monitors and printers when they leave for the day. BigFix's product does pretty much the same thing: It powers down desktop and laptop PCs when they're not in use. It might seem akin to reminding people to turn off their cars when they get home ' you'll save gasoline! ' but in many places, workers have been trained to leave machines running, and old habits die hard.

Someone once said the reason we have recessions is to teach the younger generation to turn off the lights when they leave a room. That goes for computing equipment, too.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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