The badge of pride now should be how long it has been since you left your computer on overnight!

Screen saver

Photo credit Tom Raftery

I’m an IT guy. I love my (Mac) computer. Most other IT people I know love their computers too, be they Mac, Windows or *nix based. Of course you would when you are typically working on them 8+ hours per day.

We take pride in our computers – how fast they are, the latest software/widget we installed, etc.

One boast I hear people come out with regularly, is how long it has been since their last computer re-start. This can be a measure of just how stable the operating system is – if it hasn’t crashed or needed a re-start in weeks/months then it must be really stable! This is an way-of-thinking which needs to change, quickly.

The problem with this, of course, is that it means people are not shutting down their computers and are therefore needlessly consuming electricity (using more energy and emitting more CO2).

Power strip with switch

Power strip with switch

Modern browsers remember all the windows/tabs you have open when you quit them so there can be no reason for not shutting down your computer every evening.

Shutting down, mind you, not simply putting it to sleep.

And not just the computer either, the monitor (if you have an external one), the printer, external drive, etc. – all the peripherals.

Having all your devices plugged into a power strip with a switch allows the power to be cut to all of them in one easy go.

The badge of pride now should be how long it has been since you left the computer on overnight – obviously longer = better!


  1. joe hanley says

    yes! I sometimes thing that many energy savings and CO2 reductions are low hanging like this. When I was a kid, I remember my Dad going around the house unplugging everything last thing at night. (In those days it was for fire risk reasons). We seem to have lost our rigour. My PC has not been all night ina ges btw

  2. Will Hughes says

    While I would dearly love to shut down my computer – it would mean an extra 1-2 hours added to my day (or, conversely, reducing my productivity).

    The sheer number of apps I need to run as a Software Dev means that anytime I need to reboot, it becomes a major ordeal – taking 30mins or more to close everything, and then another 45+ minutes to get all my apps back up and running.

    Hibernation is an okay compromise, but writing 16GB of RAM down to disk still takes a considerable amount of time.