[kwlug-disc] PC/hardware question

Oksana Goertzen ogoertzen at gmail.com
Mon Mar 2 16:49:07 EST 2009


On Mon, Mar 2, 2009 at 4:18 PM, Insurance Squared Inc. <
gcooke at insurancesquared.com> wrote:

> There was an article in last week's Record about a program that small
> offices like mine could get an energy audit and maybe get our flourescent
> lites swapped out for something energy efficient (and I thought flourescents
> were efficient - but what do I know).  I've applied for an audit to that
> program.....but now I'm wondering what it would take for my office to go
> much greener than it currently is.  My requirements aren't much; we've got
> leased space, a phone system and some computers.  That's about it.  So if
> they make my lights energy efficient, then the only thing I've got drawing
> power are my computers......which brings me to my question:
>
> Are there any low power/green computers available that are suitable for an
> office environment - that'll run XP or linux?  Ones that have enough
> horsepower that I don't need to compromise?  What about LCD monitors?  Are
> there such things as low power consumption LCD monitors?
> Now to tie it into linux.....we have a variety of industry niche programs
> that only run on Windows, and a printer or two that doesn't have linux
> drivers, and a scanner that isn't in SANE,  calculator programs, and even
> some sites that require IE only.   If I go buy all new low power consumption
> PC's and go completely Mandriva in the office at that time, does linux now
> have the ability for me to confidently run Windows apps seamlessly?  I know
> codeweavers has something, I don't mind paying - but I would want to know
> ahead of time that we're not going to have to back out because we can't run
> some windows apps.
>
> In other words, I'm already running Mandriva myself.  Am I safe if I move
> my wife's computer over to mandriva as well :)?
>
> g.
>

Hello All,

First place I'd stop is at Greenpeace to look at overall environmental
impact:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/toxics/electronics/how-the-companies-line-up

You can see off that first link - which companies are doing the best at
handling electronics that they
produce.  The Greenpeace site has a lot of info on electronics in general:
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/toxics/electronics

Lenovo makes a number of Gold and Silver EPEAT energy rated models and
Energy Star models .
This is quite a cool tool and can give you and idea of Canadian energy
costs:
http://lenovoweb.com/energycalculator/
You can select different models and see what their overall costs are.  I
believe LED-lit LCD panels
are more energy efficient as is DDR3 ram (newest laptops).  Some laptops
also run with a onboard
video card and you can swap it to a dedicated video card for more intensive
video applications --
Lenovo T500's.  I'm most familiar with Lenovo products because that's what
we use at work.  I
think laptops in general use less energy (watts) and produce less waste
overall vs. a desktop and
monitor.  I think you probably want to consider too  - TOC, which
manufacturers produce a better
product so that you are not forced to replace or fix or upgrade equipment
you've purchased in short
order.  Throw-away electronics are costly in the end (to the environment).

You could use Sun VirtualBox (or any other virtualization product) to run
Windows on the same
piece of hardware (Mandriva) when you require the use of Windows though
you'll need a license
(something you generally already pay for when you buy a new machine these
days).  You could
also look to Virtualizing servers or desktops for maximum efficiency.  I've
used Codeweavers and
while it supports IE 6 fairly well, IE 7 is a whole new ball game.. for my
uses, VirtualBox is better.  I
have also used VMware workstation for Linux and I like VirtualBox better.
There is also a product
that allows for multiple users connect to one machine.  Perhaps there is an
open-source player in
this field, I'm not sure.
http://www2.userful.com/products/userful-multiplier  VMware and others
make virtualization products for desktops as well.

Hope this helps.  :)

- Oksana
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