[kwlug-disc] PC/hardware question

L.D. Paniak ldpaniak at fourpisolutions.com
Mon Mar 2 17:14:23 EST 2009

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LED backlit monitors are out now and should be widely available in the
next few months eg.


These should cut power consumption in half and still be reasonably priced.

Any modern dual-core PC has plenty of computing power for office use and
many can match the Energy Star 4 ratings for efficiency:


I agree with Oksana that Virtualbox is a great way to run other OSs in
Linux for those applications that require an MS platform.

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