Wednesday, June 25, 2008

You don't still use a screen saver, do you?

- By Don Willmott , Forecast Earth Correspondent

I'm happy that at this stage in my career I often find myself writing articles about energy-efficient ways to use computers, peripherals, gadgets, and consumer electronics. It makes me feel so, you know, virtuous.

Whenever I crank out a list of helpful hints, one of the first items I include is this obvious but often overlooked gem of advice: Kill your stupid screen saver. In the good old days of tube monitors, screen savers such as those unforgettable flying toasters were invented to prevent burn-in, a permanent shadow branded into the phosphors of your monitor by a static image of, say, a spreadsheet that you left on your screen all weekend.

Well, flat-screen LCD monitors don't burn in, so if you still have flying toasters or an endlessly looping slide show of your adorable niece and nephew, you're behind the times. When you're not sitting in front of your monitor it should be off off off.

It warmed my heart to read at Green Daily that Telstra, the biggest phone company in Australia, has removed all the corporate screen savers from the 36,000 computers in its offices. What will happen? The change will cut tons of CO2, which they claim will be the equivalent of taking 140 cars off the road for a year. Good on ya, mate. Follow Telstra's example. Let your flying toasters crash and burn.


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