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[ale] screen saver eats 15 - 30 watts



I've seen the same thing with various utilities.  Most of the time what's
kicking the cpu usage up is auto-correct, predictive typing, history
search, spell or grammar checking, etc.  Personally, I don't mind the
software doing something *intelligent* in the background when I'm
typing.

Personally, I'm much less interested in saving every possible watt of
electrical usage or every possible penny on my power bill.  What I am
interested in is getting every possible compute cycle out of my system.
It's almost offensive to me to see a computer sit idle when it could be
doing something useful, or at least interesting.




On Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 11:34 AM, Michael B. Trausch <mbt at naunetcorp.com>wrote:

> On 04/02/2013 11:20 AM, Ron Frazier (ALE) wrote:
> > So, if you have a fancy smancy 3d screen saver running on a big
> > computer, or several big computers, maybe with multiple monitors, you
> > might want to look at how much power it's consuming.
> >
> > Just thought I'd pass this along.  Hope it's helpful.
>
> It makes perfect sense: to display nothing, costs nothing.  Plus you
> have to consider the cost of keeping the monitor(s) on, vs. having the
> screen save shut the monitors themselves down into a low-power mode.
>
> I use blank for a screen saver, and have my monitors power down 15
> minutes after the screen saver comes on.  I figure after 15 minutes of
> screensaver, I'm probably not at the computer anyway---so what's the point.
>
> Everything that you do on a computer costs energy.  People often don't
> think about it though, because it's hard to observe energy being used
> for things like processing, unless you actually hear things like your
> fans spin up to full, which then make you think about it.  Simply typing
> in the Thunderbird window that I am typing in right now has Thunderbird
> using between 5 and 10% of a single CPU core, just keeping up with my
> typing.
>
> There is also a lot to be said for making software more efficient, which
> would solve a lot of that.  There's no reason that my typing in a
> simple, non-HTML text area should cause the CPU usage to go up to then
> percent, except wastefulness.  Then again, I've actually seen the code
> that goes into the Mozilla software, and a good chunk of it is
> JavaScript, not C++ (which is what the kernel for all Mozilla projects
> is written in).
>
> We (the royal "we") programmers have gotten lazy:  we have computer
> environments that more-or-less resemble, for most applications, an ideal
> Turing machine.  And that means that programmers have stopped caring
> about efficiency of code and power usage, in preference for caring for
> the efficiency of use of programmer time.  I think that we need to find
> a happy medium.
>
>         --- Mike
>
> --
> Michael B. Trausch, President
> Naunet Corporation
>
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