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FuzzyIzmit

Save energy...

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One of the computers in one of the help rooms I frequent on campus now has this at it's default browser. It is supposed to save energy by having a black (low energy) background. Interesting idea and an easy way to lessen your energy use. Check it out...they even have source scientific studies on this kind of thing.

http://www.blackle.com/

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Ok, I just finished reading everything, while there is some merit to the concept, there isn't nearly as much as they say.

 

For one thing, the EPA study they use to show the difference in power consumption between a black screen and white screen is worst case numbers, and it appears that the numbers used for the estimates in the blog are deriven from CRT monitor usage, which are the worst "offenders" and the use of which is on the decline. They're exagerating the numbers, basically.

 

Secondly, there is another issue they aren't addressing at all - eye strain. Those who were around in the early days of computing remember that early monitors were black backgrounds, with white, amber or green lettering. Things moved towards black on white because of eye strain and readability. While white text on a black screen may save energy, it's hell on your eyesight.

 

Finally, you can save more energy than that by simply turning off your monitors when you're not using them, or investing in monitors that have sleep modes.

 

Personally, this comes across as more of a "feel good" measure than anything else.

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Sorry, I came off a little high handed on that. It's a noble concept, it does have merit, but I was bugged by their promotion of it, particularly in overstating the energy benefits.

 

The eyestrain thing isn't only based on the individual, but the surrounding environment the monitor is placed in as well. The exact details of that I don't recall, but I've read a couple of studies about where to place your monitor to reduce eyestrain - I'm actually committing one of the no-no's - my monitor sits right below a nice big window. Some environments are probably more conducive to white on black than vice versa.

 

Anyway, I don't want to discourage the use of the site, I just wanted people to go in with eyes open as to the true situation.

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