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Vampire Load - The Electrical Black Hole

Dealing with the afterhour electricity usage problem

Guide to saving money, reducing eletricity usage, and lowering our carbon footprint.

Episode #1-06 released on October 24, 2010

Welcome listeners to a brand new episode of Technology Questions Answered, Episode 6 and its all about Vampire Load - The electrical Black hole.

This is your host, Steve Smith, Founder of Zed Axis Productions, and Digital Technologies Consultant. So let's talk about this black hole in our homes and offices, what is it? Let's start with the most common problem when it comes to our computers and offices.

We have plenty of devices like scanners, printers, powered usb hubs, desk lights, computer speakers, and many more electronics that we use on a daily basis in our home and work offices. Some leave personal and commercial computers on all day, sometimes, never shutting them down. This is great for doing backups, but causes most of our electrical bills to skyrocket because of the actual power demand from our computers and auxiliary devices. Scanners, printers, usb powered hubs and other modern devices continuously draw electricity making us pay more money than we really have to. There are several ways of dealing with this problem, saving you money, lots of money. And isn't that what we really want more money.

The easiest way to save money in the work space is turn off the computers when they aren't being used, and if you use a UPS by APC called the BACK-UPS ES 750, which I use myself on my computers, it will allow you to turn off any devices like scanners, printers, powered usb hubs when the computer shuts down, and it does this by having a master plug position capable of detecting if the computer is on of off by the power load demand.

Some of you may be wondering well why should I buy such a device, I can use a surge bar and turn off my devices manually. My suggestion is to use an APC power saving surge arrest bar also available in stores. These two devices will save you money by turning off devices, and the UPS will prevent damage to your computer from black outs and power surges. I bought the APC BACK-UPS ES 750 and in the space of two years, it has paid back every cent I put into it, making it a great investment on protecting my devices and ultimately saving me money of my electrical bill.

Now, I understand that many businesses and people have backup schemes and are meticulous when it comes to backups. My two suggestions, the APC BACK-UPS ES 750 and the APC Power Saving Surge Arrest are both Wake On LAN friendly. For you businesses, that means that you simply need to tell your IT departments or computer administrator to have the server power the computers remotely to make backups and have them turned off automatically after the back up is finished.

For you the home and personal business owner, use the option in your computer's bios called the RTC alarm, this allows you to power your computer at set times so that your backup software may make backups of your data, making sure to power on the computer 10 to 15 minutes before backup commences to ensure the computer has fully loaded. Then, if possible, have the backup software turn off the computer, or have the backup software start during the night, just before business hours so that the computer will already be powered for your work day.

So just how much money did I save a year from simply changing to this power scheme, and back up method. That's easy, I saved roughly $50, a year, per computer in my house. The APC BACK-UPS ES 750 cost me, $99.00CDN at Microbytes.com, and the batteries can be ordered from APC directly when they go bad or expire, which is roughly every 3 years, and APC recycles all their batteries, so this an eco-friendly company, and in the long run, an ecological choice to saving money and reducing all our carbon footprints. If you need more reason, let's do a tiny bit of math. You have 100,000 computers, you buy any of the two examples I suggested, and you save upwards of $50 per computer, per year, and UPS batteries are good for three years, minimum, and new versions will be available then. The total savings on 100, 000 computers in three years is $1,500,000, of course, only corporations would have this many computers, but that's still a lot of money that can be used to have more employees on the floor, developing new technologies, higher wages, bonuses, etc... Why wouldn't any company or person want to save money?

Next week, we will be talking about protecting your electronic devices and your computer, what hardware to use, convenient ways of apply this to your home and business. If you have any questions, comments or stories on any topic we talk about, you may find all the necessary contact information or list of sources, software, hardware suggestions, and a link to our new message board on our web-site at Triple-W-dot-Z-E-D-A-X-I -S dot-NET, as well as a list of important pod casts that you should also listen to. You can also send email regarding our podcast at tqa@zedaxis.net.

This has been a podcast, hosted by Steve Smith, Digital Technologies Consultant for Zed Axis Productions, Stay Safe and Online. This has been Technology Questions Answered.

This show was recorded using audacity, an open-source, sound recorder and editor, head over to audacity.sourceforge.net and support Audacity by donating or buying exclusive merchandise, or head over to our site and view the links in the show notes of this episode.

This show was recorded: October 24th, 2010 and is now available on iTunes and our web-site at http://www.zedaxis.net/.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Steve Smith | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions

Sources & Resources