March 28, 2008

Going Green Sucks

Just before the turn of the year, I bought a new computer. As new computers go, it's still pretty new. It's newness hasn't worn off. It sits its corner, looking all newish.

The newishness of my computer being so noted, I have to say, I have some problems with my new computer. First and foremost, I hate how the damn thing goes into "low energy" mode after about 15 minutes. It's like this: I leave the room to, say, take a dump, and when I return my computer is in "sleep" mode, meaning I have to click the mouse to bring it back to consciousness. But, before it comes back awake, I have to click which workspace I want to access and, since there's only one workspace, this is a totally meaningless and unnecessary step.

But wait, there's more! Occasionally--and there's about a one-in-eight chance this will happen--when I'm confronted with the "choose your workspace" screen, my computer will just lock up. There's no reason given; no, "oh, you did this wrong, that's why" screen. Nope. It just locks up. Which means I have to push in the power button in for five seconds to shut my computer down (five seconds being the magical power cut off time, as decreed by Bill Gates back in 1995, after he had five shots of tequila, or so I'm guessing), and then tap the button one more time to breathe electrical life back into the machine.

If this were a car, it would be like turning the key in the ignition, having the car spark to life, and then not willing to perform any other car-related functions, at least not until you shut it off via an elaborate process, and then turn it back on again.

Of course, at this point in the restart-up process, the computer has the temerity to flash up a screen that tells me my computer was not shut down properly, and it gives me a 25 second window during which I can choose to run a diagnotic process (I feel I should note here: the computer declares it wasn't shut down properly, which seems to indicate it feels as though it locked up quite according to the rules). Having run the diagnostic process three times now, just to be on the safe side, and having the results come back "okey-dokie," I've decided this adds an additional 25 seconds of wasted time.

Just in case the frequent computer lock-ups aren't enough, my machine has also come equipped with an indifferent attitude towards its Internet connection. Any time I nudge it awake from its sleep status, there's a pretty good chance it won't recognize a network connection until, in order, I restart the computer, unplug the modem, unplug the router, and then plug said devices back in again. Seriously, how much sense does THAT make? None! Yet I just accept it as part of the routine.

But, all that isn't the worst of it. It's all annoying, don't get me wrong, but the most annoying of the annoying is the bright blue LED light that beams forth from the power button. If the bright blue light would remain steady, I probably wouldn't have a problem with it. As it is, however, once the computer goes into "sleep" mode, the LED light starts blinking. Now, anyone who is at all familiar with LED lights will know this to be true: they're the brightest entities in the known universe just short of supernovas. When you get a blinking LED light at night, when you're trying to sleep, it's the visual equivalent of listening to a snoring horse.

To circumvent the blinking LED light, I've resorted to draping a couple of socks over the power button at night. This seems to do the trick but, honestly, I'M DRAPING A COUPLE OF SOCKS OVER THE POWER BUTTON AT NIGHT. It's almost as if I'm offering up some sort of sacrifice on an altar.

All this, of course, is in the interests of saving energy, so I suppose I should look at it as kind of doing my part, or some such nonsensical feel-goodery.

However, it just seems like, for all the worldly energy I'm supposedly saving, I'm sure burning a lot of my own.

Posted by Ryan at March 28, 2008 10:03 AM | TrackBack

Let me guess, Vista?

Posted by: Donna at March 28, 2008 07:07 PM

*ding, ding, ding*

Donna gets it on the first try.

Posted by: Ryan at March 28, 2008 07:13 PM

vista won't let you change your energy saver preferences? WTF.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at March 28, 2008 07:37 PM

leblanc, it might, but I just haven't figured out how yet.

Posted by: Ryan at March 28, 2008 08:40 PM

Never mind, I figured out how to change the power settings. The flashing LED light and the dropped Internet access is still a problem though.

Posted by: Ryan at March 28, 2008 08:45 PM

Re: blinkyness - just turn the damn thing off. Don't put it to sleep. Just turn it off, and accept the fact that you'll have to wait 2 minutes when you turn it on in the morning. This will save you a lot more energy (and money) and hopefully avoid the blue light special.

As a bonus, you have more time to sit on the crapper while waiting for your machine to boot up.

Re: internet - I had this problem for a while too. I got a new modem and router and haven't had the problem in a while.

Posted by: David Grenier at March 29, 2008 02:22 PM

Can't crunch SETI@home files when my computer is off

Posted by: Ryan at March 29, 2008 09:08 PM

*cough* *cough* *co -- GET A MAC -- cough*

Posted by: Joshua at April 1, 2008 08:51 AM
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