How many nights have you gone to bed and left the computer running. Not because you were downloading some file – how long does that take anymore, in an era of broadband? But because you had a number of things open and needed to pick up where you left off?
Actually, the original way that most of us tech types did it was to leave the PC running 24/7. In the old days, you put more wear and tear on the hard drive (which was then considered the central part of the machine – now it’s the cloud – the internet itself) – more wear and tear by starting up than by leaving it running.
I got my electric bill last month and while the main PC contributes only a bit to it, it’s enough to notice the nights I left it running. Why the heck aren’t you using standby or hibernate, you ask? Exactly. I could kick myself for all the months I didn’t. But I’ve started up again and now I’m using both.
Standby just puts it in low power mode. It *seems* shut down, but it’s really using just enough juice to keep your place. I launches faster when you come back in the morning, but if you have a power loss, you may be in bad shape. Hibernate stores everything the way it is (I would still advise saving any office documents that might be open – you can leave them up – just hit save, in case there’s a problem). It comes up a little slower, but a power outage may not lose your work.
If it’s just browser tabs, standby works. After all, good browsers like Firefox and Google Chrome will know if you have shutdown improperly and offer to bring the tabs back or, in Google’s case, just do it. Google is smarter than Firefox currently. You can set it to *always* bring back the last tabs that were up. Neither browser does one thing that would help a lot, though – allow you to hit a button and save current tabs for next boot. You’d think, but none of them do that, yet. You can bookmark all tabs to open at once, but then your bookmarks get cluttered up with temporary work.
So, in my office now, hibernate or standby are the rule, not shutting down, and not leaving it running. What are your green productivity ideas? Comment on this post.