Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Put This on Your Resume: Dell's Green Computing Competition

Dell has issued a global challenge to help its engineers design the world’s most environmentally responsible computing technology. The competition, which is endorsed by the Industrial Designers Society of America, is designed to invigorate the academic and industry dialogue regarding designs for environmentally responsible computing.

The competition is open to all, with a focus on students of universities and colleges that offer design programs. Dell is looking for ideas that demonstrate fresh approaches and responsible solutions for green computing technology.Targeted at the ReGeneration - that's you and me - finalists receive 10 large ($10,000); the best idea via popular vote receives another 15 large. Finally, if you are a student at a university and you win the popular prize, your university gets another 15 large. The submission period spans from January through April 2008; jury-selected finalists will be announced in May 2008.

If you are a CS major, an entry to this event is just something you have to have on your resume;
try a novel approach to telecommuting, redesigning a chip fabrication plant, maybe work on the next gen of the solar wifi project. Like the lottery, you have to be in it to win it. Entry details are available via Dell; winners will appear on their site in April where the public vote will also be recorded.::Wired

Tiny PCs - A Break From The Past

Several PC 'facturers are creating ecological history by inventing "Good Enough" computers that are extremely efficient when used in the proper niche. Barring the standard marketing model (ahem, above), these models aren't the newest, fastest, or even latest tech. But, they are the best use of electrons for certain applications. And that's green, refreshing, and novel.Exhibit A is the Eee PC line of sub-notebook computers from Asus.

The basic model has a 2GB of solid-state Flash storage (which eliminates the spinning hard drive) and a wee 256MB of memory. More "advanced" models have simply more storage and memory, and maybe a camera and a bigger battery. The simple, brass tacks design is the green element here; this is simply what the on-the-go roadie needs to check email, surf the web, do a little Skype, check a few Wikipedia entries. They all come with Linux but will operate with Windows if you have to; the middle of the road model is around £219 including VAT.

Fit-PC is another offering from CompuLab, an Israeli company that manufactures low power systems. The CPU is a modest 500MHz AMD Geode LX800 and the entire system, including hard drive and 256MB of main memory, uses only 3-5W of total power. At those levels, you could use a foot treadle to run it. The Extreme Tech review is fair and balanced; this thing isn't going to leap tall mountains, and in fact some things one might take for granted - like viewing Flash-intensive web sites and having six windows open at once - noticeably slow the equipment. But form factor, power savings, and cost carry the day, particularly for applications that requires always-on usage and a light duty applications mix. It's $285. :: The Register :: Extreme Tech

ecoIT Roundup

Here's a herd of facts and figures to keep the ecology-minded number-fumbler up to speed.

Energy used in hosting one eBay auction : 30 Watthours

Equivalent driving distance in a Prius: 420 meters

CO2 emissions of a single blog post at Sun Microsystems: 850 grams

Equivalent number of marathons run by an athlete to produce the same CO2 : 0.5

Percent of Global CO2 emission produced by data centers, as compared to all IT-related emissions: 23

Percent of data centers that will be out of power and cooling capacity by 2008: 50

Percent of energy that the typical business uses to support their computer infrastructure, as compared to their total energy bill: 4 to 10

Ratio of the amount of bandwidth used by the typical American home, compared to an office park of a few years ago: 1 to 1

Number of downloads of the YouTube video "The Evolution of Dance" to date: 54 million

Bandwidth equivalent, in months, of Internet data traffic in the year 2000: 1

Percent of IT 'bigwigs' who were 'clueless' about the amount they had spent on software in the past year, according to a recent Micro Focus study: 30

Number who had ever tried to quantify the financial value of their firm's IT assets: 50

::Sun ::GreenBang:: Greener Computing