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Re: [Fsfe-uk] ZDNet Carbon-neutral PC runs Vista (not Free software)

From: Chris Croughton
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] ZDNet Carbon-neutral PC runs Vista (not Free software)
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 08:40:02 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.11

On Wed, Sep 12, 2007 at 09:46:52PM +0100, Jon Grant wrote:

> Hi,
> [...]
> > Which won't work because people can't distinguish the effect of
> > running a computer from all the other things which affect their energy
> > consumption!
> If the tax is on the purchase price consumer can "see the
> environmental cost" without the need to laboriously measure the actual
> energy usage of the PC after they've already purchased it.

Who is going to assess the energy cost in advance, and how can they do
so with no idea of how the machine will be used?

> A label like this on a Vista Tower PC ??999 would suffice:
> "This product will release XXXX of CO2 over it's lifetime which
> inflated the above price by ??200".

What's the lifetime?  How much will it be on (and at what power level)
over that lifetime?  A PC using an average of 300W for 8 hours a day for
a year will use around 850kWh in electricity, whereas one which is only
used for the occasional email and writing a letter will be a lot less
(an order of magnitude), and if it is used for high-powered gaming 12
hours a day it will be more.

You can do it with things like refrigerators, because everyone runs
those 24/7 and they are pretty much predictable use (unless someone
leaves the door open).  You can't do it with PCs and televisions because
the use is very variable and different for every user.  Or rather, you
can do it but it becomes just another arbitrary tax, and people ignore
those because it's just part of the price.

> Each hardware component can have its price inflated by the energy
> usage, and also the OS software by it's anticipated energy usage.

Which means that Linux users will be penalised to cater for Windows ones
(typically Linux is better on power saving than Windows).  And again,
what is the 'lifetime' of the component?  I have some graphics cards
which are still going after 10 years (and perfectly usable for what I
want), a lot of people change them every year to play the latest games.

Chris C

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