Zonbu Offers Energy-Savings

Dennis Faas's picture

North Americans usually assume a moral obligation when conserving energy. An individual will likely turn off the lights in an empty room or shut off the water when brushing their teeth.

But, if this energy-conscious person is one of the many millions of computer users who leave their PC sitting idle, they are actually contributing to over a days worth of wasted energy in just one hour of computer use. Industry analysts are now reporting that a standard desktop PC, with its many cooling fans and whirring disk drives, uses enough energy to illuminate up to three 100-watt light bulbs, more if you include the energy generated from the monitor. (Source: technology.canoe.ca)

If you consider the fact that most homes in North America already have an average of two or more computers, the total amount of wasted energy is astronomical.

The information-technology sector has only now started waking up to the fact that it uses energy at a rapid rate. Those who use the most amount of energy are the sprawling server farmers that underpin the Internet and corporate data centers. While not as bad, the millions of home computers also leave a sizable carbon footprint, even when their power-saving features are enabled.

It is for these reasons that the technological industry is looking towards the Zonbu, a basic computer that sells for $99 and uses as little as nine watts of power, enough to illuminate only a few small nightlights.

The Zonbu does away with most power-hungry hardware, which translates into less wasted energy. The computer uses a Linux-based operating system and most of its applications, like web browsing and word processing, are stored on a four-gigabyte CompactFlash card like the ones used in digital cameras. (Source: technology.canoe.ca)

User data is stored on servers that the company leases from Amazon.com. Zonbu owners pay a monthly subscription fee based on the amount of storage they rent, up to 100 gigabytes. While still a relatively new product, the Zonbu would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by over 1.07 tonnes, equal to taking 852,000 cars off the road per year. (Source: canadaeast.com)

This fact alone could make Zonbu a very attractive alternative in the months to come.

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