Technology Treading Lightly

Reducing Technology's Impact and Using Technology to Help the Environment

Technology Treading Lightly

  • Greening your PC

      I’m often asked what can be done to reduce technology’s impact on the environment. Before I answer that, I usually like to point out that technology can have a net-positive effect by reducing the need for transportation and materials and generally...
  • Electric Cars = Environmental Paradox?

    I was just reading a BBC news story about the new electric Mini E . This little beauty does 150 miles on a 2 hour charge at 48 amps (presumably on 230V). A quick back of the envelope calculation (actually calc on my Windows Mobile smartphone) yields figures...
  • Tales of PC Insomnia, Part 2

    In my last post on this topic, I described a couple of scenarios in which your PC would not automatically sleep. I’ve got good news to report on both. Streaming Web Video The first is our old friend Adobe Flash. I’ve been working with the Adobe...
  • Tales of PC Insomnia

    [note: An update on a couple of the issues mentioned here can be found in my follow-up post here .] Sleep is a wonderful thing. Particularly if it saves you energy. Of course I’m talking about PC sleep (although I suppose it applies to your own sleep...
  • Reducing IT footprint, 15 PCs at a time

    What’s better than a classroom full of PCs? How about 1 PC per classroom? As backwards as this may sound, it’s exactly the promise of the recently announced Windows MultiPoint Server 2010 . The simple goal of this solution is to reduce the cost of providing...
  • One shiny new gadget, hold the lacerations please!

      Like most people, I've never been a fan of the so-called "blister-packs" that house today's electronic gadgets.  While I've never personally done any serious damage to myself when trying to open one of these, it's understandable...
  • Disposing of Dead Batteries? Not so fast...

    [It’s been a long while since my last post – it’s good to be back!] I replaced some alkaline batteries in my son's "activity seat" the other day. As am I allergic to waste, I habitually test the batteries I replace to see if they really are dead. As...
  • Windows 7 Power Use Study

    In the category of “I wrote this a long time ago but forgot to post it”, Mindteck updated their 2009 white paper which explores power use of various PC platforms using Windows 7. In the new paper, they tested both sleep, idle, low use and high use scenarios...
  • The Efficiency Imperative

    On Monday, I was proud to speak on behalf of Microsoft at Intel Developer Forum 2010 on the critical need for developers to do their part to help improve IT efficiency. IT efficiency is a component of Greener IT, which is the term Microsoft is using for...
  • Windows Azure Autoscaling–available now!

    In my white paper on IT energy efficiency , I wrote about the need for software developers to design their applications to dynamically scale, so we aren’t simply trading idle servers for idle VMs when applications move to public or private clouds...
  • The Power of Incentives on Data Center Efficiency

    I recently had the honor of having a blog post published on Corporate EcoForum's EcoInnovator blog that focused on the role of incentives and data center efficiency. Take a look: http://corporateecoforum.com/ecoinnovator/?p=7035 As incredible as...
  • "How Green is the Internet?" is the wrong question...

    Over the summer, I was honored to be invited to write a couple of articles to the Microsoft's OnGov blog. The first in June was an overview of ways in which governments can use IT to save money while reducing environmental impact. Regardless of where...
  • Study: New ENERGY STAR rated server consumes 54% less energy than older server

    Microsoft has been working with the  US EPA and HP for the last 6 months or so on a study to compare a new ENERGY STAR-qualified server (2009 model) with a similar, older non-energy star rated servers (2006 model)  The results show quite convincingly...
  • Big time savings with System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3

    The System Center  team blog featured a guest post by one of their MVPs yesterday on his experiences with the centralized power management features in SCCM 07 R3. While not the only feature in the release, the centralized power management functionality...
  • IE9 Energy efficiency

    The IE team recently published the results from a set of tests comparing the energy efficiency of the latest competing browsers. Spoiler-alert - IE9 was the most efficient. :-) http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2011/03/28/browser-power-consumption...
  • The IT Energy Efficiency Imperative

    Once again, I've had a long hiatus from blogging. But I've got an excuse (this time!). I've been heads down on finalizing a new white paper on IT energy efficiency. I also just returned from Corporate EcoForum's annual meeting where a number of the attendees...
  • E-Readers – better for the environment than paper books?

    A co-worker recently sent a message to our team asking whether an Amazon.com Kindle would be better for the environment than books.  Of course, with anything related to technology (and me), the answer is, it depends. My short answer was that if you...
  • The Rise of AV Power and Green TV

      When I first moved to the United States from England some fourteen years ago, my TV and movie viewing experience consisted of a 21" standard definition TV (with cable!), a VCR and, if I could be bothered to turn it on, a stereo amplifier that...
  • Green IT TechNet Radio Interview

    My former colleague, Adam Bogobowicz interviewed me recently on Green IT for TechNet Radio .  This is part 1 of a 2 part interview.  You can access part 1 of the interview via the following links: WMA   MP3 (Hi bandwidth)   MP3 (Low...
  • Efficiency part 2

    A few things today. First, part 2 of my Green IT interview has been posted on TechNet Radio .  Direct links are available to WMA , MP3-Hi and MP3-low .  In this one, I talk predominately about virtualization. Also in the deja vu category is...
  • Server Efficiency Pot o' Gold

    My colleague Matt Robben from the Windows Server performance team has produced a very comprehensive white paper and accompanying blog post which goes into great detail about how you can save energy with Windows Server 2008 power management, including...
  • Welcome to my blog!

    Greetings!  My name is Mark Aggar and I'm Microsoft's Environmental Technologist.  I work on the Environmental Sustainability team, reporting to our Chief Environmental Strategist, Rob Bernard.  Mine is one of the more unique job titles...
  • Better Power Management in the Enterprise

    The System Center team asked me to come and chat about Power Management and what we’re doing in Windows and across Microsoft to make it better. If you can ignore the bad hair day I was having, then it makes for an interesting discussion. You can...
  • Found: Secret Internet Explorer Insomnia feature!

    In the category of “this problem has been around for years but no-one has noticed it”, I discovered very recently that IE raises an availability request when it downloads a file. This is the desired behavior – you don’t want the...
  • (Faulty?) Soft power switch caused resume from sleep failures

    When the motherboard (or ‘mobo’) in my ‘media’ PC stopped working recently, I decided to turn lemons into lemonade and use it as an excuse to build a Home Theatre PC for my living room. While I was deciding on which HTPC case to buy, I installed the new...