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Power Businesses The Almighty Buck IT

Why IT Won't Power Down PCs 576

snydeq writes "Internal politics and poor leadership on sustainable IT strategies are among the top reasons preventing organizations from practicing proper PC power management — to the tune of $2.8 billion wasted per year powering unused PCs. According to a recent survey, 42 percent of IT shops do not manage PC energy consumption simply because no one in the organization has been made responsible for doing so — this despite greater awareness of IT power-saving myths, and PC power myths in particular. Worse, 22 percent of IT admins surveyed said that savings from PC power management 'flow to another department's budget.' In other words, resources spent by IT vs. the permanent energy crisis appear to result in little payback for IT."
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Why IT Won't Power Down PCs

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  • by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:44PM (#27600935) Homepage Journal

    Doubly so for IT Ops. If the business tells IT it wants PC's powered off when not in use, then it will happen. So far, for the most part, that businesses haven't asked. It's disingenuous to lay this problem at the feet of the IT department.

  • Classic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MasseKid ( 1294554 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:46PM (#27600985)
    It's nothing more than the classic "Not my problem". It's a real shame that there are so few people in the world today willing to do something about a problem that "isn't thier problem".
  • by legoboy ( 39651 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:47PM (#27600987)

    I'm sure it has nothing to do with bad hardware or bad drivers that randomly refuse to wake up from hibernation and the hassles and expense of supporting related issues.

  • Remote Access ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:48PM (#27601015)

    As soon as I can apply a group policy to our Windows PCs to go to sleep yet still be available via RDP for end users without requiring them to jump through hoops or writing some script they have to run to trigger wake on lan, then I'll have our PCs use power saving.

    Until then, they run all the time so when a user happens to be out of office and needs to access their desktop they can still VPN in and use RDP to get to their PC.

    Feel free to point me at a graceful solution, but the best I've seen so far is a web page to send the wake on lan packet. Thats nice and all, but I'd rather just pay the power bill instead, its far easier than explaining it to everyone who isn't a geek.

  • by julesh ( 229690 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:49PM (#27601035)

    Good point.

    Also worth considering is that if IT departments aren't introducing it because they're scared of losing budget flexibility, then this is a failure of the top level budgetting process. If I, as megacorp's IT director, introduce measures that save £2 million per annum off megacorp's energy bill, I should expect a little more flexibility in a couple of months time when I go to the board asking for extra cash for hardware upgrades. It sounds like this isn't happening.

  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:49PM (#27601043)

    Additionally, if IT goes around imposing such a policy without the business asking for it, they'll open up a huge hornets' nest. The IT department can suggest it as a way for the business to save money, and maybe some IT departments have been lax in not doing so, but without the business actually telling them to do it IT is not going to. In fact, the business would be pretty pissed off if they did.

  • by ShadyG ( 197269 ) <bgraymusic@ g m a i> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:52PM (#27601091) Homepage

    I don't work that side of the IT group (I'm in development), but in a few places I've worked the workstations needed to be kept alive to perform maintenance at times when it would not affect employee work. Things like asset tracking, system/firewall upgrades, application software install and upgrades, disk optimization, etc.

    It's like the problem with unplugging TVs when not in use. You can't use a remote control to turn it on if the remote sensor is not getting power first. And help desk really doesn't want to have to walk around the building flipping switches by hand.

  • by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:52PM (#27601107) Homepage
    You say that (I assume) sarcastically, but I really think that's just the kind of detail management would ignore when making a decision like this.
  • by Maclir ( 33773 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:52PM (#27601111) Journal

    So, IT Departments aren't meant to be proactive and show initiative, and make the company more profitable?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:54PM (#27601143)

    Why not have users RDP into a server? With roaming profiles, the user should get the same desktop & apps available to them from a server-based RDP session as they get on their desktop. And their files are on the network, right?

  • Re:Useless.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:55PM (#27601159)

    I think you mean

    Internal politics and poor leadership in [almost every business] are the cause of almost every single problem in [almost every business].

    From GM to AIG, from the US Senate to the government of Zimbabwa; that statement works for almost everything.

  • by qoncept ( 599709 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:58PM (#27601217) Homepage

    To save that $75 worth of electricity ...

    Or, to save half, disallow installing software that sits there and uses 100% of your available CPU time.

  • by HerculesMO ( 693085 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @02:59PM (#27601241)

    Saving money out of our power budget just constricts our budget for the next year. We can't re-allocate those funds to buying more servers, or upgrading our core switches, or even getting more cat6 laid out in our server room.

    So I think the article is correct, in that I'll just keep wasting energy and allow my budget not to get constricted.

  • by paazin ( 719486 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:00PM (#27601253)
    Psh, that assumes you give a crap about the company you work for ;)
  • Old Attitudes.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by coniferous ( 1058330 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:01PM (#27601273) Homepage

    It's funny, I work at a school where all the pcs shut off at 8:00 every night.

    The major push to make it that way was provided for by the students. They were very concerned by the energy use of our computers. Good for them.

  • by chaffed ( 672859 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:03PM (#27601329) Homepage

    I work in a high rise office building. Our power is included in our lease for the space. There is no incentive for me to power down workstations at night. That being said, you could argue that I would be helping everyone for the greater good. It still comes down to me expending resources without any direct benefit either way. The lease is not cheaper if I use less power. If my office paid per kwh, then it makes sense. Till then, my workstations stay on at night.

    Oh and my workstations do not sit idle. Full anti-virus scans and updates are performed in off hours in order to minimize impact during the work day.

  • by Volante3192 ( 953645 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:04PM (#27601331)

    3AM. The phone rings.

    On the other end is one of the few CxOs that actually does work.

    "I'm trying to log into my system at work to finish up some vital reports for a meeting tomorrow and it doesn't seem to respond."
    "Oh, that's our new power saving policy. All systems are powered off when not in use for 2 hours."
    "Then you drive your ass to the building, turn on my PC, and before you leave my office, place your resignation on my desk." *click*

  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:04PM (#27601345)
    Where are you that savings to facilities means a savings to IT? Individual departments have their own budgets and little managers guard their little fiefdoms as much as they can. A savings of power would show up under what ever department is in control of the power.

    In short, in many companies IT would be doing a whole lot of work so the Facilities manager can get a raise. Hell, IT might even get reprimanded for creating busy work for itself instead of focusing on core deliverables or some other bullshit.
  • by furby076 ( 1461805 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:05PM (#27601367) Homepage
    Something has to be missing from your reason. While people are dumb, why would someone have a need to advertise to their own employees at night when there isn't any employees? During the day the PCs would be running and the screen saver could advertise - but at 3 AM when pretty much nobody is around (or maybe a skeleton crew)? This just doesn't jive - and in all honesty as head of a department you should have presented common sense facts to the person in marketing or their boss.
  • by Thraxen ( 455388 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:16PM (#27601543)


  • by MightyMartian ( 840721 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:16PM (#27601547) Journal

    I had that problem for some time, until I finally laid down the law and said "Save the damned files to this folder, or they won't get backed up." Of course, I talked to my manager, explained the situation, and got her to agree to this fundamental tenet "We do not back up data sitting on workstations".

    After that we had one person who was regularly saving files all over the damned place lose a couple of files they had been working on, in their own teary-eyed words, "for weeks", and after I reiterated the policy once more, no one in the last year has complained. If they have lost files, they at least don't have the balls to blame it on me.

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:18PM (#27601571)

    Do you have any idea how many apps can't be used on a terminal server due to licensing restrictions?

  • by Joe U ( 443617 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:21PM (#27601611) Homepage Journal

    When WOL works, it's amazing, when it doesn't, it's amazing ly full of suck.

    I had my media center set to sleep after an hour, until I found out that the extender won't wake it up. (Way to go linksys). Current system throttles down, goes into away mode, but can't quite make that last step to sleep, at least it's a start.

  • by Kizeh ( 71312 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:29PM (#27601733)

    This, in fact, is one of the reasons why, when we explored this idea, it was rejected from the get go. That and jobs, reports etc. that run automatically, defragging that happens at night, patch updates that may take a long time, backups, and the erratic work schedules of academians in general.

  • by InlawBiker ( 1124825 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:30PM (#27601741)

    Recent studies have shown that people waste approximately 20% of their time in the office just screwing around.

    They should allocate 5% of that 20% to people sneaking around, turning off other people's computer when they aren't looking in order to save on power.

    Then you can allocate another 5% to turning the computer back on and waiting for it to boot, once an employee returns from the bathroom and discovers his computer has been shut down by a co-worker.

    That still leaves 10% screwing around time - with no productivity lost and enormous power savings!

  • by sam991 ( 995040 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:31PM (#27601765) Homepage
    Evidently he has a laptop and VPN access and company policy should be that all important documents are held on central storage, not a user's PC. Important apps can be published via Citrix and run over VPN so really, this is either a failure of the user or of IT infrastructure.
  • by swordgeek ( 112599 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:33PM (#27601805) Journal

    Looking at what runs on the desktops of nearly every company with an IT department (and yes, your company may be different--GOOD for you!), we're faced with Windows. And at the end of the day, Windows does power management very poorly. If it worked _exactly_ as advertised, then it would be an ugly and painful kludge of overlapping terms and areas of control. Is suspending a computer more like "standby" or "hibernate?" What if I choose standby in 5 minutes, but turn off hard drives in 15 minutes? Who wins? Also, is my computer idle if I have an application running on it for hours (or days) on end? Does Firefox get treated the same as a gcc job?

    However, that's in an ideal fantasy world. In reality, it's much worse. Some computers work, some don't. Some work one day, but fail after a MS patch. Some let you choose hibernate but won't do it, some will go to sleep and never wake up again. Now before anyone jumps in with 'oddball hardware' and such, let me point out these two points:

    1) I see this behaviour with XP SP3 on an off-the-shelf Dell laptop certified for (and shipped with) XP. I see it on HP desktops under the same conditions. It's not just fringe cases, it's the definition of mainstream business computers!
    2) It doesn't MATTER what hardware I have! If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. Microsoft hasn't been able to get this working well since 1995 (or earlier--did Win3.1 have power management stuff in it?). Even if Vista or Windows 7 get it right, it won't matter at this point because nobody is willing to bother with power management anymore. The pain has been too great for too long for us to let it into our psyche, and it's not likely to suddenly happen now.

  • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:35PM (#27601829)

    But that other 1% of the time, I'm using it from home, because I've gotten called up to fix some urgent client problem.

    I hate to say this, but wouldn't it make much more sense to connect directly to the servers in question using SSH or a thin client solution like Terminal Server? Unless there aren't public, which I suppose they technically are if you can connect from home either way.

    I say this because the servers have to up no matter what, and if you simply using your work desktop to connect to them, then why not just skip the desktop and connect directly to the server?

    Unless your company has a policy against using non-work machines to connect to the servers... Which technically you are anyways by proxy...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:39PM (#27601909)

    Marketing doesn't listen to or obey reason, logic or sense. They are fundamentall opposing concepts.

  • by poot_rootbeer ( 188613 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:42PM (#27601961)

    None of these computers were in client facing positions, so effectively, they were insistent on wasting energy to empty chairs at 4AM!

    Fixed that for you.

  • Re:Classic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:50PM (#27602105) Journal

    It's nothing more than the classic "Not my problem". It's a real shame that there are so few people in the world today willing to do something about a problem that "isn't thier problem".

    What part of "mind your own business" don't you understand?

  • Absolutely not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Suzuran ( 163234 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:55PM (#27602179)

    I believe it is right and proper for a sysadmin to hate the users. This has been the order of things since the time of the dinosaurs, and the way it should be. We can't all be the BOFH, but we can all try.

    (Besides, if I didn't hate the users, what excuse would I have for keeping a bat under my desk to threaten the users with?)

  • by PitaBred ( 632671 ) <> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @03:57PM (#27602231) Homepage
    You need to beat your incompetent IT department. If they're using Deep Freeze, the FIRST thing you should do is turn off the automatic updates. Update the "root" image and push it when you need to, monthly or whatever. But having it hit the network like you say is nothing but incompetence.
  • by thsths ( 31372 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:01PM (#27602329)

    > I implemented a nightly shut down policy for our users

    Which is great, unless

    - you want to be able to access your PC from home

    - the virus scanner is set on read, so logging in takes 5 minutes in the morning

    - you want to run a simulation over night

    - updates should be run overnight

    So yes, there is a case for shutting down PCs, but it is not always easy. Users will do it if it works.

  • by CFTM ( 513264 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:03PM (#27602369)

    And regardless of the fact that IT had nothing to do with these shut downs, it's still our fault that the staff was inconvenienced and now is unable to take their smoke break at the exact same time because they have to wait an extra two minutes at boot up.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:04PM (#27602381)

    There's no such thing as "100% efficiency conversion to heat". It's a meaningless sentence. What you're calling 100% efficient heating is actually 0% efficient machinery. It does no useful work, not even useful computation.

    If you need the heating, get a heat pump. You'll use fewer VAs to bring more Ws into the room. Using computers as electric resistance heating elements is dumb. Using electric resistance heating elements itself is pretty dumb, unless you're using them to maintain a precise temperature as part of a larger system, but you can't use computers in this way because you can't vary the waste heat on demand.

    Even if you use gas heat, you'll save more money on your gas bill by just getting a programmable thermostat to start the warm-up early enough to be comfortable when people arrive.

  • by amoeba1911 ( 978485 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:13PM (#27602533) Homepage
    That's not just the government. I work for a hundred billion dollar company and we routinely do shit like that just to waste money so that we don't get screwed over the next year. What a total fucking waste... waste of resources, waste of time, waste of everything. Business as usual.
  • by Atrox666 ( 957601 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:13PM (#27602541)

    No this is discouraged in most places.
    First off showing initiative is a threat to all the executives who have absolutely none.
    Secondly, people who show initiative do things they aren't forced to.
    This eats up budget and gets you in trouble.
    You are just given enough budget to give a little bit of poor quality steady state support.
    "BUT THE IDEA WILL SAVE MONEY!" you might insist.
    The truth is that in IT when you save a bunch of electricity for the company it will probably be premises that gets all the credit. When you improve the accounting tools then the accountants get a bonus for working harder. Someone is always eating the lunch you earned and you're just a cost centre no one has figured out how to offshore yet.

  • by gatkinso ( 15975 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:21PM (#27602655)

    The less idle machines sitting around for the botnets and worms, the better.

  • by toadlife ( 301863 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:31PM (#27602815) Journal

    Your scenario is based upon the bad assumption that employees are machines that work at full productivity for the entire time that their computers are available to them.

  • Young Attitudes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:35PM (#27602883)

    It's funny, I work at a school where all the pcs shut off at 8:00 every night.

    The major push to make it that way was provided for by the students.

    That works great because Students have zero concern for time. They can sit there chatting while computers come back online.

    Wait until they are at work and don't have all the time on earth to wait for a stupid PC to boot every day...

    It's not saving the earth to make people grumpier. Emotional state is part of the environment too and affects your outlook on everything.

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:42PM (#27603031) Journal
    It's also based on the assumption that the IT department doesn't setup Wake On LAN to wake the PCs up 10 minutes before people start showing up for work.
  • by hodet ( 620484 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @04:51PM (#27603193)
    I've been working in IT for many years and my experience has been that if a Sysadmin hates his users it says a lot more about him then it does the users. YMMV
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:02PM (#27603409)

    My MacBook sleeps when I don't touch it for 15 minutes. The time to wake it up and start working is a few seconds plus the time it takes to type my password.

    I agree with the parent, my time is more valuable than the time spent fiddling with my computer every morning. Better hardware and software support at the OS level with a sleep policy after a certain time is probably the best compromise.

  • by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:02PM (#27603417)

    Despite calculating that the organization could save $75K annually (this was a conservative estimate), their marketing department put a stop to the idea.

    With 4000 employees, even a $200K savings per year would work out to only $50/employee. With an average salary of $25K (hopefully low), if the PC shutoff plan did something that wasted 4 hours of employee time per year (like taking as little as 1 minute to start up in the morning), then it's not worth it to the company.

    Until you can save the equivalent of at least 2000 hours per year of salary per employee, it's probably not guaranteed to be a money saver for the company. My WAG [] is that at about 500 hours/year you'd be able to persuade accountants that it might be worth it.

  • by CodeBuster ( 516420 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:03PM (#27603423)
    This problem is not unique to the state government of Georgia, but is present at some level, greater or lesser, in all government finance at all levels in the United States. That is why I scoff every time I hear some starry-eyed liberal wax poetic over how Obama and his administration are going to save the planet through increased government spending when every small business owner and government employee (at least those who are honest about it) knows that it simply will not be so. In case the Slashdot liberals missed the point, government spending will NOT be the salvation of the American economy. The government caused the problems which lead to the financial meltdown, both directly and also indirectly (by enabling and encouraging the creation of bad money) and massively increasing government spending (which will largely be spent wastefully, no matter how many czars or layers of bureaucracy are piled on to watch over it, in the manner described by the parent), and particularly direct spending (which is even worse than the government paying the private sector to do things), will not solve them. The economy may recover eventually in spite of the efforts of the Obama administration, but their continued "help" will not be as useful as the liberals suppose.
  • by Ced_Ex ( 789138 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:09PM (#27603513)

    You think spending up to the budget is only restricted to government?

    This happens everywhere, especially in large corporations like banks and insurance companies.

  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:11PM (#27603569)

    How's that work with my dev environment, long builds, and syncing gigs of source code? Sure, it works pretty well, but my monitors are off at night, and you could achieve most of your goals if one of my CPUs were throttled to 0 at night.

    Why would it have to apply to your machine? Or even your company? There are thousands of companies out there; should they ALL leave all their PCs on simply because it might actually make sense for yours?

    MOST companies don't need everyone able to RDP in so just turning them off is good for them.

    And of those that do need everyone to rdp in, most don't have everyone RDPing in every night, so a WoL solution is a sensible option for them.

    And finally, yes, of those companies out there that have all their employees rdping in every other night and even when not being remoted are all busy at night doing multigb syncs - then they can turn them on.

    Seriously, your objection to centers around a fringe case. Most people should turn their PCs off at night. Maybe you should leaves yours on, but the fact that you shouldn't doesn't somehow constitute a reason for everyone else to do the same.

    Okay, there are 1000 desktops at my company. How do you locate desktop X among those when all of them are off?

    How do you RDP in now? by hostname?

    In any case WoL uses the mac address. Maintain a database of mac addresses to hostnames or employee names or whatever. You could even automate it so the hosts register/update their mac addresses/hostname/whatever pairs with the WoL 'server' when they power on. You log into the vpn, hit the wol server with your hostname or whatever and it sends out the magic packet with your machines MAC.

  • by willy_me ( 212994 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:11PM (#27603573)

    Not just in government - but unions can often result in the same type of ridiculous waste.

    My mother was a teacher - high school math. She had two grade 11 classes and another teacher taught the third class. Both of my mother's classes were full while the other class was at half capacity. The reason for this was not scheduling - the students were simply avoiding the other teacher. The moral of the story is that if you do a good job and keep kids interested, you get to do more work. The other teacher did a poor job resulting in less work - oh, he also had more seniority which resulted in a higher wage.

    My mother eventually quit to go to another job - a direct result of the unbalanced workload. The union would not let her get compensated for good performance. The school could not even give her a break with hallway supervision duties. A couple of years after leaving the school the number of grade 12 students taking math dropped by half.

    I always hear union adds on the radio talking about how they are looking out for the kids by going on strike. Thank god those unions are looking out for our kids.

  • Re:context (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jcrousedotcom ( 999175 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:19PM (#27603683) Homepage
    We're moving to a thin client / published desktop environment via Citrix. I frequently run into the same thing you're talking about - my solution? Just power off my thin client (or kill my Citrix session if I am ica'ing from a remote locale via a PC). It suspends the session and I just come back to it the next day.

    That works great until it doesn't. ;)
  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:27PM (#27603787)
    Nothing the government can spend money on is as wasteful as having one in four able bodied adults sitting around doing nothing productive! If you don't get that point then I'm sorry but you have no reason. I'm not a fan of big government but unfortunately when the financial system implodes the only entity big enough to even attempt to fix it is government. There will be waste, graft, back room deals and wasteful spending on the way to recovery, but hopefully a large percentage of that waste will end up entering the money stream and accelerating the flow of money which is the ONLY thing that will stave off mass unemployment. Money is only better spent in the private sector when the private sector is actually willing to make use of it, at the moment almost everyone in the private sector is hording cash and decelerating the flow of money.
  • Re:Young Attitudes (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Slightly Askew ( 638918 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:28PM (#27603795) Journal

    My morning routine:

    1. Push power button
    2. Drop coat/bag/etc. on desk
    3. Fix cup of tea
    4. Work on PC that is now powered up

    Lots of excuses not to use power saving. Boot time is not one of them.

  • by ( 245670 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @05:42PM (#27603981)

    "Businesses" don't know shiat about technology. How can the suits ask for something beyond the scope of their knowledge and experience? They do crazy crap with contracts and lawyers and stuff that would irritate the heck out of me but is a necessary part of running a company. I really don't care to get into the messy details of how they accomplish every task and I'm pretty sure they're not waiting for me to pipe up and tell them how to do their jobs. Likewise, I'm not waiting for one of them to tell me the best way to keep the computers running.

    If IT wants something done, they need to play the suits' game and sell it like any other salesman pitching a product/solution/opportunity. With powerpoint full of graphs and charts and all that crap. Or just attach it like a rider on a bill. Towards the end of a meeting that's already heading your way, add, "BTW, we're going to implement a policy requiring most people to shut down their workstations when they go home for the day. This will reduce our power consumption by up to $1100 per month and should also increase productivity by reducing service calls." If there's any resistance, waive the Green flag, say utilities are putting a lot of pressure on the IT industry to economize, etc.

    But the bottom line is you don't wait for a department to launch a program that's totally outside their purview. If the IT department doesn't kickstart this kind of program, nobody will because nobody else will understand the value.

  • by aureus620 ( 860426 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:06PM (#27604297)

    It takes 5 minutes to boot in the morning because you consider being able to open a browser and see your Facebook page the end of booting, past network logins, antivirus updates, the corporate IM tool, and everything else.

    Call me crazy, but I'd call the time from powering on the machine to arriving at a usable UI a pretty good definition of booting.

  • by timmarhy ( 659436 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:06PM (#27604303)
    there are plenty of instances where a business may purchase software that's very expensive and only get one license for the user who needs it. unfortunately many professional packages still use dongles and at 20k a pop you aren't letting anyone take them home. so yes, there are frequent reasons you might need access to a pc. i know in my work place we use geological modeling software that's 20k per dongle and it needs a total beast of a pc to run, so the users of that sometimes need to log into their work station remotely, be it from head office or home.

    i agree with the rest though

  • Re:Boot time (Score:3, Insightful)

    by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:08PM (#27604321)

    I guess you don't know about the 'Save this session' option.

    I don't use windows so I don't know how it works but I'm doubtful that it saves the state of the RAM and I'm sure it still takes a while to start up.

    I don't know how the numbers balance out but I think it's important to remember that electricity isn't the only cost to consider.

  • by coryking ( 104614 ) * on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:17PM (#27604423) Homepage Journal

    5 minutes? Who turns computers off?

    I have no fucking clue what kind of power saving mode my modern computer goes into, but I do know that when it falls asleep it is deader than a doornail but manages to wake up in under 15 seconds. I dont even mange it and I have no clue when or how it decides to fall asleep. It just does... power saving on modern computers is virtually a solved problem*.

    * until you factor in remote access. WOL? Yeah right... never had that work right.

  • The REAL wtf is... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pinkfloydhomer ( 999075 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:26PM (#27604533)

    that modern PCs aren't able to go into a 2 watts mode that still listens to signals from keyboard, mouse, remote connections from the network etc. to wake it up.

    Wake On LAN is too esoteric. Stand by (or suspend or hibernate) works great, but is not seamlessly able to just wake up when I do a remote connection or move the mouse.

    Frankly, a computer doing nothing than just idling in Windows (or Linux, or...) shouldn't use more than a couple of watts.

    Problem solved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 16, 2009 @06:30PM (#27604573)

    3AM. The phone rings.

    On the other end is one of the few CxOs that actually does work.

    "I'm trying to log into my system at work to finish up some vital reports for a meeting tomorrow and it doesn't seem to respond."
    "Oh, that's our new power saving policy. All systems are powered off when not in use for 2 hours."
    "Then you drive your ass to the building, turn on my PC, and before you leave my office, place your resignation on my desk." *click*

    Let me just restate this:

    "You're fired for making a bad decision. But first, while you still have {Domain Admin/Root} and a key to the building, drive in and do this task for my personal convenience."

    Any possible bad outcome?


    Right, carry on then.

  • by dave562 ( 969951 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @07:09PM (#27604973) Journal
    As I was posting, I thought to myself, "Someone is going to say how ten minutes isn't enough time." Then I thought, "I should say thirty minutes. But then someone will say thirty minutes is too much time." In the end I figured that anyone on /. would be able to consider that ten minutes was completely arbitrary, and that the meta-point was that companies can set a time that works for their environment.
  • by msi ( 641841 ) on Thursday April 16, 2009 @07:10PM (#27604979) Homepage
    The military need lots of extra bodys because they still need to be able to work if half of them get killed. The Navy have a dilly number of people on ships because not only might half of they die but they will need to be able to fight and fix the ship at the same time.
  • Re:Absolutely not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday April 16, 2009 @08:30PM (#27605769) Journal

    You sysadmins don't know how lucky you got it! Try working PC repair for awhile. I bet you can take your worst moron and multiply them by 20 and that would be about average for what I get during an average week. I get to have conversations like this-"I needed to move the computer so I just grabbed it and yanked and now there are wires and screws and stuff hanging out the back. Is that bad?" or "I just got this new computer and I want you to take this USB backup thingie and make my new computer have all my stuff on it" 'me'-Uuuhhh where is the disc with the software that you used to back your stuff up with sir? " I threw that out. It has a button you push to back stuff up, surely there is a "put stuff back" button on there." ARRRGH!

    trust me sysadmins, you guys got it good. picture the dumbest bumblehead you got and increase the stupid by about a dozen and I'll have dealt with somebody worse that week. A bazillion pieces of proprietary junk and NEVER have they EVER got the disc, they expect everything to just magically work like something out of hackers no matter how crazy an idea they cook up(I once had a cop bring his wife's PC in so I could "Hack her Yahoo" to see if she was cheating) and they are ALWAYS amazed that stuff costs so much. You have to deal with legacy cruft like you would NOT believe(I had to even build a DOS 3 PC LAST YEAR so I could rig up an ISA card to an 85k lathe from a company that hasn't been business since 89) and more weird and fucked up formats than you can even count. So trust me admins you haven't even gotten CLOSE to the bottom of the barrel when it comes to stupid. At least your hardware and software is pretty uniform. Count your blessings.

  • by Monchanger ( 637670 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @12:33AM (#27607579) Journal

    Except that version isn't funny unless you're a Republican who has a lousy sense of humor. Switch "Democrat" and "Repblican" around and it'll be funny to Democrats with no sense of humor. Members of both parties are too arrogant to think the other has something to offer in the way of help.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:52AM (#27608965)

    Generally I'm a Keynesian and I believe some economic stimulus will be required to get the economy restarted. However I do think that Geithner was the wrong man for the job because he's too close to the financial industry. AIG, Citigroup, and the rest of the banks should have gotten the same treatment that GM did: firing the top people CEO/CFO/division VPs/etc. responsible for screwing up the loan approval process for toxic assets, and insistence on seeing a viable plan before handing more than some small bridge financing to the ailing banks and insurers. Paulsen in particular, and Geithner to a lesser extent, didn't really do what's necessary to really fix the banking system by restoring regulation gutted since the 80's and until that's done, all the money thrown at that problem is just throwing good money after the bad.

    Another problem is that debt loads in the US got too high - at the individual, corporate, state, and federal level - because the debt's been used to support spending beyond the ability to repay and because the debt was financed unsustainably through a real estate bubble. Now that people realize that's the case, you're not going to fix that overnight. It's going to take a long period of saving and re-investment before private spending can rise again, with a significantly shrunk economy in the meantime. Most people alive now aren't going to soon forget and it's going to take 20-30 years before you get a new generation that's as reckless with their income.

  • by Ma8thew ( 861741 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:47AM (#27609153)
    Well then they'll have to turn the damn thing on theirselves, wasting all of 2 minutes.
  • Re:Young Attitudes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ma8thew ( 861741 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @06:56AM (#27609217)
    If the IT department can make them shut down at 8pm, they can probably make them WOL at 8am. WTF is wrong with people like you, who make it your mission to place every obstacle in the way of trying to do things to save money and power? And is your job really that important that you can't wait 2 minutes for your computer to boot.

You know, Callahan's is a peaceable bar, but if you ask that dog what his favorite formatter is, and he says "roff! roff!", well, I'll just have to...