Wow, it’s Monday!!

Yeah, it’s Monday, and it’s still cold…ok, chilly, and dreary outside. Where are you spring? I told you there were several things I wanted to do this weekend….some I did, others I didn’t get to, and some other things crossed my path that I hadn’t counted on.

I did get to a movie(check )….saw 21 downtown at the Harborview theatres. I give it a solid B-. Kevin Spacey was sleepwalking though a role that in his defense, didn’t call for much more. Still, a pleasant enough flick…but if you really want to see something actually interesting, Netflix the documentary Helvetica. (Check 2-) Fascinating look at one of the most common typefaces seen on signs everywhere, how it came to be, and what it has to do with global design. I love Helvetica, though I didn’t realize it until I saw the film….I wish this blog was in Helvetica type casting its secret spell but….can’t have everything, I guess.

candlesDid observe Earth Hour Saturday night…turned off all the electric except for “essentials”…for me that was the tv and the oven…one does need food and entertainment after all. And basketball was on! I noticed neighbors who were perhaps unaware of earth hour….every light in their house was blazing. It was fun since I’m a candle freak anyway, but kinda hard to cook to candlelight. Is the lamb rare or raw?

Did get to the new Catonsville Gourmet Friday night (check 3-)…the place was seriously packed.  We shared a whole rockfish, which was pan-fried, presented whole upright as though swimming, with a cilantro basil sauce that was just fabulous. cakeAnd took home a piece of Smith Island Cake, which I’ve never had before though I’ve read a lot about it. Wow, that it is an unbelieveably good cake, with about a thousand layers, chocolate and peanut butter…again, big enough to share. And I believe I have spoken before of my love of B.Y.O.B….Catonsville Gourmet is that, though some diners did not know that when they arrived…no matter, there is a nice wine store across the street.

And I cleaned out a closet this weekend!!  I know, how dull is that? But those of you who understand the dismay and unease that comes from a cluttered closet can apppreciate the feeling of order that comes from a newly organized linen closet. I had no idea how many tablecloths I had (that I never use, sorry to say), and my gift wrapping supplies are now in order. And somewhere along the way I bought birthday blowers and Big Red Dog birthday hats and stuck them in the closet, never too be seen again, until Saturday. Who were they for? I have no idea. I felt like an archeologist, slowly digging into the layers of living habits of a people long forgotten, only the people is me.

blackleP.S. As a nod to Earth hour, I have discovered Blackle, compliments of my daughter. I had NEVER heard of it, and it is simply put, a dark google search page which uses lots less energy because the page is mostly black. How about that??


8 Responses

  1. Hi! I look forward to reading your blog all the time!! I, too, cleaned out some closets at my house this weekend and wound up with THIRTEEN (13!!) bags of clothing ready to donate. I would prefer to give them to a women’s shelter or somewhere similar vs dropping them off at Goodwill for someone to purchase. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. You go girl…..I have bags and bags of stuff for the Goodwill as well. And if you itemize the items and make sure you get a receipt, you can use it as a donation on your taxes.

  3. I decided to do a little research into Blackle. It turns out that the savings of energy is most with old-time CRTs. With the modern LCD monitors, only the larger ones (24 inches and above) showed any energy savings. On normal-sized LCD monitors, Blackle actually takes MORE energy to display than Google. There is debate out there on this topic, but the initial research that Blackle uses to estimate energy savings has been shown to have overstated the savings. I’m a geek, so this stuff interests me.

    My main reason to not use Blackle? Too hard to read and dark displays are depressing. Just think of all the energy that will be required to make the upgrades to my glasses after my eyes are ruined trying to read Blackle.

  4. Wow, that’s what happens when you listen to your kids. Evidentally Tracey is right… says they tested it and report the following….”So after all that testing, we’re in a better position to say that anyone else that Blackle makes next to no difference, on average, with LCD monitors.
    If you’re really serious about saving energy, here’s just a couple of tips that will make far more difference: switch off your computer at the end of the day and don’t bother with a screensaver, because every screensaver costs power to run.” Who knew?

    UPDATE August 10, 2007 – If you’re serious about wanting to save power with your computer, read this story. We’ve outlined five simple ways based on our tests that we can all use to help save amounts of energy that far exceed what you can do with a search engine.

    Darren Yates is a B.Sc. (electronics) graduate of Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

    Monitor Size
    (inch) Resolution (pixels) Google
    (watts) Blackle
    (watts) Power difference (watts)
    LCD models

    LG SW570LE 15 1024×768 26.2 26.5 -0.3
    AOC LM721 17 1280×1024 33.1 33.5 -0.4
    Acer AL1916W 19 1440×900 28.3 28.8 -0.5
    BenQ FP93G 19 1280×1024 31.1 31.9 -0.8
    LG L1917S 19 1440×900 33.3 33.4 -0.1
    LG L192WS 19 1440×900 24.5 25.1 -0.6
    LG L196W 19 1440×900 38.6 39.7 -1.1
    ViewSonic VX1932wm 19 1440×900 35.5 36 -0.5
    Asus VW202 20 1680×1050 35.7 37.2 -1.5
    BenQ FP202W 20 1680×1050 43.6 44.3 -0.7
    Acer AL2216W 22 1680×1050 30.5 32 -1.5
    Asus PG221 22 1680×1050 54.9 55.9 -1
    Asus VW222 22 1680×1050 43.2 43.4 -0.2
    BenQ FP222W 22 1680×1050 40.7 41.9 -1.2
    LG L226W 22 1680×1050 39.9 42 -2.1
    Samsung 226BW 22 1680×1050 43.6 44.8 -1.2
    ViewSonic VX2255wmh 22 1680×1050 41.3 42.4 -1.1
    BenQ FP241W 24 1920×1200 87.4 85.2 2.2
    Dell 2407WFP-HC 24 1920×1200 82.7 81.3 1.4
    NEC LCD2490WUXi 24 1920×1200 73.7 69.6 4.1
    NEC LCD2690WUXi 26 1920×1200 89.3 85.2 4.1
    ViewSonic VX2835wm 28 1920×1200 106.8 109 -2.2
    Samsung 305T 30 2560×1600 111.5 107.5 4

    51.1 51.2 -0.1
    CRT models

    Acer AC915 19 1280×1024 75.9 64.6 11.3
    Compaq P1210 22 1280×960 112.6 96.2 16.4
    Digital PCXBV-HY 15 1024×768 73.6 65.1 8.5
    Mitsubishi DV1770 17 1024×768 72.5 65.4 7.1

    83.7 72.8 10.8

    Comments Add New Search

    Kedar Soman – Saving Energy By Tweaking Monitor Settings | |2008-03-30 15:51:33

    Interesting article. Well studied and researched.

    I also did my own study
    on monitor power consumption and… on my blog lists the details. I tested 9 monitors.

    I observed the
    1. The power saving indeed gets to 13-15 watts. If you
    observe the black-vs-white difference at different settings of
    brightness, you will observe different savings in power. The saving is
    maximum when your brightness is maximum.
    3. I did not see increase in
    power consumption when LCD was black.
    4. I am surprised to see LCD monitor
    fraction quoted as 75% monitors of total number. This might be
    true for US or UK, but far from truth in rest of the world. And when
    we talk about Internet, we must talk about the whole world.

    Overall, my
    opinion is turning from white to black will indeed
    save energy.



    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Unbiased Observer – Unbiased Conclusions (final post – should work now | |2008-03-30 14:18:01

    Sorry for the extra posts everyone. I had a less than sign in my post, and it
    was messing up the html. If you can delete my extra posts, it will clear things
    up. My apologies to all for the extra posts.

    It seems that the language and
    focus in this article is biased, and isn’t looking for a way to save energy, but
    instead a way to appear to be correct in some argument.

    Using only the data
    presented (and the means for generating that data has not been presented), here
    are the conclusions I draw:
    A)If you use a tested LCD monitor of 22″ or
    less, regular google will use between .1 and 2.1 watts …less than Blackle
    (less than 1%-5%).
    B)If you use a tested LCD monitor between 24″ and
    30″, Blackle will use between 1.4 and 4.1 watts less than google (2-6% less,
    in fact) (with one exception, where Blackle used 2.2 watts (2%) more than
    C)If you use a tested CRT between 15″ and 22″, Blackle will

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    Unbiased Observer – actual continuation! | |2008-03-30 14:19:08

    …will use 7.1 to 16.4 watts less than google (10-15% less, in fact, which is
    very impressive).

    It would be interesting to see test results for larger LCD

    So if the data is correct, it seems like using Blackle for a large
    LCD or any CRT would, in all likelihood, save energy without any real effort
    except for changing a bookmark.

    This, by the way, is contrary to the
    conclusion that Google draws on their EarthHour page
    ( “it saves no energy; modern
    displays use the same amount of power regardless of what they display”.

    According to the data above, on small LCD’s tested, using a white background
    typically saves energy (less than 1% to 5%), and on a large LCD or any CRT,
    using a black background typically saves energy (2% to 6% for tested LCD’s and
    and 10-15% for tested CRT’s). According to the data, google’s claim appears to
    be false.

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    Marc Kupper | |2008-03-30 13:00:46

    The subject prompted me to measure my own 19″ LCD monitor. White uses less
    power than black (23 vs. 24 watts), no surprise there. The surprise is I was
    able to shave off 0.8 watts by adjusting the refresh rate from 75Hz to 60Hz.

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Jonathan W. – Buy a new monitor? | |2008-03-30 05:43:01

    For everyone who keeps saying, “buy a new monitor to save the planet”, I
    beg to differ. New monitors cost money, you know why? That’s because they cost
    resources to produce, raw materials, human labor, and yes, energy. And what
    happens to your old monitor? It goes into a landfill someplace.

    If you
    really want to be greener, try to get some more years of use out of your current
    computer, your current monitor, and, even if it’s a little less fuel efficient,
    your current car. And when buying new products, remember that for
    non-monopolistic goods, price is a pretty good indicator of the resources they
    took to make.

    Reply | Quote 6 1

    Tom Hatcher | |2008-03-30 13:44:34

    Or stop using your car entirely

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    vanderleun | |2008-03-31 02:35:08

    Or just shoot yourself and join the great green compost.

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    Obgeektor – Standby would be nice if it worked… | |2008-03-30 05:09:10

    I have an issue with standby – it doesn’t work on any of my machines (even
    though they support it and it’s enabled). It will either crash the machine on
    reboot (screen stays blank, HDD light stays on) every time, or crash it after
    you leave the machine on standby for too long (but works if woken up after a
    short while). I read somewhere that the low-level drivers that manufacturers
    write cause this. Specifically some sort of drivers affecting IDE devices I
    believe. Some conflict with others. I don’t understand this – ATA is a standard,
    ACPI is a standard, hardware and software manufacturers only have to follow the
    standard and things will be OK. But no! I set my systems up with great care when
    it comes to the drivers, too. But I cannot set any of them to use standby, just
    monitor power saving (which at a 30W LCD monitor vs. a 480W PC doesn’t save
    Perhaps more pressure should be directed at the hardware manufacturers

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    Zulu | |2008-03-30 11:53:44

    The crashes are probably caused by a conflict between “Standby” &
    the screen-saver, especially if you choose the same time-out period for both. Just turn off the screen-saver. After all, it’s
    a program that’s running & using the CPU & video card, so no
    energy savings there. Another gimmick we don’t need.

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Wolf | |2008-03-30 03:26:48

    If you look, some lcd monitors actually have less power usage with the black

    At the very least google should let us change that color ourselves
    cause i like it black 😛

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    Stupid American – We are idiots! | |2008-03-30 03:14:51

    PEOPLE! Wake up and get a life! This is THE most stupid energy saving
    conversation I have every witnessed. It is perfect evidence for my theory that
    humans have an inability to measure and/or put things in proper context. 1
    gallon of gasoline contains 36600 watt hours of energy. Divide that by 3.16
    watts which is the google vs blackle power difference measured with OLD CRT
    monitors (less than 25% of the world’s monitors) That yeilds 11,582 hours of
    operation. Divide that by 3 hours of google displaying per day and you get 3860
    days of operation. Divide that by 365 days and you get 10.5 years of
    “green” web surfing. If you have a 23in LCD you get an impressive 335
    years of “green” web surfing. Lets review – If you use Blackle, 3 hours
    a day, every day of the year and you have a 23 in LCD monitor, after 335 years
    of dilligent use, you will save the planet 1 – yes ONE, gallon of gasoline. So
    let’s dri…

    Reply | Quote 18 4

    Comp Sci Man – Student! | |2008-03-30 12:28:37

    I like//agree with your analysis, but you forgot to make one more little
    calculation which i’ll include here for the sake of

    If most people that own a computer actually
    try “green” web surfing, there would be around 600 million
    “green” surfers (really rough estimate from online source of how
    many people have desktop computers). In 335 years each surfer saves 1
    gallon of gas, so 0.00298507 gallons of gas in 1 year. So every year, ALL the “green” surfers would save the planet a total of (600,000,000
    surfer * (0.00298507 gallon/surfer) = 1,791,045 gallons of
    gasoline. Again, 1.7 million gallons is a very
    rough estimate. says the US alone consumes 146
    billion gallons of gasoline per year. The 1.7 million gallons we would
    conserve with green surfing is less than 0.01% of US annual consumption.

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    dd | |2008-03-30 13:03:14


    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Tyler G. – Ok, but what about… | |2008-03-30 02:26:49

    Ok, I get the point about this black LCD using more power, and I get the point
    about the fact that many people are using LCDs now, but there must be a way for
    those of us like me (who swear they will never turn away from CRTs because they
    like them better due to the fact that there is no risk of viewing angles
    affecting the picture and the fact that they dont have a set number of pixels)
    to save energy. I want to save energy, but I dont want LCDs or DLPs or
    Projection or any of that, I just want to stick by my all time favorite, the
    CRT, but I still want to save power as much as I can while doing this. Exactly
    how much power can I save with all my CRT’s by adjusting brightness and
    contrast, and what settings are optimal for best power savings?

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    Gerald H. | |2008-03-30 02:56:17

    Tyler, I feel for your preference for using CRT AND for your desire to save
    energy at the same time.

    However, to be honest, I think you and I both know
    that the best way to save energy is to switch to an LCD, regardless of the
    background that Google uses.

    Using a CRT and asking ‘how can I save more
    energy’ is akin to proclaiming your love for your Hummer H1 but simultaneously
    asking “how can I make this baby more fuel efficient”. Admirable spirit,
    but wrong vehicle (pun intended!)

    Reply | Quote 2 1

    Darrell Singleton – Old projection TV screen | |2008-03-30 02:02:37

    I recall years ago comparing the wattage use of a 60 inch dark display to a
    white display. The dark screen used considerably less wattage.

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    Dave – What about heat? | |2008-03-30 02:53:49

    Did they measure the difference in heat generation between the two options?
    Since it’s a device that generates light, radiant heat generation will change
    based on dark vs light. This is separate from the normal difference you’d see
    from power consumption.

    An important factor because heat differences will
    impact the load on the heating and cooling systems where the monitor is located.

    Reply | Quote 0 1

    Ken B – Best Solution | |2008-03-30 02:47:03

    Forget about what percentage of CRTs gives a net savings if everybody switched
    to Blackle! Instead, only advocate the use of Blackle for people who have CRTs
    (or perhaps a known LCD model where it makes a difference, but please don’t tell
    me that people with 1920 widescreens actually cover the entire screen with their
    Google page)!

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Ilikehwy40 | |2008-03-30 02:24:46

    What would be the easiest way to force a black background on google all the time
    without affecting other websites?

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Ilikehwy40 – My setup | |2008-03-30 02:20:19

    I checked this computers “monitor” which is a 38inch Toshiba CRT HDTV
    and my Kill-A-Watt wattage tester has google at 202 watts, and blackle at
    165watts (black google is 166watts, but this tester rounds to the nearest watt).
    My PVR computer is quiet and cheap (0) and averages 78 watts when idle and
    C&Q enabled.

    I watch movies on this computer, its my DVD and DVR and HDTV
    tuner. Movies on LCDs are unwatchable as they have no contrast and blurring in
    every motion scene. I am waiting to get a DLP when they are affordable.

    gamming computer uses a CRT, not only is the blurring and non-contrast hard to
    look at, but I need to adjust my resalution diffrently for diffrent games, which
    is impossible with a LCD as they have a set amount of pixels.

    My gamming
    computer runs 157watts idle, 193watts when gamming and F@H on the 2nd

    I got my GF to use standby, with S3 so all the fans and harddrives turn
    off, in…

    Reply | Quote 1 1

    MD – My GF | |2008-03-30 11:02:31

    Man… I wish I could get my girlfriend to go on standby too

    Reply | Quote 2 1

    Richard Klassen – Power usage | |2008-03-30 02:12:28

    I am runing windows XP Home edition, and when i am not using my pc, i turn the
    monitor off, 19 inch Dell Flat screen.On average how much power does a computer
    use in a day ? I always shut it off at night or when i am away from home, but
    often wondered in keeping the computer on, how much power it uses.Since i
    boosted my RAM to 530 MB, it powers up quickly, so i could turn it off when not
    in use. Thank you

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    Joe | |2008-03-30 02:04:24

    Oh, I guess I should have added that the comment was to add on to what Deeko L.
    said about paying attention to computers that are left on 🙂 Hopefully some one
    pays attention Deeko, right? Whats the average power supply installed in modern
    computers? 300-600 watts? Even though they dont use all of their potential
    wattage output they still draw quite a bit.

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Joe | |2008-03-30 02:00:03

    Unless you are running a server you should be shutting your computer down at
    night or when you are not using it. PCs aren’t designed to run 24/7. Servers on
    the other hand are.

    Reply | Quote 3 1

    joshua – shut it down! | |2008-03-30 07:24:06

    this whole conversation is stupid in my opinion! Wheather one displays a bit of
    white or a bit of black isn’t going to make a bit of difference! What will make
    a difference is shutting down your computer when you don’t use it. (especially
    at night) besides computers that arn’t ever shut down have thousands of more
    problems than those that get shut down every night (shutdown, NOT hibernate, or
    standby, etc.) [although hibernate is good for saving power.]

    Reply | Quote 3 1

    needle felted dogs – my needle felted art gallery | |2008-03-29 23:30:54

    Thanks for posting the brightiness results jz 🙂 I was wondering the same thing,
    but had no way to measure. I’m also wondering, did Blackle start when more were
    using CRT? Also, will computer makers take buyers desire to save energy into
    consideration when designing new products?

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    Mark Ontkush – Exactly, Deekoo | |2008-03-29 20:31:18

    Yes, the study actually proves the reverse; globally, implementing a black
    background saves energy as long as there are more than 1% CRT left in the

    this is not a big number, but it does save energy.

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    T-Monster – Screen…saver? | |2008-03-29 20:20:27

    I’d just like to throw my oar in too and suggest that people start to reduce the
    amount of time that their screensavers run for, and make sure that the
    power-saving option to turn off the monitor (& the rest!) is enabled.
    setup countless systems, reduced the screensaver time from hours to minutes and
    the end-user’s never noticed the difference… hopefully the planet does!

    Reply | Quote 5 0

    jz | |2008-03-29 17:52:29

    I forgot to mention this, but I used a digital watt meter to measure everything.

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    jz | |2008-03-29 17:51:01


    way it worked out.

    I think this conversation
    about putting a black back ground up to save a watt is for idiots. My
    suggestion is people who care, get rid of their CRT’s and buy an LCD,

    AND Then
    TURN THE BRIGHTNESS DOWN A bit! If not to 10%, then 20% which VERY nice and
    bright. Note: Different models respond differently, but they pretty close to
    each other. I’m commenting on the Westing House 22 inch which is kind of a
    rebranded Samsung.

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    jz | |2008-03-29 17:48:48

    I just paid to replace 3 19inch CRT’s with 3 LCD 22 inch. Power savings – CRT =
    91 watts on average. LCD = 21 watts. I lower the LCD brightness because it’s
    just too bright when they ship it from the factory.

    In the show room they are
    trying to show they are the brightest, but most college kids and many adults
    have no clue that these are too bright. Even if they turn them down to 50% it’s
    still too bright. But try telling them that after they get used to it.
    Compared to old CRT’s, to get the equivalent brightness on a Westing House 22
    inch, it should be set to 10% believe it or not. 15% to 20% at most.

    anyone listen?, probably not, but I know I’m right. At 10% brightness, I use
    1/2 the watts at 21 watts as I do at full brightness (42watts) which is
    blinding, especially after starting at Googles white back ground. I admit I
    initially did it because it was too bright, but hey, that’s the truth and the
    way it w…

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    Ken B – Too Bright | |2008-03-30 02:50:23

    I agree 100% – the marketing battle over brightness is absolutely insane. I
    have to set LCDs at 10% to avoid eye irritation myself. On some models, I
    actually have to turn it down as far as it will go!

    Reply | Quote 0 1

    Mark Alexander – Okay then | |2008-03-30 06:12:26

    well I prefer to read my email in plain view and not strain to see them. I mean
    my god my eye care physician says my eyes are bad enough, I can only imagine
    what he would say if I told him if I straining to read every email I get just
    because I want to go green and turn the monitor down to 10% contrast.

    you try
    doing a friedel crafts workup in the dark with a 3D molecular minimization
    program at 10% contrast. good luck.

    Reply | Quote 1 0

    joshua – Brightness | |2008-03-30 07:17:06

    not the contrast down to 10% the BRIGHTNESS! to 10%

    Reply | Quote 2 0

    Mark Alexander – Sorry professor | |2008-03-30 11:42:03

    either one. I’ve tryed both.

    forget going green. I want to make sure that I
    won’t screw up the lab reaction. oh lets add the nitrating reagent there.

    oops sorry professor, I made TNT purposly on accident because the people
    from the green moniter society told me to turn the brightness down.

    get real.

    Reply | Quote 0 0

    Deekoo L. – Data reanalysis | |2008-03-29 10:47:54

    It looks to me like, running your figures and assuming that they’re acceptable
    generalizations for the entire global installed monitor base, black-background
    pages represent a net power savings as long as CRTs represent more than 1% of
    all monitor use – while neither of the numbers is big, the average power use
    delta for CRTs is a hundred times that for LCDs.

    (Still, I do agree that the
    world should pay far more attention to computers that are left on when they
    don’t need to be than it currently does.)

    Reply | Quote 4 1

    Deekoo L. | |2008-03-30 07:32:15

    [turning off the flood of notification mails.]

    Reply | Quote 0 0

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  5. See, lots of debate on the subject. It’s too bad it’s a minimal savings, I always look for energy-saving tips to get these BGE bills down! And here, I was going to tell my wife to only shop at Internet sites with darker screens!

  6. Heading to Charleston SC in a couple of weeks – still anxious to hear about your recent trip!

  7. Your neighbors had lights on so they didn’t have to view the monstrosity of a satellite dish strapped to your roof.

  8. Oooooooh…zinger from a neighbor!!! In my defense, my satellite dish is ummmm, kinda discreet, at least as discreet as one can be. OK, it’s the only place I can get service….I need my dish, come on!!

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