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Do you turn your computer on and off regularly?

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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:51 AM
Original message
Poll question: Do you turn your computer on and off regularly?
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 06:54 AM by ikojo
My question came up as a result of reading this DU thread

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

A guy had a hard drive crash and had to pay a fair sum to recover data. While reading the thread many people wrote that they don't turn off their computers. I found this interesting.

I have an Apple Powerbook (12 inch) and it is rarely if ever turned off. It chugs along. It does better than chug...after all it IS a Mac (my first ). I DO close the screen though and I guess it goes into some sort of power saver mode but it is not turned off.

I also have a Windows based laptop...I would NEVER think of leaving it on day after day as I do my Mac. When I leave the Windows machine on it loses time and just does not act right.

Is there a difference in how the two platforms react when left on and not powered off regularly?

Thanks for your responses!

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. I never turn off my machines

except for my laptop. However WINBLOWS machines require
frequent therapeutic reboots (IMHO). Power cycles are
different. The laptop gets turned off at least once a day.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
16. Depends on the Windows....
.... 98 absolutely required being reboot every so often.

I leave my XP machine on all the time, it will go well over a month without a need to reboot.

Back in the 90s, I had an Interactive UNIX PC that ran for almost a year without a reboot :)

In general, it is my personal opinion (as a PC junkie since 1980) that your computer will last longer if you just leave it on. Energy use is a consideration only if you are running A/C, because most of the energy a computer uses is converted to heat.
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huellewig Donating Member (700 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. Leave them on.
The power surge from starting-up damages the little connections inside. And You don't need to turn your Mac off. My iBook ran for 6 months without ever shutting down. I only restarted for software updates. Just close the lid and open it when you need it. Mine went to work and back home everyday for years without problems.
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teach1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
3. I have many different computers...
Windows 98 and ME machines do need frequent reboots. My XP boxes can go for days and days. My pre OS-10 Macs seem to enjoy a reboot every few days, but not as much as Win 98 and ME boxes need.
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lateo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. Mean Time To Failure
All hard drives have a MTTF rating that is measured in hours. Turn your computer off if you aren't using it. Not only will it save your hard drive but you will use less energy.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. except that those test are done based on hours USING your drives
they don't test for failure rates when your computer is on but you're not using your drive.

most modern hard drives are idle when not in use, and so are very unlikely to degrade.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
17. Sorry...
.. but I don't agree with you.

Starting and stopping the platter rotation is the most critical time in a hard drives life, when the head is most likely to touch the media (which is bad :)) Leave it on, it will last longer.
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unblock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 06:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. none of the above
the power supply system is always most vulnerable component of any computer system. you should not power cycle overly frequently.

however, windows does need to be rebooted often. this solves many problems that microswift can't be bothered to fix properly.

so, i leave my computer on all the time, but soft reboot as needed. only rarely do i actually power cycle.
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:15 AM
Response to Original message
7. electricity costs and noise
Here in scotland, the electricity bill is HIGH, and running
computers all the time costs about 400 bucks a month. As well, it
is very quiet round here, and the computer fan is REALLY noisy that
i shut it down if i'm not using it.

In new york city, i never used to turn them off. Electricity was
cheap, and the ambient noise level so high, that a few fans was just
part of the chorus. If the average american paid the REAL cost of
electricity, a lot more computers would probably be getting turned
off when not in use. I suspect that the future of high energy
costs and reducing greenhouse emissions may affect things so.

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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. I activate the energy-saving features
After fifteen minutes of idleness, my monitor shuts off and my computer powers down from a 230W draw to about 5% of that.

None the less, my next computer will be a laptop model, since I will be able to carry it around and use it during thunderstorms and power failures. Going into an era of energy shortages, this makes sense.

--bkl
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. same here
It is almost painful to hear how people waste the energy for PCs (and other machines) doing nothing useful. Throwing the money out of the window directly would be a lot better for the environment.

And "power saving" is a joke. While it has all the supposed disadvantages(but high temperatures are a lot worse than booting up) of actually shutting down the PC, it still pulls 20-30W. Even completely shut down, most machines use more than 10W - pulling the plug is the only way to keep 'em from doing so.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:20 AM
Response to Original message
8. I'm running
Edited on Sun Nov-14-04 07:21 AM by hobbit709
5 computers at my house with Windoze2000. I never shut them down except during thunderstorms. I have had hard drives crash in as little as 10 days and my last drive crashed 2 months before the 3year warranty ran out, so I got a free replacement. It's easier to recover data if you partition your drive and NEVER keep your data on the c: drive.
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BAPhill Donating Member (168 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:22 AM
Original message
I'm split on this issue.
At work, I prefer the systems left on (although logged off).
At home my XP box is off unless I'm activly using it.
I also have a 15inch Powerbook...I use it once or twice a
week, mostly for iPhoto, so it's put away most of the time.
I imagine that keeping it on all the time would be hard
on the battery.
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katinmn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:22 AM
Response to Original message
9. I turn the laptop off when not in use
My Dell laptop (ca. 2000 - would never buy another one) heats up so it makes sense to turn it off. However, I leave my PC on for days at a time and it doesn't seem to matter. I do make a point of rebooting it once or twice a week, partly out of necessity. (Because of all the fixes and upgrades that MS has to send out to correct problems with thier programs.)
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:23 AM
Response to Original message
10. well, my system runs stable for days and weeks
But I turn it off for energy saving reasons. Also, it is better for the machine.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
11. Tales of Windows pefidy
Windows 3.1 crashed all the time, at least once an hour when I was editing documents on it.

Windows 3.11 for Workgroups worked a lot better, averaging a crash a day.

Windows 95/98 was much better than that. I could go for a week or more without a crash. Unless I was programming with API calls, when it would crash every several hours.

I've been using Windows 2000 now for over two years -- almost three, actually. The ONLY crashes I've EVER had happened during shut-down, and those are still very rare. And in EVERY case I've looked at, the Registry had been properly written and "closed" before the crash, which appeared to have come from some instruction in RAM, as far as I could tell with the limited experience in low-level system debugging I have.

That's right. No matter how badly I abuse it, Windows 2000 has never crashed on me in the middle of work.

Not once.

Never.

Give credit where credit is due. As much as I support applying anti-trust law to Microsoft, bad Microsoft software is largely a thing of the past.

--bkl
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sweetheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #11
22. windows 2000
I had it lock up, so the mouse stops moving. This, though was
with LARGE documents in word with embedded visio objects.

Putting it on standby with programs running was also a sure fire
way to destabilize win 2000... and switching back and forthe between
a video games engine and the OS as well.

The OS is soooo fat, i fault it for being sloppy fat, and not having
a clean round robin, that applications take down the OS if they go
funny.

And all of that leaves out the crash by internet virus, which
microsoft's incompetent security system has created a whole industry
in.

They could use a clean re-write of the kernel, separating the
windowing manager process from the kernel services. Compared to
Solaris, windows 2000 still has some work. I've never managed to
destabilize my solaris machines ever, even with catastrophically bad
programs. As a programmer, i could memory leak it to death, but
when my application finally goes down, it recovers perfectly.

What i really want from my internet appliance, however, is a single
disk DVD, that can rebuild the machine right fast with all the
software on it, enough to run explorer, word, excel and an ISDN
connection. It takes hours of system administration to set up such
a simplistic configuration in microsoftland.... there's still some
room for improvement to get towards the luddite's internet appliance.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:00 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. My question
Why isn't the Windows OS the object of the same effort that got GNU going? From what I hear, a complete re-write of the OS with extensions to allow Linux compatibility would be an "easy" task (although that's from listening to Linux-heads bragging).

I've never had a program crash while on standby, in any mode, etc. The main problem I encounter is program hangs, and it's inevitably the program's doing. I'll have to ask my brother, a systems engineer, if he's encountered this. He's seen everything Microsoft can throw at a user.

Viruses have not been a problem for me, since I keep up-to-date on my virus checking images and Win2k hotfixes. But if you think the attacks on Windows means it's a bad system, I'd argue that. 95% of the virus and hacking efforts have gone into bringing Microsoft down. If Linux or Mac users had to contend with similar unpopularity or "133t hax0r" rage, we'd see the holes in those systems real fast.

There are rebuild discs available, but they're third-party or homebrew. Generally, they can do a non-destructive reinstall from a CD-ROM. But simplicity is still lacking in Linux land as well as MSLand (as for MacLand, I have no idea, but many of the Mac users I encounter hate the new OS). I have read a few articles on the Knoppix version of Linux and that sounds like a promising project.

I've been staying with Microsoft because for all the hype and hoopla, Linux/GNU isn't the clean-and-lean, bulletproof system it's cracked up to be. Even with Windows open software, I've been disappointed -- I tried Mozilla for a few days and it's weaknesses far surpassed its strengths. I would love to chuck Bill's software for an open system, but it's still a few years too early yet.

Platform-specific, fat, buggy software was supposed to go the way of the steam engine by 1995. What happened?

--bkl
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benburch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
12. Macs usually need to be rebooted only for system updates.
As I do those pretty much as they come out, this means I go a few weeks between reboots, usually.
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Rooktoven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
15.  09:09:57 up 119 days, 16:26, 3 users, load average: 0.22, 0.17, 0.10
I guess that's a "no". (But then I run Rock-solid Linux.)

And by the way, as much as I like mac os x, in a networked environment sometimes you do have to reboot because of how tightly Aqua (the GUI) is tied to the OS. In many cases you could hunt for lots of services to stop and restart, but rebooting ends up being quicker. This would not be the case if it had less Netinfo stuff and did more by straight bsd/unix standards.
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
18. How about a Linux option?
:D
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Rooktoven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. I'd be curious to know the amount of Linux users vs mac users
here.

Disclaimer: I run Mac OS X at work, and on my company-sponsored laptop. But my home workstation is Slackware Linux.
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qnr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #18
25. my Linux machines are on 24/7
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
19. All you people saying you leave them on, what about the energy costs?
Wasn't my mother right when she said that I was singlehandedly causing our electric bill to be like 500 bucks a month by keeping my computer on?

:silly:
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
21. I used to leave mine on 18 hours a day.
The only reason I'd shut it down is the fan is noisy and I compute in my bedroom.
then I started wondering how much juice I was going through, so I started shutting it down when I'm not here.

I noticed an aproximate $8-$12 decrease in the monthly electricity bill. Since my bill now runs around $29, that wasn't exactly chicken feed, now was it?

The Pooter is almost 5 years old, and since I put WIN2K in it to replace the ME OS, it's very well-behaved.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:07 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. exactly
A PC pulls 200+W of power in normal operation (more during games)
10-100W in "power saving" mode
5-30W if shut down
0W with the plug pulled.

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miss_kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
26. you know i fell asleep with my box on last night
i woke up, it was on standby. I took it to desktop and clicked the Firefox icon, and it took a little vacation on its own. So I try to be in control of the 'Off' and 'On' functions myself. It doesn't always work that way though.

:crazy:
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Chovexani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
27. My iMac is left on all the time
I just use the Energy Saving features on it.

My Win98 machine though? Only left on if I'm downloading stuff off BitTorrent. That thing tends to lose its mind if I leave it on for more than a day. Blue screens out the yin-yang.
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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-14-04 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
28. I turn mine off when not in use and here's why..........
Most newer PC's have at least two cooling fans inside the box. Whenever the PC is on so are the fans. These fans are always sucking dust inside that gets coated on the motherboard and acts like insulation and builds up heat. If you have had yours for a year or more you might want to open it up, you might be surprised no matter how clean you might think the room is where you use it. When your processor gets too hot it will shut down without notice. So if you are having unexplained shutdowns you might want to check for this. Take it outside and gently brush it off with a soft bristle clean paint brush. Dust can build up inside a monitor too although not as often as they don't have cooling fans ordinarily.
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