Diane Trout (alienghic) wrote,
Diane Trout

I recently caught myself reflecting on my desire for more bits of technology. And wondered if I was returning to the consumerist fold. The small single board computer that I bought recently was part of a recent spat of purchases. My justification was that since california has a power crisis investing in efficient equipment was a good thing..

The power generation for my previous computer would produce about 1700 pounds of CO2 for 24/7 service, the new computer about 260. (The previous system was using about 130 watts, the new about 30.)

On the other hand do I actually need to be hosting web sites and email off of my home computer? Using no computer would produce no CO2. But still I fork out quite a bit of money so I can keep my little toys running. I'm just trying to minimize my environmental impact, while enjoying my tech toys.

I currently have a temperature sensor plugged into my computer and, I want to pick up a few more temperature sensors and perhaps a humidity sensor or two. With that I can plot what the current environment is like inside and outside of my apartment is. Going even further I had an idea to put together a sensor that roughly determines how much power a device is using, with that and some software I could set up my website to give a rough estimate of my current power usage and from that my current CO2 emissions.

Though is there really a point to this? I think I may be doing it just because I can.

I suppose with a good data collection scheme I could evaluate how well various improvements to my weatherizing project are working. If I successfully documented what I was doing I would be providing a resource for the net.

On the other hand shouldn't I be working harder at getting myself out of debt? And although I've been collecting data I haven't updated my website to provide any way of displaying it.

The frustrating part is once you've started a project there's the temptation to keep going, even when you need to wait for your next round of funding. Right now I really want to switch my new computer to solar power, my best guess is that will cost around $1000 USD. Expensive, but manageable for me.

But is this really a good way to be spending money? Once debt free, assuming that I'm not buying large purchases (like solar panels), each month that I work produces enough money for two months of living expenses.


Sometimes I think I can just get caught up in worrying about something without there really ever being a possible conclusion.

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