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Re: Retiring the sparc32 port

On Wed, Jul 18, 2007 at 03:00:28PM +0100, andrew holway wrote:
> Its only wasteful if they end up in a landfill. If they could be
> recycled? Another important factor to consider is power consumption.
> If you have several V8's (circa early 90's?) running I shudder think
> how much juice they draw.
> That is the true waste.
> Ask yourself, what is the carbon footprint of my computing platforms?
> Old gear becomes redundant not only because of processing/space but
> also processing/power consumption.

Old micro machines are only power inefficient on a performance/energy
ratio, and that's only significant if you need more performance. If
you buy a new machine and end up using more power overall but are
doing the same job at 2% capacity, that's not a net power savings.

Like Chris said, new machines generally draw a lot more power overall.
My Ultra 5 that I use as my desktop can draw 200W max, and probably
doesn't really draw much over 100W total. Compare that to a typical
modern PC desktop that has a 400W supply in it and probably draws well
over 200W, mostly to power a GPU so it can display silly bouncing
icons and semi-transparent window edges.

Also I think the production costs of a new machine are often far more
important than energy use. I've read it takes a ton and a half of raw
materials to produce one new PC-class computer. Sending an old machine
to a recycler may be feel-good, but the only thing really usefully
recyclable in the machine is the metal of the case. There are also
some trace precious metals in the components that can be extracted
using a very dirty process, usually in polluted third-world cottege
industry operations that make Alang look like not a bad place to work.

Jordan Bettis

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