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Toby Heap of Blackle
Blackle founder Toby Heap

Off-Grid will shortly be announcing a deal with the inventors of the off-grid computer to bring a souped up version to our readers. Low energy computing and communications technology are subjects we will be devoting considerable time to next year, but meanwhile, please check out Blackle, a brilliant, low-energy version of Google. Blackle searches are powered by Google Custom Search, so you lose no search power, just save electrical power. By simply having a black screen instead of a white one, Blackle saves energy, although how much depends on your screen.

Blackle saves energy because the screen is predominantly black. “Image displayed is primarily a function of the user’s color settings and desktop graphics, as well as the color and size of open application windows; a given monitor requires more power to display a white (or light) screen than a black (or dark) screen.” Roberson et al, 2002

In January 2007 a blog post titled Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year proposed the theory that a black version of the Google search engine would save a fair bit of energy due to the popularity of the search engine. Since then there has been skepticism about the significance of the energy savings that can be achieved and the cost in terms of readability of black web pages.
Blackle believe that there is value in the concept because even if the energy savings are small, they all add up. Secondly they feel that seeing Blackle every time we load our web browser reminds us that we need to keep taking small steps to save energy.
So set Blackle as your home page. This way every time you load your Internet browser you will save a little bit of energy. Remember every bit counts! You will also be reminded about the need to save energy each time you see the Blackle page load.

Blackle was created by Heap Media.

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2 Responses to “Low energy computing”

  1. Energy Independence: Part I at Wise Living Journal

    […] Now, the price we pay per kilowatt from the utility is more than the utility will pay us for the kilowatts we produce. Having looked into the cost and hassle of battery banks, I am fairly convinced the price difference is reasonable so that we can avoid on-site storage. We have been slowly but surely replacing appliances over the years with more energy efficient models, and are keeping ultra low-use and pedal powered models in mind as they develop for our next computers, radio/stereo, TV/video replacements. And of course we’re buying nothing but low-watt flourescent bulbs for lighting, even while keeping a stash of mantle-type oil lamps on hand. […]

    Reply
  2. Energy Independence: Part I at Life on a Shoestring Budget

    […] Now, the price we pay per kilowatt from the utility is more than the utility will pay us for the kilowatts we produce. Having looked into the cost and hassle of battery banks, I am fairly convinced the price difference is reasonable so that we can avoid on-site storage. We have been slowly but surely replacing appliances over the years with more energy efficient models, and are keeping ultra low-use and pedal powered models in mind as they develop for our next computers, radio/stereo, TV/video replacements. And of course we’re buying nothing but low-watt flourescent bulbs for lighting, even while keeping a stash of mantle-type oil lamps on hand. […]

    Reply

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