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Computing in tough times

17 October 2008

With the smell of a severe downturn in the air, it's time to consider how to save money on your technology.

A few years back, the answer was easy as computers were largely a luxury so it was a simple matter of not using or buying them. Today IT is a necessity for business and a vital part of many households.

Given that, here's some ideas on making your computers less painful on the wallet.

Computing in tough times

There's the smell of recession in the air and when money gets tight, computer spending is usually the first thing to get cut. This usually isn't necessary and for businesses can actually be a mistake.

It's possible to cut spending without compromising your systems, here's some quick ideas.

Turn the things off

It's so simple, yet so many people don't do it. In an office environment simply turning your computer off when it's not in use can save over 75% of energy costs.

Another simple trick is to turn off peripherals like scanners and printers when the computer isn't in use. Most modern peripherals go into sleep mode when they aren't in use, meaning they could be using power for days without being used.

We recommend plugging all your peripherals into a surge protected power board with an on/off switch making it easy to turn them off when you don't need them.

Stop printing

The paperless office is still largely a myth. But that doesn't excuse you from minimising the amount of paper you use. It's estimated the average office worker uses 50kg of paper a year.

Cutting that by 50% saves ten reams of paper a year, at least $50 a year or 5000 pages. The cost of power and consumables at least double this.

For households with inkjet printers, the cost of consumables is even more. Reducing the use of these helps the environment and saves costs.

Review contracts

Internet and mobile phone costs have plummeted in recent years. If you haven't shopped around on what you're paying for your plan then you are probably paying too much.

We've seen people save over $1,000 a year simply by calling their Internet provider.Our page on choosing an Internet Service Provider has more details on the questions you should be asking.

Clean up your computers

If your computer is running slow a cleanup might be in order. Our IT Queries website has instructions on doing it yourself or you can call one of our technicians.



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©Technology Publishing Australia, 2008