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Monday, December 28, 2009

Do You Stay Online?

I leave my computer on all day and all night long. The only time I ever turn it off is when I'm on the road. And then when I reach my destination, the computer once again stays on 24/7.

Some of the sites I belong to have a feature that tells others when I'm online, that is, when the internet is connected to them, but I'm afraid that's misleading. I'm sure there's a way to turn that feature off, but I don't always find it.

So if you 'see' me online, it could be a mirage. Since I can't sit for very long, I pop in for a few minutes and check the cyber world before I disappear once more.

I used to dutifully turn off my computer if I was going to be off more than an hour, but an IT person at work told me I was doing more harm turning it on and off that often. It was best to leave it on. So I have, with no ill effects in all these many years.

It's certainly a more expedient use of my time than waiting for it to boot up. I mean, like what if I have a brilliant idea? (Hey, it can happen!) With my meager brain cells I could lose the idea before the darn computer wakes up. And don't even mention paper and pen. I can never find them when I need them.

So if you see that I'm "on", it's quite possible I'm actually out cutting brush, washing dogs, or...GASP...even writing. So I'm on, except when I'm off.

Does your computer stay on all the time?


Diane Craver said...


I enjoyed your post! Our old computer is slow so I don't use it often and shut it down at night. I'd like to leave my laptop on but drives my husband nuts if I don't shut it down every time I leave it to do something else. It's a pain. Oh yeah, he's retired. :)

Dru said...

I was told the same thing so I leave mines on once I turn it on in the morning, but I do turn it off before I go to bed.

Since you keep your computer on all day, assuming it is a laptop, do you have a cooling mat for it? I bought one of those cooling mats for my laptop.

Have a good Monday.

Kaylie said...

I turn mine off at night, but it's on all day unless I'm going somewhere. I'm not paying for all that electricity if I don't have to.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Diane,

My research shows that laptops use less electricity than desktops. I completely understand leaving your laptop on. Mine takes forever to boot up too. (It's old.) Because it does heat up, I shut it down at night though.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Dru,
A cooling mat is a good idea. I normally use my desktop because it has the big screen. If my injuries keep me bedridden, I use the laptop.

Next time I go to the electronics store, I'll look for those cooling mats. Thanks!

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Kaylie,

When I had the day job, I shut it off during the day. But since I'm in and out all day now, I leave it on.

To save money, I always shut off the monitor and the pc is automatically set to hibernate if none of the keys are touched for more than ten minutes.

Kaz Augustin said...

Wow, how interesting! I always power down at the end of the day but for different reasons. For my Linux machines, it's a question of heat and noise. (I have 4 machines, in total, running in my office at any given time.) For my Windows machine, it's because the operating system is sloppily-written and goes a bit "woozy" after 3 or so days of being continually on.

From my reading, the biggest point of failure with the constant on-off thing is hard disk wear but I'm of the opinion that HDDs get flaky after 3-5 years anyway, so we have a family policy of always replacing them within that time-frame. This is a problem when you run Windows, because Redmond doesn't like you installing the same licence multiple times, even if it's only on successive machines. For Linux, it isn't a problem at all.

Carol Burge said...

Hi Maria,

I was told the same thing. I leave my computer on until it starts running sluggish, then I do a shut down and restart and it's good to go for a couple of weeks.

And you're right. Sites like MySpace (and I think FaceBook, too)show that you're online, but I'm like you, Maria. I leave my desktop on and check it off and on through out the day, so, yes, that's kind of misleading. Even though it shows I'm "online" I may not be. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Kaz,

4 machines at once? Wow. I think it's a good idea to give it a shut down every few days just to refresh it. Whenever I notice mine acting sluggishly I shut it down for a few minutes and reboot.

PS --glad I don't run 4 machines at once.

Maria Zannini said...

Hey Carol!

I'll bet some people must think we never sleep. :o)

Mike Keyton said...

Gosh, you've struck a nerve with this post. I'm the worst of both world, a computer geek who knows nothing and hence is permanently worried. And I have a rampant eco-warrior for a daughter who reinforces my mean streak when it comes to electricity bills. The computer goes off every night, but during the day it's put on 'standbye' everytime we leave it for a time. AND I have the uneasy feeling that that too is probably not very good for the hard drive.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Mike,

I noticed one of my sites showed me as online and realized, oh heck, people must think I never sleep.

I wondered if anyone else did what I did.

Shelley Munro said...

I'd never thought about until I read your post. I have my laptop on all day while I'm writing etc, but turn it off at night.
I didn't realize you could get cooling pads for a laptop. I must go and check them out.

Marianne Arkins said...

My computer is always logged on, but it "sleeps" after ten minutes, so all the chat whoosies and whatnots that say I'm online also sleep. But, it's just easier to pop on in short spurts. Like you, I'm typically doing a hundred other things.

Maria Zannini said...

Hi Shelley,

Years ago I had a desktop with heating problems which was solved as soon as we replaced the fan with a bigger one, but I never thought about the laptop and it can get hot. I really need to look into that too.

Maria Zannini said...

Hey Marianne!

I didn't know the sites would see a connected computer as sleeping. I thought maybe you had to tell it so.

I noticed on a few of them like Skype, you had to tell it you were online but away--or something like that.

Liane Spicer said...

I usually set my online thingummies (gmail, Facebook, etc.) to show that I'm 'offline' or 'invisible' because I'm not comfortable with everyone seeing when I sign in and out. I never sign out of my main accounts on my laptop anyway.

Since I got a new laptop last year - oops, make that the year before last - I've gotten into the habit of not shutting down completely, sometimes for weeks at a time. I send it to sleep, or hibernate if I'll be away from my desk for awhile. I also set it to hibernate overnight. I do a restart every couple of weeks and the computer seems none the worse for it.

Maria Zannini said...

Liane: I think it's smart not to show when you're online. I don't think that's anyone's business, really. I try to do that if I can find the on/off thingy.

Like you, my machine stays on, though I think it's a good idea to cycle it every few days just to refresh the cache.