Some competition takes a whimsical form, like "Flying Toaster
" screen savers.
And NRDC says to lose the screensavers: "Flying toasters
and slideshows can use up about $50 of electricity in a year." Lastly, when shopping for new office appliances, look for the EnergyStar label which means that the federal government has rated the particular unit highly in terms of energy efficiency.
If the computer wasn't being used for a few minutes, a "screen saver" would take over and blank the screen or temporarily change the display to show moving lines or flying toasters
. Improvements to monitors eventually made the burn-in problem moot, and today's government-mandated energy-saving capabilities will turn off the monitor when the computer is idle.
"Why not search for extraterrestrials instead of looking at goldfish or flying toasters
?" says Dan Wertheimer, chief scientist for SETI(at)home at the University of California at Berkeley.
"They seem to particularly enjoy watching one we have with flying toasters
- It must have something to do with the wings."
Like a screen saver that prolongs the life of idle monitors (without saving any power) by drawing on their screen flying toasters
, Spyrographs, tropical fish or the sort of starfield you'd see from the Starship Enterprise, Energy Star equipment goes dormant every time you're interrupted by a phone call, doorbell, crying child or visit from a fellow employee.
Your home computer could soon be doing something much more useful in its idle moments than conjuring up images of flying toasters
- it could be looking for aliens.
And the most addictive images - fish and flying toasters