Local Cooling is a software for Windows by the Uniblue Group. Everyone with either Windows XP or Windows Vista can download the application and start saving energy right now. The main interface is listing the hardware installed in your computer and the estimated power usage of each pc component. The estimated power PC usage for my computer is 153 Watts for instance with the cpu using 59 Watts alone.
Local Cooling [via Shell Extension City (You guys rock)]is not applying magic however. All it does is offer the user easy access to energy saving options that can also be accessed in Windows independently. It does however offer the user power saving modes with which can be changed with the click of the mouse button in the Local Cooling interface. Low, Medium, High and Custom power saving modes are available to choose from.
These modes change the idle time before the monitor is switched off, before hard drives spin down and the PC is shutdown. A high power saving mode turns the monitor off after 5 minutes of idle time while a low one after 15 minutes.
The custom setting accepts any values and can increase or decrease the idle time before the power saving mode kicks in.
The question that I have been asking myself however was why someone would need Local Cooling at all. I mean, the settings are available right in the Windows Control Panel, right ?
I have two possible answers for you. The first is accessibility. You start Local Cooling and all you need to do is press one button and you are saving energy. That's better than locating those power saving options somewhere in the Windows options, if you know that such settings exist.
The second answer is the community effect. If you known Seti or Folding at home you know that you can create groups and compare what your computer / group has achieved against others who participate. You can do the same with Local Cooling.
It is possible to create or join a group and check your stats online and how they compare to other users. You could create a group for your school, workplace or University and see how it compares against the other groups.
Oh, there is one last element that users will like. It details the Savings on your PC in saved trees, galllons and kWh. And it made the realize that I probably could use the AMD Cool & Quiet technology to run my cpu with less power to save energy. I write and surf the web most of the time anyway.
Update: The Local Cooling web page seems to have been taken over by another company or individual. You do not find the latest version of the program there anymore for download. We have uploaded the latest version of the program to our own server. It appears to work fine on newer versions of Windows as well. To download the latest version, click on the following link: [Download not found]
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.