Posted October 25th, 2010 at 01:58am
A business (also known as company, enterprise, or firm) is a legally recognized organization designed to provide goods, services, or both to consumers or tertiary business in exchange for money. Businesses are predominant in capitalist economies, in which most businesses are privately owned and typically formed to earnprofit that will increase the wealth of its owners (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .
The owners and operators of private, for-profit businesses have as one of their main objectives the receipt or generation of a financial return in exchange for work and acceptance of risk. Businesses can also be formed not-for-profit or be state-owned.
The etymology of "business" relates to the state of being busy either as an individual or society as a whole, doing commercially viable and profitable work (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
The term "business" has at least three usages, depending on the scope — the singular usage (above) to mean a particular company or corporation, the generalized usage to refer to a particular market sector, such as "the music business" and compound forms such as agribusiness, or the broadest meaning to include all activity by the community of suppliers of goods and services. However, the exact definition of business, like much else in the philosophy of business, is a matter of debate and complexity of meanings (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
Basic forms of ownership
See also: Types of business entity
Although forms of business ownership vary by jurisdiction, there are several common forms:
There are many types of businesses, and because of this, businesses are classified in many ways. One of the most common focuses on the primary profit-generating activities of a business (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery) :
There are many other divisions and subdivisions of businesses. The authoritative list of business types for North America is generally considered to be the North American Industry Classification System, or NAICS. The equivalent European Union list is the Statistical Classification of Economic Activities in the European Community (NACE) (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .
The efficient and effective operation of a business, and study of this subject, is called management. The main branches of management are financial management, marketing management, human resource management, strategic management, production management, operation management, service management and information technology management (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .
Reforming State Enterprises
In recent decades, assets and enterprises that were run by various states have been modeled after business enterprises. In 2003, the People's Republic of China reformed 80% of its state-owned enterprises and modeled them on a company-type management system (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery) .
Many state institutions and enterprises in China and Russia have been transformed into joint-stock companies, with part of their shares being listed on public stock markets.
Organization and government regulation
Most legal jurisdictions specify the forms of ownership that a business can take, creating a body of commercial law for each type (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) .
The major factors affecting how a business is organized are usually:
Many businesses are operated through a separate entity such as a corporation or a partnership (either formed with or without limited liability). Most legal jurisdictions allow people to organize such an entity by filing certain charter documents with the relevant Secretary of State or equivalent and complying with certain other ongoing obligations (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .
The relationships and legal rights of shareholders, limited partners, or members are governed partly by the charter documents and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the entity is organized. Generally speaking, shareholders in a corporation, limited partners in a limited partnership, and members in a limited liability company are shielded from personal liability for the debts and obligations of the entity, which is legally treated as a separate "person ." (Acer Aspire One battery) .
This means that unless there is misconduct, the owner's own possessions are strongly protected in law, if the business does not succeed.
Where two or more individuals own a business together but have failed to organize a more specialized form of vehicle, they will be treated as a general partnership. The terms of a partnership are partly governed by a partnership agreement if one is created, and partly by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery) .
No paperwork or filing is necessary to create a partnership, and without an agreement, the relationships and legal rights of the partners will be entirely governed by the law of the jurisdiction where the partnership is located.
A single person who owns and runs a business is commonly known as a sole proprietor, whether he or she owns it directly or through a formally organized entity (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery) .
A few relevant factors to consider in deciding how to operate a business include:
Main article: Commercial law
Most commercial transactions are governed by a very detailed and well-established body of rules that have evolved over a very long period of time, it being the case that governing trade and commerce was a strong driving force in the creation of law and courts in Western civilization (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery) .
As for other laws that regulate or impact businesses, in many countries it is all but impossible to chronicle them all in a single reference source. There are laws governing treatment of labor and generally relations with employees, safety and protection issues (Health and Safety), anti-discrimination laws (age, gender, disabilities, race, and in some jurisdictions, sexual orientation), minimum wage laws, union laws, workers compensation laws, and annual vacation or working hours time (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
In some specialized businesses, there may also be licenses required, either due to special laws that govern entry into certain trades, occupations or professions, which may require special education, or by local governments. Professions that require special licenses range from law and medicine to flying airplanes to selling liquor to radio broadcasting to selling investment securities to selling used cars to roofing (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery) .
Local jurisdictions may also require special licenses and taxes just to operate a business without regard to the type of business involved.
Some businesses are subject to ongoing special regulation. These industries include, for example, public utilities, investment securities, banking, insurance,broadcasting, aviation, and health care providers. Environmental regulations are also very complex and can impact many kinds of businesses in unexpected ways (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery) .
When businesses need to raise money (called 'capital'), more laws come into play. A highly complex set of laws and regulations govern the offer and sale of investment securities (the means of raising money) in most Western countries. These regulations can require disclosure of a lot of specific financial and other information about the business and give buyers certain remedies (Dell Inspiron Mini 10 Battery) .
Because "securities" is a very broad term, most investment transactions will be potentially subject to these laws, unless a special exemption is available.
Capital may be raised through private means, by public offer (IPO) on a stock exchange, or in many other ways (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
Major stock exchanges include the Shanghai Stock Exchange, Singapore Exchange, Hong Kong Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq (USA), the London Stock Exchange (UK), theTokyo Stock Exchange (Japan), and so on. Most countries with capital markets have at least one (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
Business that have gone "public" are subject to extremely detailed and complicated regulation about their internal governance (such as how executive officers' compensation is determined) and when and how information is disclosed to the public and their shareholders (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
In the United States, these regulations are primarily implemented and enforced by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other Western nations have comparable regulatory bodies. The regulations are implemented and enforced by the China Securities Regulation Commission (CSRC), in China. In Singapore, the regulation authority is Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and in Hong Kong, it is Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ150E Battery) .
As noted at the beginning, it is impossible to enumerate all of the types of laws and regulations that impact on business today. In fact, these laws have become so numerous and complex, that no business lawyer can learn them all, forcing increasing specialization among corporate attorneys. It is not unheard of for teams of 5 to 10 attorneys to be required to handle certain kinds of corporate transactions, due to the sprawling nature of modern regulation (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .
Commercial law spans general corporate law, employment and labor law, healthcare law, securities law, M&A law (who specialize in acquisitions), tax law, ERISA law (ERISA in the United States governs employee benefit plans), food and drug regulatory law, intellectual property law (specializing in copyrights, patents, trademarks and such), telecommunications law, and more (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
In Thailand, for example, it is necessary to register a particular amount of capital for each employee, and pay a fee to the government for the amount of capital registered. There is no legal requirement to prove that this capital actually exists, the only requirement is to pay the fee. Overall, processes like this are detrimental to the development and GDP of a country, but often exist in "feudal" developing countries (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .
Businesses often have important "intellectual property" that needs protection from competitors for the company to stay profitable. This could require patents or copyrights or preservation of trade secrets. Most businesses have names, logos and similar branding techniques that could benefit from trademarking (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .
Patents and copyrights in the United States are largely governed by federal law, while trade secrets and trademarking are mostly a matter of state law. Because of the nature of intellectual property, a business needs protection in every jurisdiction in which they are concerned about competitors (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
Many countries are signatories to international treaties concerning intellectual property, and thus companies registered in these countries are subject to national laws bound by these treaties (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11m Battery) .
Businesses can be bought and sold. "Exit plan" describes how business owners refer to disposing of their business. Common exit plans include IPOs, MBOs and mergers with other businesses. Businesses are rarely liquidated, as it is often unprofitable to do so (Dell Studio 1555 Battery) .
Posted October 23rd, 2010 at 01:46am
Online shopping is the process whereby consumers directly buy goods or services from a seller in real-time, without an intermediary service, over the Internet. If an intermediary service is present the process is called electronic commerce. An online shop, eshop, e-store, internet shop, webshop, webstore, online store, or virtual store evokes the physical analogy of buying products or services at abricks-and-mortar retailer or in a shopping mall (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .
The process is called Business-to-Consumer (B2C) online shopping. When a business buys from another business it is called Business-to-Business (B2B) online shopping. Both B2C and B2B online shopping are forms of e-commerce.
In 1990 Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser. It opened for commercial use in 1991. In 1994 other advances took place, such as online banking and the opening of an online pizza shop by Pizza Hut (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
During that same year, Netscape introduced SSL encryption of data transferred online, which has become essential for secure online shopping. Also in 1994 the German company Intershop introduced its first online shopping system. In 1995 Amazon launched its online shopping site, and in 1996 eBay appeared (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
In recent years, online shopping has become popular; however, it still caters to the middle and upper class. In order to shop online, one must be able to have access to a computer, a bank account and a debit card. Shopping has evolved with the growth of technology. According to research found in the Journal of Electronic Commerce, if wefocus on the demographic characteristics of the in-home shopper, in general, the higher the level of education, income, and occupation of the head of the household, the more favourable the perception of non-store shopping (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
An influential factor in consumer attitude towards non-store shopping is exposure to technology, since it has been demonstrated that increased exposure to technology increases the probability of developing favourable attitudes towards new shopping channels.
Online shopping widened the target audience to men and women of the middle class. At first, the main users of online shopping were young men with a high level of income and a university education (ASUS EEE PC900 battery) .
This profile is changing. For example, in USA in the early years of Internet there were very few women users, but by 2001 women were 52.8% of the online population.
Consumers find a product of interest by visiting the website of the retailer directly, or do a search across many different vendors using a shopping search engine (Dell RM791 battery) .
Once a particular product has been found on the web site of the seller, most online retailers use shopping cart software to allow the consumer to accumulate multiple items and to adjust quantities, by analogy with filling a physical shopping cart or basket in a conventional store. A "checkout" process follows (continuing the physical-store analogy) in which payment and delivery information is collected, if necessary (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .
Some stores allow consumers to sign up for a permanent online account so that some or all of this information only needs to be entered once. The consumer often receives an e-mail confirmation once the transaction is complete. Less sophisticated stores may rely on consumers to phone or e-mail their orders (though credit card numbers are not accepted by e-mail, for security reasons) (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery) .
Online shoppers commonly use credit card to make payments, however some systems enable users to create accounts and pay by alternative means, such as (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery) :
Some sites will not allow international credit cards and billing address and shipping address have to be in the same country in which site does its business. Other sites allow customers from anywhere to send gifts anywhere. The financial part of a transaction might be processed in real time (for example, letting the consumer know their credit card was declined before they log off), or might be done later as part of the fulfillment process (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery) .
Once a payment has been accepted the goods or services can be delivered in the following ways.
bypassing the retailer's physical location to save time, money, and space.
Shopping cart systems
Online Shopping Malls
Like many online auction websites, many websites allow small businesses to create and maintain an online shops (ecommerce online shopping carts), without the complexity that involved in purchasing and developing an expensive stand alone ecommerce software solutions (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) .
Why does electronic shopping exist? For customers it is not only because of the high level of convenience, but also because of the broader selection; competitive pricing and greater access to information. For organizations it increases their customer value and the building of sustainable capabilities, next to the increased profits (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery) .
Designers of online shops should consider the effects of information load. Mehrabian and Russel (1974) introduced the concept of information rate (load) as the complex spatial and temporal arrangements of stimuli within a setting. The notion of information load is directly related to concerns about whether consumers can be given too much information in virtual shopping environments (Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery) .
Compared with conventional retail shopping, computer shopping enriches the information environment of virtual shopping by providing additional product information, such as comparative products and services, as well as various alternatives and attributes of each alternative, etc.
Two major sub-dimensions have been identified for information load: complexity and novelty (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ210CE Battery) .
Complexity refers to the number of different elements or features of a site, which can be the result of increased information diversity. Novelty involves the unexpected, suppressing, new, or unfamiliar aspects of the site. A research by Huang (2000) showed that the novelty dimension kept consumers exploring the shopping sites, whereas the complexity dimension has the potential to induce impulse purchases (Hp Pavilion dv3-1000 battery) .
The main idea of online shopping is not just in having a good looking website that could be listed in a lot of search engines or the art behind the site. It also is not only just about disseminating information, because it is also about building relationships and making money. Mostly, organizations try to adopt techniques of online shopping without understanding these techniques and/or without a sound business model (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .
Rather than supporting the organization's culture and brand name, the website should satisfy consumer's expectations. A majority of consumers choose online shopping for a faster and more efficient shopping experience. Many researchers notify that the uniqueness of the web has dissolved and the need for the design, which will be user centered, is very important. Companies should always remember that there are certain things, such as understanding the customer's wants and needs, living up to promises, never go out of style, because they give reason to come back (Acer Aspire One battery) .
And the reason will stay if consumers always get what they expect. McDonaldization theory can be used in terms of online shopping, because online shopping is becoming more and more popular and a website that wants to gain more shoppers will use four major principles of McDonaldization: efficiency, calculability, predictability and control (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery) .
Organizations, which want people to shop more online for them, should consume extensive amounts of time and money to define, design, develop, test, implement, and maintain the website. Also if a company wants their website to be popular among online shoppers it should leave the user with a positive impression about the organization, so consumers can get an impression that the company cares about them (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery) .
The organization that wants to be accepted in online shopping needs to remember, that it is easier to lose a customer then to gain one. Lots of researchers state that even when a site was "top-rated", it would go nowhere if the organization failed to live up to common etiquette, such as returning e-mails in a timely fashion, notifying customers of problems, being honest, and being good stewards of the customers' data (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .
Organizations that want to keep their customers or gain new ones should try to get rid of all mistakes and be more appealing to be more desirable for online shoppers. And this is why many designers of webshops consider research outcomes concerning consumer expectations. Research conducted by Elliot and Fowell (2000) revealed satisfactory and unsatisfactory customer experiences (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery) .
It is important to take the country and customers into account. For example, in Japan privacy is very important and emotional involvement is more important on a pension's site than on a shopping site. Next to that, there is a difference in experience: experienced users focus more on the variables that directly influence the task, while novice users are focusing more on understanding the information (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery) .
There are several techniques for the inspection of the usability. The ones used in the research of Chen & Macredie (2005) are Heuristic evaluation, cognitive walk through and the user testing. Every technique has its own (dis-)advantages and it is therefore important to check per situation which technique is appropriate (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery) .
When the customers went to the online shop, a couple of factors determine whether they will return to the site. The most important factors are the ease of use and the presence of user-friendly features.
The System Itself
The Shopping Cart system works like the name suggests. Firstly, the customer must choose the product desired from the source. Once this step is done, an option to add the product to the cart will be given, this step will assure that the item you desire will be bought (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery) .
Once the customer has finished browsing for other potential purchases and has decided that the product he chose previously is the one that he wants to buy, the user must then follow the steps provided by the website in order to fulfill the transaction (normally requires an active account and/or registration method). Lastly, the order will then be sent to the desired address at a predicted date, which may alter depending on the speed of the process (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
E-commerce B2C product sales totaled $146.4 billion in the United States in 2006, representing about 6% of retail product sales in the country. The $18.3 billion worth of clothes sold online represented about 10% of the domestic market.
For developing countries and low-income households in developed countries, adoption of e-commerce in place of or in addition to conventional methods is limited by a lack of affordable Internet access (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery) .
Online stores are usually available 24 hours a day, and many consumers have Internet access both at work and at home. Other establishments such as internet cafes and schools provide access as well. A visit to a conventional retail store requires travel and must take place during business hours (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery) .
In the event of a problem with the item – it is not what the consumer ordered, or it is not what they expected – consumers are concerned with the ease with which they can return an item for the correct one or for a refund. Consumers may need to contact the retailer, visit the post office and pay return shipping, and then wait for a replacement or refund. Some online companies have more generous return policies to compensate for the traditional advantage of physical stores (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
For example, the online shoe retailer Zappos.com includes labels for free return shipping, and does not charge a restocking fee, even for returns which are not the result of merchant error. (Note: In the United Kingdom, online shops are prohibited from charging a restocking fee if the consumer cancels their order in accordance with the Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Act 2000. (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) )
Information and reviews
Online stores must describe products for sale with text, photos, and multimedia files, whereas in a physical retail store, the actual product and the manufacturer's packaging will be available for direct inspection (which might involve a test drive, fitting, or other experimentation) (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
Some online stores provide or link to supplemental product information, such as instructions, safety procedures, demonstrations, or manufacturer specifications. Some provide background information, advice, or how-to guides designed to help consumers decide which product to buy.
Some stores even allow customers to comment or rate their items. There are also dedicated review sites that host user reviews for different products (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ150E Battery) .
In a conventional retail store, clerks are generally available to answer questions. Some online stores have real-time chat features, but most rely on e-mail or phone calls to handle customer questions.
Price and selection
One advantage of shopping online is being able to quickly seek out deals for items or services with many different vendors (though some local search engines do exist to help consumers locate products for sale in nearby stores) (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .
Search engines, online price comparison services and discovery shopping engines can be used to look up sellers of a particular product or service.
Shipping costs (if applicable) reduce the price advantage of online merchandise, though depending on the jurisdiction, a lack of sales tax may compensate for this (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
Shipping a small number of items, especially from another country, is much more expensive than making the larger shipments bricks-and-mortar retailers order. Some retailers (especially those selling small, high-value items like electronics) offer free shipping on sufficiently large orders (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .
Fraud and security concerns
Given the lack of ability to inspect merchandise before purchase, consumers are at higher risk of fraud on the part of the merchant than in a physical store. Merchants also risk fraudulent purchases using stolen credit cards or fraudulent repudiation of the online purchase. With a warehouse instead of a retail storefront, merchants face less risk from physical theft (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption has generally solved the problem of credit card numbers being intercepted in transit between the consumer and the merchant. Identity theft is still a concern for consumers when hackers break into a merchant's web site and steal names, addresses and credit card numbers. A number of high-profile break-ins in the 2000s has prompted some U.S. states to require disclosure to consumers when this happens (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11m Battery) .
Computer security has thus become a major concern for merchants and e-commerce service providers, who deploy countermeasures such as firewalls and anti-virus software to protect their networks.
Phishing is another danger, where consumers are fooled into thinking they are dealing with a reputable retailer, when they have actually been manipulated into feeding private information to a system operated by a malicious party. Denial of service attacks are a minor risk for merchants, as are server and network outages (Dell Studio 1555 Battery) .
Quality seals can be placed on the Shop web page if it has undergone an independent assessment and meets all requirements of the company issuing the seal. The purpose of these seals is to increase the confidence of the online shoppers; the existence of many different seals, or seals unfamiliar to consumers, may foil this effort to a certain extent. A number of resources offer advice on how consumers can protect themselves when using online retailer services (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) . These include:
Although the benefits of online shopping are considerable, when the process goes poorly it can create a thorny situation. A few problems that shoppers potentially face include identity theft, faulty products, and the accumulation of spy ware. Whenever you purchase a product, you are going to be required to put in your credit card information and billing/shipping address. If the website is not secure a customers information can be accessible to anyone who knows how to obtain it (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .
Most large online corporations are inventing new ways to make fraud more difficult, however, the criminals are constantly responding to these developments with new ways to manipulate the system. Even though these efforts are making it easier to protect yourself online, it is a constant fight to maintain the lead. It is advisable to be aware of the most current technology and scams out there to fully protect yourself and your finances (Dell Studio 1555 Battery) .
One of the hardest areas to deal with in online shopping is the delivery of the products. Most companies offer shipping insurance in case the product is lost or damaged; however, if the buyer opts not to purchase insurance on their products, they are generally out of luck. Some shipping companies will offer refunds or compensation for the damage, but it is up to their discretion if this will happen. It is important to realize that once the product leaves the hands of the seller, they have no responsibility (provided the product is what the buyer ordered and is in the specified condition) (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery) .
Lack of full cost disclosure
The lack of full disclosure with regards to the total cost of purchase is one of the concerns of online shopping. While it may be easy to compare the base price of an item online, it may not be easy to see the total cost up front as additional fees such as shipping are often not be visible until the final step in the checkout process (Dell XPS M1530 battery) .
The problem is especially evident with cross-border purchases, where the cost indicated at the final checkout screen may not include additional fees that must be paid upon delivery such as duties and brokerage. Some services such as the Canadian based Wishabiattempts to include estimates of these additional cost, but nevertheless, the lack of general full cost disclosure remains a concern (Dell XPS M2010 battery) .
Privacy of personal information is a significant issue for some consumers. Different legal jurisdictions have different laws concerning consumer privacy, and different levels of enforcement. Many consumers wish to avoid spam and telemarketing which could result from supplying contact information to an online merchant. In response, many merchants promise not to use consumer information for these purposes, or provide a mechanism to opt-out of such contacts (Dell Vostro 1000 battery) .
Many websites keep track of consumers shopping habits in order to suggest items and other websites to view. Brick-and-mortar stores also collect consumer information. Some ask for address and phone number at checkout, though consumers may refuse to provide it. Many larger stores use the address information encoded on consumers' credit cards (often without their knowledge) to add them to a catalog mailing list. This information is obviously not accessible to the merchant when paying in cash (HP Pavilion dv9000 battery) .
Many successful purely virtual companies deal with digital products, (including information storage, retrieval, and modification), music, movies, office supplies, education, communication, software, photography, and financial transactions. Other successful marketers use Drop shipping or affiliate marketing techniques to facilitate transactions of tangible goods without maintaining real inventory (Dell RM791 battery) .
Some non-digital products have been more successful than others for online stores. Profitable items often have a high value-to-weight ratio, they may involve embarrassing purchases, they may typically go to people in remote locations, and they may have shut-ins as their typical purchasers. Items which can fit in a standard mailbox — such as music CDs, DVDs and books — are particularly suitable for a virtual marketer (Dell Vostro 1400 Battery) .
Products such as spare parts, both for consumer items like washing machines and for industrial equipment like centrifugal pumps, also seem good candidates for selling online. Retailers often need to order spare parts specially, since they typically do not stock them at consumer outlets—in such cases, e-commerce solutions in spares do not compete with retail stores, only with other ordering systems (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
A factor for success in this niche can consist of providing customers with exact, reliable information about which part number their particular version of a product needs, for example by providing parts lists keyed by serial number.
Products less suitable for e-commerce include products that have a low value-to-weight ratio, products that have a smell, taste, or touch component, products that need trial fittings — most notably clothing — and products where colour integrity appears important (HP Pavilion DV7 Battery) .
Nonetheless, Tesco.com has had success delivering groceries in the UK, albeit that many of its goods are of a generic quality, and clothing sold through the internet is big business in the U.S. Also, the recycling program Cheapcycle sells goods over the internet, but avoids the low value-to-weight ratio problem by creating different groups for various regions, so that shipping costs remain low (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery) .
High-volume websites, such as Yahoo!, Amazon.com and eBay, offer hosting services for online stores to all size retailers. These stores are presented within an integrated navigation framework. Collections of online stores are sometimes known as virtual shopping malls or online marketplaces (Hp 520 battery) .
Become.com is a product price comparison service and discovery shopping search engine with a mission to help shoppers make ideal buying decisions. Dulance was a price engine that specialized in searching for hard-to-find products often sold by small independent online retailers ("The Long Tail"). Mysupermarket aggregates inventory from the UK's four leading online groceries for shoppers to compare supermarket prices (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ61B battery) .
Many companies that don't have internal resources or expertise (such as do-it-yourself-ers) work with a web development firm to handle all or some of the facets of the online shopping set-up, including integration of the e-commerce platform and hosting. Full service digital companies can design, develop and set-up ecommerce sites so that they're up and running with existing merchant accounts or new ones (HP Pavilion DV4 Battery) ."
Posted October 22nd, 2010 at 02:08am
Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) is a general term referring to the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) within the field of socioeconomic development, international development and human rights. ICT4D concerns itself with directly applyinginformation technology approaches to poverty reduction (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .
ICTs can be applied either in the direct sense, wherein their use directly benefits the disadvantaged population, or in an indirect sense, wherein the ICTs assist aid organisations or non-governmental organizations or governments or businesses in order to improve general socio-economic conditions. In many impoverished regions of the world, legislative and political measures are required to facilitate or enable application of ICTs, especially with respect to monopolistic communications structures and censorship laws (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
The concept of ICT4D can be interpreted as dealing with disadvantaged populations anywhere in the world, but is more typically associated with applications in developing countries. The field is becoming recognized as an interdisciplinary research area as can be noted by the growing number of conferences, workshops and publications (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
Such research have been spurred on in part by the need for scientifically validated benchmarks and results, which can be used to measure the efficacy of current projects. Many international development agencies recognize the importance of ICT4D. For example the World Bank's GICT section has a dedicated team of some 200 staff working on these issues (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
A good example of the impact of ICTs on development are farmers getting better market price information and thus boosting their income. Community ecenter in the Philippines developed a website to promote its local products worldwide. Another example includes mobile telecommunications and radio broadcasting fighting political corruption in Burundi.
The dominant terminology used in this field is "ICT4D". Alternatives include ICTD and development informatics (ASUS EEE PC900 battery) .
A telecentre in Gambia
The history of ICT4D can, roughly, be divided into three periods:
ICT4D initiatives and projects may be designed and implemented by international institutions, private companies (e.g. Intel's Classmate), governments (e.g. e-Mexico initiative), non-governmental organizations (e.g. International Institute for Communication and Development), or virtual organizations (e.g. One Laptop per Child). The projects can typically be evaluation research, matching a tool and a problem, exploratory research, or constructive research (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery) .
ICT4D projects address one or more of the following issues:
Bad access roads and lack of power hamper ICT4D Projects in rural areas
Projects which deploy technologies in underdeveloped areas face well-known problems concerning crime, problems of adjustment to the social context, and also possibly infrastructural problems (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .
The literacy issue is one of the factors why projects fail in rural areas; proper education and training is needed to make the user at least understand how to manipulate the application to get the information they need. Constant follow up with the community is needed to monitor if the project is being used or implemented (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .
Projects in marginalised rural areas face the most significant hurdles. Since people in marginalised rural areas are at the very bottom of the pyramid, development efforts should make the most difference in this sector. ICTs have the potential to multiply development effects and are thus also meaningful in the rural arena. However introducing ICTs in these areas is also most costly, as the following barriers exist (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery) :
The World Bank runs Information for Development Program (infoDev), whose Rural ICT Toolkit analyses the costs and possible profits involved in such a venture and shows that there is more potential in developing areas than many might assume. The potential for profit arises from two sources- resource sharing across large numbers of users (specifically, the publication talks about line sharing, but the principle is the same for, e.g. telecentres at which computing / Internet are shared) and remittances (specifically the publication talks about carriers making money from incoming calls, i.e. from urban to rural areas (Hp Pavilion dv3-1000 battery) .
Remittances are estimated to have a volume of upward of 250 billion USD and websites have been established to take advantage of this fact (e.g. Aryty, Philippines; Mukuru.com, Zimbabwe.
One of the main challenge in overcoming the digital divide is to widen the influence of the respective policies from those carried out by telecommunications authority, to the entire public sector (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .
While most of the national digital agendas are led by national telecommunications authorities, such as the FCC and NTIA, the case of Chile shows that the funds managed by the telecom authority represent less than 5 % of the total funds spent by the overall government on ICT-related policies and projects (spread out over 22 governmental departments), such as carried out the national health department, the education ministry or the finance department (Acer Aspire One battery) .
The funds available for ICT4D throughout the public sector are a large multiple of those spent by technology and infrastructure authorities alone. Countries and international organizations usually do not know which agency manages which kinds of ICT-funds, and do not even make an effort to track these resources. Since ICT for development is about more than providing mere access to technologies (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery) ,
the logical conclusion is to coordinate the funds and projects implemented by telecommunications and technologies authorities, with those managed by health, education, finance and defense authorities. The first task consists of taking inventory of the funds available to the entire public sector. This is generally not done and not even the actors and decision makers have a coherent picture about what is done. Double efforts and lack of synergies are the common result (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery) .
What's crucial in making any ICT4D effort successful is effective partnership between four key stakeholders:
InfoDev have published 6 lessons from an analysis of 17 their pilot programmes (see below). These lessons are backed by a variety of examples as well as a list of recommendations (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery) :
Sustainability and scalability
A Geekcorps volunteer setting up a Wi-Fiantenna in Mali
A growing perspective in the field is also the need to build projects that are sustainable and scalable, rather than focusing on those which must be propped up by huge amounts of external funding and cannot survive for long without it. Sustaining the project's scalability is a huge challenge of ICT for development; how the target user will continue using the platform (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
ICT4D is not one shot implementation but rather it is a complex process to be undertaken continuously, and the progress of each project evolves around the pervasive education for, and adaptability of, the technology
Also, many so-called "developing" countries, such as India (or other South Asian countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, as also nations likeMalaysia, China, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa and many others) have proved their skills in IT (information technology) (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery) .
In this context, unless these skills are tapped adequately to build on ICT4D projects, not only will a lot of potential be wasted, but a key indigenous partner in the growth of this sector would be lost. Also there would be unnecessary negative impact on the balance of payments due to imports in both hardware and software (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery) .
Currently, the main two perspectives coming out of this sector either emphasize the need for external aid to build infrastructure before projects can touch viability, or the need to develop and build on local talent. Both approaches are, of course, not mutually exclusive (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
Satellite Internet access via VSAT is a common form of connectivity in developing countries ([[Ghana, Ecamic project]] pictured)
As it has grown in popularity, especially in the international development sector, ICT4D has also increasingly come under criticism. For instance, questions have been raised about whether projects that have been implemented at enormous cost are actually designed to be scalable, or whether these projects make enough of an impact to produce noticeable change (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
In Sri Lankan journalist Nalaka Gunawardene argues that thousands of pilot projects have been seeded without regard to generalisability, scalability, and sustainability, implying that these projects will always require external funding to continue running and that their impact is limited. This sentiment echoes a 2003 report by the World Bank (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
Further criticism on ICT4D concerns the impact of ICTs on traditional cultures and the so-called cultural imperialism which may be spread with ICTs. For example, young males are tempted to spend their recreational time playing violent computer games. It is emphasised that local language content and software seem to be good ways to help soften the impact of ICTs in developing areas (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ150E Battery) .
Many fear of the potential of ICT to seriously widen the Digital Divide and the gap between people with access to information economy and those without. This issue was brought to the forefront of the international agenda and was heavily discussed in some major international political meetings such as the G8 meeting in Okinawa, Japan last July, 2000 (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .
Anriette Esterhuysen, an advocate for ICT4D and human rights in South Africa , pointed out that some ICT4D projects often give more emphasis to how ICT can help its beneficiaries economically rather than helping them create a society where social justice and equal rights prevail. She believes that sustainable development can only be achieved if there are human rights and people can speak freely (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
Another point of criticism against ICT4D is that its projects are seldom environmentally friendly. Beneficiary communities are often given the responsibility to dispose of the toxic electronic scrap when an equipment breaks down beyond repair. Since transporting the equipment to a recycling facility is costly; the equipment is often disposed of improperly, thus contributing to the pollution of the environment (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .
Graph of Internet users per 100 inhabitants between 1997 and 2007 by International Telecommunication Union
Mobile phone subscribers per 100 inhabitants growth in developed and developing world between 1997 and 2007
ICT4D projects typically try to employ low-cost, low-powered technology that can be sustainable in developing environment. The challenge is large, since it is estimated that 40 % of the world's population has less than US$ 20 per year available to spend on ICT (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .
In Brazil, the poorest 20% of the population counts with merely US$ 9 per year to spend on ICT (US$ 0.75 per month) . This is the economic reality of these income segments in developing countries and the magnitude of the challenge to provide one laptop per child. From Latin America it is known that the borderline between ICT as a necessity good and ICT as a luxury good is roughly around the “magical number” of US$ 10 per person per month, or US$ 120 per year (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11m Battery) .
This is how much ICT people seem to strive for and this is therefore how much ICT everybody would like to have as a minimum. In light of this reality, telecentre, desktop virtualization and multiseat configurations are probably the most simple and common way to affordable computing as of today (Dell Studio 1555 Battery) .
ICT4D projects need to be properly monitored and implemented; the system's design and user interface should be suitable to the target users. ICT4D projects installed without proper coordination with its beneficiary community has a tendency to fall short of its main objectives. For example, the usage of ICT4D projects in the farming sector in third world countries, where a majority of the population are considered to be technologically illiterate; projects lie idle and sometimes get damaged or become obsolete (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
Furthermore, there should be a line of communication between the project coordinator and the user for immediate response to the query of, or the difficulty encountered by, the user. Addressing properly the problem will help encourage the user via interactivity and participation (Dell Vostro 1500 Battery) .
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
A major event for ICT4D was the twin WSIS (WSIS) - lead organisation was the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The first part of WSIS took place in Geneva, Switzerland in December 2003 (with a large ICT4D exhibition and an ICT4D symposium co-ordinated by infoDev). The second part of WSIS took place in Tunis, Tunisia, in November 2005 (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
One of its chief aims of the WSIS process was to seek solutions to help bridge the so-called "digital divide" separating rich countries from poor countries by spreading access to the Internet in the developing world.
Perspectives on the WSIS are available elsewhere on Wikipedia, and this covers links to civil society, Tunis 2005, US priorities at WSIS, media responses, Tunis conference developments, roles for business and government, digital divide issues, the digital divide and the digital dilemma,common ground, a civil society study on WSIS, and external links (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery) .
World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)Stocktaking
WSIS Stocktaking is a publicly accessible database of ICT-related implementation activities, initiated during the Tunis phase of WSIS. WSIS Stocktaking Database has become an effective tool for the exchange of information on the projects in relation to the implementation of the 11 Action Lines. It is worth mentioning that many of entries reflect more than one flagship initiative and project carried out by the WSIS Stakeholders (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11S Battery) .
Read more. All Stakeholders are welcomed: Governments, International Organizations, Private Sector, Civil Society, Others.
Posted October 21st, 2010 at 02:33am
A quiet PC is a personal computer that makes little noise. Common uses for quiet PCs include video editing, sound mixing, home servers, and home theater PCs. A typical quiet PC uses quiet cooling and storage devices and energy-efficient parts (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .
Like noise, the term "quiet PC" is subjective and there is currently no standard definition for a "quiet PC". However, a general definition accepted by some is that the sound emitted by such PCs should not exceed 30 dBA when measured 1 meter away from the computer (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
In addition to the average sound pressure level, the frequency spectrum and dynamics of the sound are important in determining if the sound of the computer is noticed. Sounds with a smooth frequency spectrum (lacking audible tonal peaks), and little temporal variation are less likely to be noticed. The character and amount of other sound in the environment also affects how much sound will be noticed or masked, so a computer may be quiet with relation to a particular environment or set of users (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
Causes of noise
The main causes of PC noise are:
Noise in personal computers has been increasing with rising computing power and number of transistors on a single die (integrated circuit). More transistors of a given size use more power, which releases more heat. Faster-rotating cooling fans are one common way to remove this heat. Also, motor rotation speed for hard disc drive (HDD) and Optical disc drive (ODD) has been rising for faster data processing with technical advances in micro motors (Dell RM791 battery) .
Faster rotation (usually measured in RPM) causes higher bearing friction, thus more noise, given the same bearing technology.
The noise issue had received widespread attention with AMD's early Athlon CPUs and Intel's Pentium 4 Prescott core CPU known for its excessive heat and bundled fan noise running on high RPM. With the introduction of Home Theatre PCs (HTPC), the excessive heat and noise problem, that had been mostly confined to the overclocking and quiet computing communities, came to the attention of the general public (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .
The main approaches to reducing noise problems from personal computers are:
Common noise reduction methods
A number of methods exist for reducing computer noise at little or no added cost.
Sound power and pressure measurement
Though standards do exist for measuring and reporting sound power output by such things as computer components, they are often ignored. Many manufacturers do not give sound power measurements. Some report sound pressure measurements, but those that do often do not specify how sound pressure measurements were taken. Even such basic information as measurement distance is rarely reported (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .
Without knowing how it was measured, it is not possible to verify these claims, and comparisons between such measurements (e.g. for product selection) are meaningless. Comparative reviews, which test several devices under the same conditions are more useful. Although even then, an average sound pressure level is only one factor in determining which components will be perceived as quieter (Acer Aspire One battery) .
Individual components in a quiet PC
The following are notes regarding individual components in quiet PCs.
The motherboard, CPU and video card are major energy users in a computer. Components that need less power will be easier to cool quietly. The a quiet power supply is selected to be efficient when providing enough power for the computer (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery) .
Main article: Motherboards
Passively cooled northbridge chipsets help reduce noise.
A motherboard based on a chipset that uses less energy may be easier to cool quietly.
Many modern motherboard chipsets have hot northbridges (notably nForce4), which may come with active cooling, usually a small, noisy fan. Fanless heatsinks, such as the Zalman ZM-NB47J, ZM-NBF47 or the Thermalright HR-05, may be used to eliminate a noisy chipset fan (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery) .
Some motherboard manufacturers have got rid of these fans by incorporating large heatsinks or heatpipe coolers, however they still require good case airflow to remove heat. Also, motherboard voltage regulators often have heatsinks and may need airflow to ensure adequate cooling.
Motherboards can also produce coil noise.
Undervolting and underclocking generally require motherboard support.
Some motherboards can control the fan speed using software like speedfan. Most recent motherboards have built in PWM based fan control for one or two fans (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .
A large copper heatsink and high flow fan provide exceptional cooling for the cooler-running Pentium 4 Northwood.
The heat output of a CPU can vary according to its brand and model - to be exact, its TDP. Intel's third revision Pentium 4, using the "Prescott" core, was infamous for being one of the hottest-running CPUs on the market. By comparison, AMD's Athlon series and the new Intel Core 2 perform better at lower clock speeds, and thus produce less heat (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery) .
Modern CPUs often incorporate energy saving systems, such as Cool'n'Quiet, LongHaul, and EIST. These reduce the CPU clock speed and core voltagewhen the processor is idle, thus reducing heat. The heat produced by CPUs can be further reduced by undervolting, underclocking or both (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery) .
Most modern mainstream and value CPUs are made with a lower TDP to reduce heat, noise, and power consumption. Most of Intel's desktop Core 2 Duo processors have 65W TDPs, and AMD has newer processors with a TDP between 35W and 65W. Some processors come in special low power versions (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery) .
Modern low power CPUs
Video cards can produce a significant amount of heat. A fast GPU may be the largest power consumer in a computer. For instance, 161 watts peak power consumption for an ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512. Because of space limitations, video card coolers often use small fans running at high speeds, making them noisy (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
Display options for making a quiet computer include:
Main article: Computer power supply
PSUs are made quieter through the use of higher efficiency (which reduces waste heat and need for airflow), quieter fans, more intelligent fan controllers (ones for which the correlation between temperature and fan speed is more complex than linear), more effective heatsinks and through designs which allow air to flow through with less resistance.
For a given power supply size, more efficient supplies, such as those certified 80 plus, generate less heat (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery) .
Selecting a power supply of appropriate wattage for the computer is important for high efficiency and minimizing heat. Power supplies are typically less efficient when lightly or heavily loaded. High wattage power supplies will typically be less efficient when lightly loaded, for instance when the computer is idle or sleeping. Most desktop computers spend most of their time lightly loaded (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
For example, most desktop PCs draw less than 250 watts at full load, and 200 watts or less is more typical.
Power supplies with thermally controlled fans can be made quieter by providing a cooler and/or less obstructed source of air. For instance, the power supply is in a separate compartment in the Antec P180 to keep the air supplied to the PSU cool.
The fan in a power supply can be replaced with a quieter one, although there is a risk of electric shock when doing this, and it usually voids the warranty (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
Fanless power supplies are available.
The electrical coils in power supplies can produce noise which can become noticeable in a quiet PC.
Main article: Computer case
Antec P180, with isolated chambers for more segregated airflow.
Another example of the Antec P180, this one demonstrating the use of the Scythe Ninja, a fanless CPU cooler (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ150E Battery) .
Cases designed for low noise usually include reasonably quiet fans, and often come with a relatively quiet power supply. Some cases for quiet computers incorporate heatsinks to cool components passively.
Cases that provide lots of space make it easier to quiet a PC, both by allowing for airflow and by accommodating large coolers (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .
Noise optimized cases like the Antec P180 and Antec P150 often have ducting and partitioning within the case to optimize airflow and thermally isolate components. For example, the P180 has the PSU mounted in the bottom of the case in an isolated partition. This design feature allows cooler air to enter the PSU, reducing the necessary airflow and accordingly, the noise output of the fan. Apple has also employed this tactic in their G5 workstations in an effort to reduce noise (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
Antec's Sonata is often considered by the mainstream to be one of the quietest PC cases; however, it has since been surpassed by the P180 and other more-advanced cases. Vents and ducts may easily be added to regular cases.
More obstructive fan grills increase pressure drop and lower airflow, necessitating higher fan speeds and more noise output. They also increase the turbulence of the flow, which causes some noise of its own (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .
Cases designed to be quiet typically have wire grills or honeycombed fan grills, which perform almost as well as wire grills; both are far superior to the old style of stamped grill.
Features that facilitate neat cable management, such as brackets and space to run cables behind motherboard tray, help increase cooling efficiency (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .
Air filters can help to prevent dust from coating heatsinks and surfaces, thereby impeding heat transfer, making fans spin faster. However the filter itself can increase noise if it restricts airflow too much, or is not cleaned, requiring a larger or faster fan to handle the pressure drop behind the filter.
Regular cleaning of air intake filters will help to keep airflow minimally restricted and keep the interior clean (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11m Battery) .
In some cases a fine mesh intake screen is sufficient to stop most large dust particles from entering the system. These screens should be vacuumed or washed to remove dust.
The inside of a case can be lined with dampening materials to reduce noise by:
Main article: Computer cooling
Main article: Heat sink
Heat sinks that operate efficiently with little airflow are often used in quiet computers. Typically they are (relatively) large, and have larger spaces to allow freer airflow. Often heat pipes are used to help distribute heat. For instance, in 2007, the Scythe Ninja or the Thermalright Ultra-120 were frequently used as CPU heat sinks in quiet computers (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
Main article: Computer fan
A 120 mm variable speed fan.
Bearing and motor noise vary between different fan models and often between different samples of the same model.
Quiet PCs typically use larger (e.g. 120 mm) low-speed fans. Although 140 mm fans are made by some manufacturers, such as Aerocool and Yate Loon, there are very few cases or heatsinks that can use them. Fan adapters, which allow larger fans to be used in place of smaller ones, and fan brackets, like the Zalman FB123, often help when replacing small fans (Dell Vostro 1500 Battery) .
Quiet fan manufacturers include Nexus, EBM-Papst, Yate Loon and Scythe. In situations where the resistance to flow is very low, like in free-air conditions,Noctua fans also perform very well. Extensive comparative surveys have been posted by Silent PC Review and MadShrimps.
Fan controllers can be used to slow down fans and to precisely choose fan speed. Fan controllers can produce a fixed fan speed using an inline resistor or diode, or a variable speed using a potentiometer or Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) (Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
Resistor-based fan control feeds the fan a lower voltage, while PWM fan control rapidly cycles between feeding the fan full voltage and no voltage. PWM fan control reduces rotational speed, and is the easiest and most efficient option for motherboards which have PWM fan headers. This is because PWM fans in conjunction with the motherboard chipset obtain temperature data from Digital Temperature Sensors on the CPU itself. All PWM fans are four pin, and if plugged into a conventional three pin supply will operate at full speed just like a three pin fan (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery) .
Fans can also be plugged into the power supply's 5 volt line instead of the 12 volt line (or between the two for a potential difference of 7 volts, although this cripples the fan's speed sensing) to run them at a reduced speed. Most fans will run at 5 volts once they are spinning, but may not start reliably at less than 7 V. Some simple fan controllers will only vary the fans' supply voltage between 8 V and 12 V to avoid this problem entirely. Some fan controllers start the fan at 12 V, then drop the voltage after a few seconds (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11S Battery) .
Soft mounting fans (e.g. with rubber or silicone fan isolators) can help reduce transfer of fan vibrations to other components.
Intel has recently developed a piezoelectric fan for use in desktop PCs, which is quieter than motor fans and consumes a fraction of the power (HP Pavilion DV7 Battery) .
Main article: Watercooling
Watercooling is a method of heat-dissipation by transferring the heat through a conductive material which is in contact with a liquid, most often demineralised water and an additive to prevent bacterial growth and provide cosmetic effects. This heated water travels in a loop which usually contains a reservoir, radiator and pump. Recent advances in 12v DC pump technologies (for the first time specifically geared-for pc development) allow for new pumps to be both extremely powerful and extremely quiet (Dell Vostro 1400 Battery) .
Loops can be made up of any combination of these items and some aren't required such as the radiator or reservoir if alternatives methods are used. The radiator often uses one or more fans to air cool the radiator fins and dissipate the majority of the heat at this point.
The most common loop order is reservoir to pump, radiator then the watercooling block and back to the reservoir (Dell RM791 battery) .
The radiator and fan efficiency has the greatest effect on the noise level and cooling efficiency but watercooling is currently the most effective and potentially quietest methods of cooling above ambient temperatures.
There is an inherent danger in the use of water around electrical equipment and leak testing the loop is always recommended before attaching any parts to the motherboard, after all loop connections have been made. The 12v DC pump can be run using batteries or a power supply making sure no power is going to any other part of the system (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery) .
Because of these risks and the use of water under pressure watercooling is a greater technical challenge to set up due to the number of components and case modification usually required.
Main article: Hard drives
Silicone grommets in a computer case for mounting a hard drive to reduce vibration.
Previously, hard drives used ball bearing motors, but they got noisy when the rotational speed of the drive was increased to 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM. More recent desktop hard drives use fluid bearing motors. The first hard drive widely reputed to be quiet was the Seagate Barracuda ATA IV (Hp 520 battery) .
The smaller 2.5" form-factor hard drives generally vibrate less, are quieter, and use less power than the traditional 3.5" drives. On the other hand, they often have lower performance and less capacity, and cost more per gigabyte.
To minimize vibrations from a hard drive being transferred to, and amplified by, the case, hard drives can be mounted with soft rubber studs, suspended with elastics or placed on soft foam or Sorbothane (HP Pavilion dv9000 battery) .
Hard disk enclosures can also help reduce drive noise. Care must be taken to ensure that the drive gets adequate cooling. Hard disk temperatures can often be monitored by SMART software.
Solid-state drive (SSD) storage offers faster seek times, lower power consumption, no moving parts; making it theoretically more reliable and silent. There is scope for very high capacity drives; however, they are currently extremely expensive per GB and are fairly scarce (Dell Vostro 1000 battery) .
Compact Flash cards
A few people use Compact Flash (CF) cards for storage. Because they use IDE protocol, a simple adapter is all that is needed to connect CF cards to function as an IDE or PC Card hard disk. CF cards are also small, allowing SFF PCs to be made, produce no noise, use very little power (further reducing heat output in the AC/DC conversion in the PSU), and an insignificant amount of heat. However, they are very expensive per GB and are only available in small capacities (Dell XPS M2010 battery) .
There are also issues regarding the maximum number of writes to each sector; often specified as 100,000 write cycles. However, there are industrial grade cards which specify a higher number of erase cycles, and different file systems, or technologies such as Enhanced Write Filter can reduce the writes to the card. Also, CF cards will fail gradually, so it will be easy to notice before any significant amount of data are lost, unlike the possible immediate failure of HDDs (Dell XPS M1530 battery) .
Due to their small capacities they are easy to back up entirely, and often have 10 year or even lifetime warranties.
Windows minimization projects such as Winimize (Windows 98, less than 20MB) and Linux projects such as Puppy Linux mean that running an OS in small capacity, cheap compact flash card is possible. Because they have many OS components removed, they are less prone to viruses and other malware (Dell Studio 1737 battery) .
The sustained transfer rate of current CF cards is a maximum of around 25 MB/s, compared to an average of around 70 MB/s for modern hard drives. However, the speed of flash memory is increasing at a faster rate than that of hard drives, and they have minimal seek times compared to hard drives, which increases the speed of loading many small files, and makes the PC seem more responsive as most operations performed by the OS include small files (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery) .
Due to the fast seek times CF cards also don't show the effects of file system fragmentation like hard drives do.
Newer CF cards support faster transfer protocols like DMA. It is possible to use a Compact Flash card for storing only information that isn't changed very often, such as music, videos and binary executables, while storing the small configuration files and other frequently modified data on a small hard drive or i-RAM (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
USB flash drives
Main article: USB flash drives
Where a motherboard supports booting from USB drives, they can be used in a similar fashion to CF cards to run the OS. With some Linux distributions, it is not much harder than using a CF card. As they both use flash memory, they have the same advantages and disadvantages, however speed is limited by the USB bus (Dell Studio 1555 Battery) .
The i-RAM is a solid-state disk which has four DIMM slots to allow regular PC RAM to be used like a disk. It is much faster than a hard disk, does not have the write cycle limitations of flash memory, however it requires power continuously in order to maintain its contents (from standby power or a battery when the system is off), uses more power than many laptop hard drives, has maximum capacity of 4 GiB, and is expensive (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .
Problems and solutions
All forms of affordable solid-state storage offer relatively small capacity. They can be used as main storage for tasks which do not use large amounts of data or large programs, such as web browsing or word processing. Larger files and programs can be stored on a secondary hard drive which is only accessed when needed. Keeping the OS, often accessed files, and smaller programs on a solid-state drive means that the hard drives can be powered down much of the time (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ61B battery) .
Network-attached storage, or NAS, is another alternative, allowing loud hard drives to be stored remotely.
Small USB drives or CF cards can be used to make the process of network booting easier also.
Optical drives can be slowed down by software to quiet them, such as Nero DriveSpeed, or emulated by virtual drive programs such as Daemon Tools to eliminate their noise entirely. Notebook optical drives can be used, which tend to be quieter, however this may be because they tend to run slower (typically 24x CD speed, 8x DVD speed). Some DVD drives have a feature, commonly calledRiplock, which reduces drive noise by slowing the drive during video playback (Acer Aspire One battery) .
Main article: Laptops
Laptop computers typically do not have power supply fans or video card fans, and they use smaller hard drives. They also use many lower power components. However, laptop CPU coolers are usually smaller, so may be noisier than their desktop counterparts. Limited space, limited access and proprietary components make silencing laptops more difficult (HP Pavilion DV4 Battery) .
A few laptops do not use cooling fans, for instance the Dell Latitude X1, Panasonic Toughbook W5 and T5, Fujitsu Lifebook P7120. Also, some netbooks, such as the Dell Mini 9, 10 and 12 do not have fans. The Mini 9 used SSD rather than a hard disk. The OLPC XO-1 has no internal moving parts .
Main article: Computer display
CRT monitors can produce coil noise, as can the external power supply for an LCD monitor or the voltage converter for the monitor's backlight (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ460E Battery) .
LCD monitors tend to produce the least noise (whine) from when at full brightness. Reducing brightness using the video card does not introduce whine, but may reduce color accuracy.An LCD monitor with an external power supply tucked out of the way will produce less noticeable noise than one with the power supply built into the screen housing (Dell Vostro A90 Battery) .
Main article: Computer printer
Dot matrix and daisy wheel printers are often noisy, and soundproofed boxes or cabinets can be used to reduce the noise. Another solution is to locate the printer away from the immediate work area or in another room, especially if it can be controlled through a local area network (Dell Vostro A860 Battery) .
Posted October 20th, 2010 at 02:55am
Green computing or green IT, refers to environmentally sustainable computing or IT. In the article Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices, San Murugesan defines the field of green computing as "the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems—efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) ."
The goals of green computing are similar to green chemistry; reduce the use of hazardous materials, maximize energy efficiency during the product's lifetime, and promote the recyclability or biodegradability of defunct products and factory waste. Research continues into key areas such as making the use of computers as energy-efficient as possible, and designing algorithms and systems for efficiency-related computer technologies (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
In 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched Energy Star, a voluntary labeling program which is designed to promote and recognize energy-efficiency in monitors, climate control equipment, and other technologies. This resulted in the widespread adoption of sleep mode among consumer electronics (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery) .
The term "green computing" was probably coined shortly after the Energy Star program began; there are several USENET posts dating back to 1992 which use the term in this manner.Concurrently, the Swedish organization TCO Development launched the TCO Certification program to promote low magnetic and electrical emissions from CRT-based computer displays; this program was later expanded to include criteria on energy consumption, ergonomics, and the use of hazardous materials in construction (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
Regulations and industry initiatives
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has published a survey of over 90 government and industry initiatives on "Green ICTs", i.e. information and communication technologies, the environment and climate change. The report concludes that initiatives tend to concentrate on the greening ICTs themselves rather than on their actual implementation to tackle global warming and environmental degradation (ASUS EEE PC900 battery) .
In general, only 20% of initiatives have measurable targets, with government programs tending to include targets more frequently than business associations.
Many governmental agencies have continued to implement standards and regulations that encourage green computing. The Energy Star program was revised in October 2006 to include stricter efficiency requirements for computer equipment, along with a tiered ranking system for approved products (Dell RM791 battery) .
Some efforts place responsibility on the manufacturer to dispose of the equipment themselves after it is no longer needed; this is called the extended producer responsibility model. The European Union's directives 2002/95/EC (Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive), on the reduction of hazardous substances, and 2002/96/EC (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) on waste electrical and electronic equipment required the substitution of heavy metals and flame retardants like Polybrominated biphenyl and Polybrominated diphenyl ethers in all electronic equipment put on the market starting on July 1, 2006 (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .
The directives placed responsibility on manufacturers for the gathering and recycling of old equipment.
There are currently 26 US States that have established state-wide recycling programs for obsolete computers and consumer electronics equipment. The statutes either impose an "advance recovery fee" for each unit sold at retail, or require the manufacturers to reclaim the equipment at disposal (Sony VGP-BPL9 battery).
Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI) is an effort to reduce the electric power consumption of PCs in active and inactive states. The CSCI provides a catalog of green products from its member organizations, and information for reducing PC power consumption. It was started on 2007-06-12. The name stems from the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program, which was launched in 1999. The WWF is also a member of the Computing Initiative (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery) .
The Green Electronics Council offers the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) to assist in the purchase of "greener" computing systems. The Council evaluates computing equipment on 51 criteria - 23 required and 28 optional - that measure a product's efficiency and sustainability attributes. Products are rated Gold, Silver or Bronze depending on how many optional criteria they meet (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery) .
On 2007-01-24, President George W. Bush issued Executive Order 13423, which requires all United States Federal agencies to use EPEAT when purchasing computer systems.
The Green Grid is a global consortium dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and business computing ecosystems. It was founded in February 2007 by several key companies in the industry – AMD, APC, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackable Systems, SprayCool, Sun Microsystems and VMware (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery) .
The Green Grid has since grown to hundreds of members, including end users and government organizations, all focused on improving data center efficiency.
The Green500 list rates supercomputers by energy efficiency (megaflops/watt, encouraging a focus on efficiency rather than absolute performance (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .
Green Comm Challenge is an organization that promotes the development of energy conservation technology and practices in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Green Comm Challenge achieved worldwide notoriety in 2007, when it enlisted as one of the challengers in the 33rd edition of the America's Cup, an effort meant to show how researchers, technologists and entrepreneurs from around the world can be brought together by an exciting vision: building the ultimate renewable energy machine, a competitive America’s Cup boat (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery) .
Approaches to green computing
In the article Harnessing Green IT: Principles and Practices, San Murugesan defines the field of green computing as "the study and practice of designing, manufacturing, using, and disposing of computers, servers, and associated subsystems—such as monitors, printers, storage devices, and networking and communications systems—efficiently and effectively with minimal or no impact on the environment (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) ."
Murugesan lays out four paths along which he believes the environmental effects of computing should be addressed: Green use, green disposal, green design, and green manufacturing.
Modern IT systems rely upon a complicated mix of people, networks and hardware; as such, a green computing initiative must cover all of these areas as well (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31S battery) .
A solution may also need to address end user satisfaction, management restructuring, regulatory compliance, and return on investment (ROI). There are also considerable fiscal motivations for companies to take control of their own power consumption; "of the power management tools available, one of the most powerful may still be simple, plain, common sense (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery) ."
Gartner maintains that the PC manufacturing process accounts for 70 % of the natural resources used in the life cycle of a PC. Therefore, the biggest contribution to green computing usually is to prolong the equipment's lifetime. Another report from Gartner recommends to "Look for product longevity, including upgradability and modularity (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) ."
For instance, manufacturing a new PC makes a far bigger ecological footprint than manufacturing a new RAM module to upgrade an existing one, a common upgrade that saves the user having to purchase a new computer.
Software and deployment optimization
Main article: Algorithmic efficiency
The efficiency of algorithms has an impact on the amount of computer resources required for any given computing function and there are many efficiency trade-offs in writing programs (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery) .
As computers have become more numerous and the cost of hardware has declined relative to the cost of energy, the energy efficiency and environmental impact of computing systems and programs has received increased attention. A study by Alex Wissner-Gross, a physicist at Harvard, estimated that the average Google search released 7 grams of carbon dioxide (CO?). However, Google disputes this figure, arguing instead that a typical search produces only 0.2 grams of CO? (Sony VGP-BPS13A/B Battery) .
Main article: Resource allocation
Algorithms can also be used to route data to data centers where electricity is less expensive. Researchers from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, and Akamai have tested an energy allocation algorithm that successfully routes traffic to the location with the cheapest energy costs (Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery) .
The researchers project up to a 40 percent savings on energy costs if their proposed algorithm were to be deployed. Strictly speaking, this approach does not actually reduce the amount of energy being used; it only reduces the cost to the company using it. However, a similar strategy could be used to direct traffic to rely on energy that is produced in a more environmentally friendly or efficient way (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ210CE Battery) .
A similar approach has also been used to cut energy usage by routing traffic away from data centers experiencing warm weather; this allows computers to be shut down to avoid using air conditioning.
Larger server centers are sometimes located where energy and land are inexpensive and readily available. Local availability of renewable energy, climate that allows outside air to be used for cooling, or locating them where the heat they produce may be used for other purposes could be factors in green siting decisions (Hp Pavilion dv3-1000 battery) .
Main article: Platform virtualization
See also: Comparison of platform virtual machines
Computer virtualization refers to the abstraction of computer resources, such as the process of running two or more logical computer systems on one set of physical hardware. The concept originated with the IBM mainframe operating systems of the 1960s, but was commercialized for x86-compatible computers only in the 1990s (Dell Precision M70 Battery) .
With virtualization, a system administrator could combine several physical systems into virtual machines on one single, powerful system, thereby unplugging the original hardware and reducing power and cooling consumption. Virtualization can assist in distributing work so that servers are either busy, or put in a low power sleep state. Several commercial companies and open-source projects now offer software packages to enable a transition to virtual computing (Acer Aspire One battery) .
Intel Corporation and AMD have also built proprietary virtualization enhancements to the x86 instruction set into each of their CPU product lines, in order to facilitate virtualized computing.
Main article: Terminal server
Terminal servers have also been used in green computing. When using the system, users at a terminal connect to a central server; all of the actual computing is done on the server, but the end user experiences the operating system on the terminal (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery) .
These can be combined with thin clients, which use up to 1/8 the amount of energy of a normal workstation, resulting in a decrease of energy costs and consumption. There has been an increase in using terminal services with thin clients to create virtual labs. Examples of terminal server software include Terminal Services for Windows and the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) for the Linux operating system (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery) .
Main article: Power management
The Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), an open industry standard, allows an operating system to directly control the power-saving aspects of its underlying hardware (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .
This allows a system to automatically turn off components such as monitors and hard drives after set periods of inactivity. In addition, a system may hibernate, where most components (including the CPU and the system RAM) are turned off. ACPI is a successor to an earlier Intel-Microsoft standard called Advanced Power Management, which allows a computer's BIOS to control power management functions (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery) .
Some programs allow the user to manually adjust the voltages supplied to the CPU, which reduces both the amount of heat produced and electricity consumed. This process is called undervolting. Some CPUs can automatically undervolt the processor depending on the workload; this technology is called "SpeedStep" on Intel processors, "PowerNow!"/"Cool'n'Quiet" on AMD chips, LongHaul on VIA CPUs, and LongRun with Transmeta processors (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery) .
Operating system support
The dominant desktop operating system, Microsoft Windows, has included limited PC power management features since Windows 95. These initially provided for stand-by (suspend-to-RAM) and a monitor low power state. Further iterations of Windows added hibernate (suspend-to-disk) and support for the ACPI standard (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery) .
Windows 2000 was the first NT based operating system to include power management. This required major changes to the underlying operating system architecture and a new hardware driver model. Windows 2000 also introduced Group Policy, a technology which allowed administrators to centrally configure most Windows features (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery) .
However, power management was not one of those features. This is probably because the power management settings design relied upon a connected set of per-user and per-machine binary registry values, effectively leaving it up to each user to configure their own power management settings (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
This approach, which is not compatible with Windows Group Policy, was repeated in Windows XP. The reasons for this design decision by Microsoft are not known, and it has resulted in heavy criticism Microsoft significantly improved this in Windows Vista by redesigning the power management system to allow basic configuration by Group Policy (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery) .
The support offered is limited to a single per-computer policy. The most recent release, Windows 7 retains these limitations but does include refinements for more efficient user of operating system timers, processor power management, and display panel brightness. The most significant change in Windows 7 is in the user experience. The prominence of the default High Performance power plan has been reduced with the aim of encouraging users to save power (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery) .
There is a significant market in third-party PC power management software offering features beyond those present in the Windows operating system. Most products offer Active Directory integration and per-user/per-machine settings with the more advanced offering multiple power plans, scheduled power plans, anti-insomnia features and enterprise power usage reporting (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
Desktop computer power supplies (PSUs) are generally 70–75% efficient,dissipating the remaining energy as heat. An industry initiative called 80 PLUS certifies PSUs that are at least 80% efficient; typically these models are drop-in replacements for older, less efficient PSUs of the same form factor. As of July 20, 2007, all new Energy Star 4.0-certified desktop PSUs must be at least 80% efficient (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
Smaller form factor (e.g. 2.5 inch) hard disk drives often consume less power per gigabyte than physically larger drives. Unlike hard disk drives, solid-state drives store data in flash memory or DRAM. With no moving parts, power consumption may be reduced somewhat for low capacity flash based devices (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
In a recent case study, Fusion-io, manufacturers of the world's fastest Solid State Storage devices, managed to reduce the carbon footprint and operating costs of MySpace data centers by 80% while increasing performance speeds beyond that which had been attainable via multiple hard disk drives in Raid 0. In response, MySpace was able to permanently retire several of their servers, including all their heavy-load servers, further reducing their carbon footprint (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
As hard drive prices have fallen, storage farms have tended to increase in capacity to make more data available online. This includes archival and backup data that would formerly have been saved on tape or other offline storage. The increase in online storage has increased power consumption. Reducing the power consumed by large storage arrays, while still providing the benefits of online storage, is a subject of ongoing research (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ150E Battery) .
A fast GPU may be the largest power consumer in a computer.
Energy efficient display options include:
No video card - use a shared terminal, shared thin client, or desktop sharing software if display required.
Use motherboard video output - typically low 3D performance and low power (Sony VGN-FZ31Z Battery) .
Select a GPU based on low idle power, average wattage or performance per watt.
CRT monitors typically use more power than LCD monitors. They also contain significant amounts of lead. LCD monitors typically use a cold-cathode fluorescent bulb to provide light for the display. Some newer displays use an array of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in place of the fluorescent bulb, which reduces the amount of electricity used by the display (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
Fluorescent back-lights also contain mercury, whereas LED back-lights do not.
Main articles: Electronic waste and computer recycling
Recycling computing equipment can keep harmful materials such as lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium out of landfills, and can also replace equipment that otherwise would need to be manufactured, saving further energy and emissions (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .
Computer systems that have outlived their particular function can be re-purposed, or donated to various charities and non-profit organizations. However, many charities have recently imposed minimum system requirements for donated equipment.Additionally, parts from outdated systems may be salvaged and recycled through certain retail outlets and municipal or private recycling centers. Computing supplies, such as printer cartridges, paper, and batteries may be recycled as well (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .
A drawback to many of these schemes is that computers gathered through recycling drives are often shipped to developing countries where environmental standards are less strict than in North America and Europe. The Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition estimates that 80% of the post-consumer e-waste collected for recycling is shipped abroad to countries such as China and Pakistan (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11m Battery) .
The recycling of old computers raises an important privacy issue. The old storage devices still hold private information, such as emails, passwords and credit card numbers, which can be recovered simply by someone using software that is available freely on the Internet. Deletion of a file does not actually remove the file from the hard drive (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31z Battery) .
Before recycling a computer, users should remove the hard drive, or hard drives if there is more than one, and physically destroy it or store it somewhere safe. There are some authorized hardware recycling companies to whom the computer may be given for recycling, and they typically sign a non-disclosure agreement (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) .
Main article: Telecommuting
Teleconferencing and telepresence technologies are often implemented in green computing initiatives. The advantages are many; increased worker satisfaction, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to travel, and increased profit margins as a result of lower overhead costs for office space, heat, lighting, etc (Dell Studio 1555 Battery,Dell Latitude D610 Battery) .
The savings are significant; the average annual energy consumption for U.S. office buildings is over 23 kilowatt hours per square foot, with heat, air conditioning and lighting accounting for 70% of all energy consumed. Other related initiatives, such as hotelling, reduce the square footage per employee as workers reserve space only when they need it (Dell Vostro 1500 Battery) .
Many types of jobs, such as sales, consulting, and field service, integrate well with this technique.
Voice over IP (VoIP) reduces the telephony wiring infrastructure by sharing the existing Ethernet copper. VoIP and phone extension mobility also made hot desking more practical (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery) .
Posted October 19th, 2010 at 01:57am
A monitor or display (sometimes called a visual display unit) is an electronic visual display for computers. The monitor comprises the display device, circuitry, and an enclosure. The display device in modern monitors is typically a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) thin panel, while older monitors use a cathodic ray tube about as deep as the screen size (Dell XPS M1210 Battery) .
Originally computer monitors were used for data processing and television receivers for entertainment; increasingly computers are being used both for data processing and entertainment. Displays exclusively for data use tend to have an aspect ratio of 4:3; those used also (or solely) for entertainment are usually 16:9 widescreen, Sometimes a compromise is used, e.g. 16:10 (Dell Studio XPS 1340 Battery) .
Main articles: Viewable image size and Computer display standard
For any rectangular section on a round tube, the diagonal measurement is also the diameter of the tube
The area of displays with identical diagonal measurements can vary substantially (Dell Studio XPS 1640 Battery)
The size of an approximately rectangular display is usually given as the distance between two opposite screen corners, that is, the diagonal of the rectangle. One problem with this method is that it does not take into account the display aspect ratio, so that for example a 16:9 21 in (53 cm) widescreen display is far less high, and has less area, than a 21 in (53 cm) 4:3 screen. The 4:3 screen has dimensions of 16.8 × 12.6 in (43 × 32 cm) and area 211 sq in (1,360 cm2), while the widescreen is 18.3 × 10.3 in (46 × 26 cm), 188 sq in (1,210 cm2) (Dell Vostro 1710 Battery) .
For many purposes the height of the display is the main parameter; a 16:9 display needs a diagonal 22% larger than a 4:3 display for the same height.
This method of measurement is inherited from the method used for the first generation of CRT television, when picture tubes with circular faces were in common use. Being circular, only their diameter was needed to describe their size (ASUS EEE PC900 battery) .
Since these circular tubes were used to display rectangular images, the diagonal measurement of the rectangle was equivalent to the diameter of the tube's face. This method continued even when cathode ray tubes were manufactured as rounded rectangles; it had the advantage of being a single number specifying the size, and was not confusing when the aspect ratio was universally 4:3 (Dell RM791 battery) .
A problematic practice was the use of the size of a monitor's imaging element, rather than the size of its viewable image, when describing its size in publicity and advertising materials. On CRT displays a substantial portion of the CRT's screen is concealed behind the case's bezel or shroud in order to hide areas outside the monitor's "safe area" due to overscan. These practices were seen as deceptive, and widespread consumer objection and lawsuits eventually forced most manufacturers to instead measure viewable size (Sony VGP-BPS13 battery) .
The performance of a monitor is measured by the following parameters:
Luminance is measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m2 also called a Nit).
Viewable image size is measured diagonally. For CRTs, the viewable size is typically 1 in (25 mm) smaller than the tube itself (sony vgp-bpl9 battery) .
Aspect ratios is the ratio of the horizontal length to the vertical length. 4:3 is the standard aspect ratio, for example, so that a screen with a width of 1024 pixels will have a height of 768 pixels. If a widescreen display has an aspect ratio of 16:9, a display that is 1024 pixels wide will have a height of 576 pixels (Sony VGP-BPL11 battery) .
Display resolution is the number of distinct pixels in each dimension that can be displayed. Maximum resolution is limited by dot pitch.
Dot pitch is the distance between subpixels of the same color in millimeters. In general, the smaller the dot pitch, the sharper the picture will appear (Sony VGP-BPL15 battery) .
Refresh rate is the number of times in a second that a display is illuminated. Maximum refresh rate is limited by response time.
Response time is the time a pixel in a monitor takes to go from active (black) to inactive (white) and back to active (black) again, measured in milliseconds. Lower numbers mean faster transitions and therefore fewer visible image artifacts.
Contrast ratio is the ratio of the luminosity of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the monitor is capable of producing (Dell Inspiron E1505 battery ) .
Power consumption is measured in watts.
Viewing angle is the maximum angle at which images on the monitor can be viewed, without excessive degradation to the image. It is measured in degrees horizontally and vertically (Dell Latitude E6400 battery) .
High dynamic range (up to around 15,000:1), excellent color, wide gamut and low black level.
Can display natively in almost any resolution and refresh rate (HP Pavilion dv6000 Battery)
No input lag
Sub-millisecond response times
Near zero color, saturation, contrast or brightness distortion. Excellent viewing angle.
Usually much cheaper than LCD or Plasma screens.
Allows the use of light guns/pens (Hp Pavilion dv3-1000 battery)
Large size and weight, especially for bigger screens (a 20-inch unit weighs about 50 lb (23 kg))
High power consumption
Generates a considerable amount of heat when running
Geometric distortion caused by variable beam travel distances (Dell Precision M70 Battery)
Can suffer screen burn-in
Produces noticeable flicker at low refresh rates
Normally only produced in 4:3 aspect ratio
Hazardous to repair/service
Effective vertical resolution limited to 1024 scan lines (Acer Aspire One battery) .
Color displays cannot be made in sizes smaller than 7 inches (5 inches for monochrome). Maximum size is 21 inches (for computer monitors; televisions run up to 40 inches).
Very compact and light (Toshiba Satellite L305 Battery)
Low power consumption
No geometric distortion
Little or no flicker depending on backlight technology
Not affected by screen burn-in
No high voltage or other hazards present during repair/service (Toshiba Satellite Pro M15 Battery)
More reliable than CRTs
Can be made in almost any size or shape
No theoretical resolution limit
Limited viewing angle, causing color, saturation, contrast and brightness to vary, even within the intended viewing angle, by variations in posture (Toshiba Satellite M65 battery) .
Bleeding and uneven backlighting in some monitors, causing brightness distortion, especially toward the edges.
Slow response times, which cause smearing and ghosting artifacts. Modern LCDs have response times of 8 ms or less.
Only one native resolution. Displaying resolutions either requires a video scaler, lowering perceptual quality, or display at 1:1 pixel mapping, in which images will be physically too large or won't fill the whole screen (Toshiba Satellite T4900 Battery) .
Fixed bit depth, many cheaper LCDs are only able to display 262,000 colors. 8-bit S-IPS panels can display 16 million colors and have significantly better black level, but are expensive and have slower response time
Dead pixels may occur either during manufacturing or through use (Toshiba PA3399U-2BRS battery) .
In a constant on situation, thermalization may occur, which is when only part of the screen has overheated and therefore looks discolored compared to the rest of the screen.
Not all LCD displays are designed to allow easy replacement of the backlight
Cannot be used with light guns/pens (Toshiba Satellite A200 Battery)
Main article: Plasma display
High contrast ratios (10,000:1 or greater,) excellent color, wide gamut and low black level.
High speed response.
Near zero color, saturation, contrast or brightness distortion. Excellent viewing angle.
No geometric distortion (Toshiba Satellite 1200 Battery) .
Softer and less blocky-looking picture than LCDs
Highly scalable, with less weight gain per increase in size (from less than 30 in (760 mm) wide to the world's largest at 150 in (3,800 mm)).
Large pixel pitch, meaning either low resolution or a large screen (Toshiba NB100 Battery) .
Color plasma displays cannot be made in sizes under 32 inches
Noticeable flicker when viewed at close range
Glass screen can induce glare and reflections
High operating temperature and power consumption (Toshiba Satellite M300 Battery)
Only has one native resolution. Displaying other resolutions requires a video scaler, which degrades image quality at lower resolutions.
Fixed bit depth
Can suffer image burn-in. This was a severe problem on early plasma displays, but much less on newer ones
Cannot be used with light guns/pens (Dell INSPIRON 1525 battery)
Dead pixels are possible during manufacturing
Phosphor burn-in is localized aging of the phosphor layer of a CRT screen where it has displayed a static image for long periods of time. This results in a faint permanent image on the screen, even when turned off. In severe cases, it can even be possible to read some of the text, though this only occurs where the displayed text remained the same for years (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ280E Battery) .
Burn-in is most commonly seen in the following applications:
Security monitors (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ410 Battery)
Screen savers were developed as a means to avoid burn-in, which was a widespread problem on IBM Personal Computer monochrome monitors in the 1980s. Monochrome displays are generally more vulnerable to burn-in because the phosphor is directly exposed to the electron beam while in color displays, the shadow mask provides some protection. Although still found on newer computers, screen savers are not necessary on LCD monitors (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ160 Battery) .
Phosphor burn-in can be "fixed" by running a CRT with the brightness at 100% for several hours, but this merely hides the damage by burning all the phosphor evenly. CRT rebuilders can repair monochrome displays by cutting the front of the picture tube off, scraping out the damaged phosphor, replacing it, and resealing the tube. Color displays cannot be repaired (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ38M Battery) .
Burn-in re-emerged as an issue with early plasma displays, which are more vulnerable to this than CRTs. Screen savers with moving images may be used with these to minimize localized burn. Periodic change of the color scheme in use also helps (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ21m Battery) .
Glare is a problem caused by the relationship between lighting and screen or by using monitors in bright sunlight. Matte finish LCDs and flat screen CRTs are less prone to reflected glare than conventional curved CRTs or glossy LCDs, and aperture grille CRTs, which are curved on one axis only and are less prone to it than other CRTs curved on both axes (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ18m Battery) .
If the problem persists despite moving the monitor or adjusting lighting, a filter using a mesh of very fine black wires may be placed on the screen to reduce glare and improve contrast. These filters were popular in the late 1980s. They do also reduce light output.
A filter above will only work against reflective glare; direct glare (such as sunlight) will completely wash out most monitors' internal lighting, and can only be dealt with by use of a hood or transreflective LCD (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11m Battery) .
With exceptions of correctly aligned video projectors and stacked LEDs, most display technologies, especially LCD, have an inherent misregistration of the color channels, that is, the centers of the red, green, and blue dots do not line up perfectly. Sub-pixel rendering depends on this misalignment; technologies making use of this include the Apple II from 1976 , and more recently Microsoft (ClearType, 1998) and XFree86 (X Rendering Extension) (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11z Battery) .
RGB displays produce most of the visible color spectrum, but not all. This can be a problem where good color matching to non-RGB images is needed. This issue is common to all monitor technologies with three color channels (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ11l Battery) .
Main article: Computer terminal
Early CRT-based VDUs (Visual Display Units) such as the DEC VT05 without graphics capabilities gained the label glass teletypes, because of the functional similarity to their electromechanical predecessors (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ31z Battery) .
Some historic computers had no screen display, using a teletype, modified electric typewriter, or printer instead.
Early home computers such as the Apple II and the Commodore 64 used a composite signal output to drive a TV or color composite monitor (a TV with no tuner). This resulted in degraded resolution due to compromises in the broadcast TV standards used. This method is still used with video game consoles. The Commodore monitor had S-Video input to improve resolution, but this was not common on televisions until the event of HDTV (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery) .
Early digital monitors are sometimes known as TTLs because the voltages on the red, green, and blue inputs are compatible with TTL logic chips. Later digital monitors support LVDS, or TMDS protocols (Sony VGP-BPS13B/B Battery) .
IBM PC with green monochrome display.
Monitors used with the MDA, Hercules, CGA, and EGA graphics adapters used in early IBM PC's (Personal Computer) and clones were controlled via TTL logic. Such monitors can usually be identified by a male DB-9 connector used on the video cable (Toshiba Satellite P10 Battery) .
The disadvantage of TTL monitors was the limited number of colors available due to the low number of digital bits used for video signaling .
Modern monochrome monitors use the same 15-pin SVGA connector as standard color monitors. They are capable of displaying 32-bit grayscale at 1024x768 resolution, making them able to interface with modern computers (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ210CE Battery) .
TTL Monochrome monitors only made use of five out of the nine pins. One pin was used as a ground, and two pins were used for horizontal/vertical synchronization. The electron gun was controlled by two separate digital signals, a video bit, and an intensity bit to control the brightness of the drawn pixels. Only four shades were possible; black, dim, medium or bright (Hp pavilion dv6000 battery) .
CGA monitors used four digital signals to control the three electron guns used in color CRTs, in a signaling method known as RGBI, or Red Green and Blue, plus Intensity. Each of the three RGB colors can be switched on or off independently. The intensity bit increases the brightness of all guns that are switched on, or if no colors are switched on the intensity bit will switch on all guns at a very low brightness to produce a dark grey (Sony VGN-FW11S Battery_) .
A CGA monitor is only capable of rendering 16 colors. The CGA monitor was not exclusively used by PC based hardware. The Commodore 128 could also utilize CGA monitors. Many CGA monitors were capable of displaying composite video via a separate jack.
EGA monitors used six digital signals to control the three electron guns in a signaling method known as RrGgBb. Unlike CGA, each gun is allocated its own intensity bit. This allowed each of the three primary colors to have four different states (off, soft, medium, and bright) resulting in 64 colors (Dell Studio 1555 Battery) .
Although not supported in the original IBM specification, many vendors of clone graphics adapters have implemented backwards monitor compatibility and auto detection. For example, EGA cards produced by Paradise could operate as an MDA, or CGA adapter if a monochrome or CGA monitor was used in place of an EGA monitor. Many CGA cards were also capable of operating as MDA or Hercules card if a monochrome monitor was used (Dell Vostro 1720 Battery) .
Single color screens
Green and amber phosphors were used on most monochrome displays in the 1970s and 1980s. White was uncommon because it was more expensive to manufacture, although Apple used it on the Lisa and early Macintoshes (Dell Vostro 1500 Battery) .
Most modern computer displays can show the various colors of the RGB color space by changing red, green, and blue analog video signals in continuously variable intensities. These are almost exclusively progressive scan. Although televisions used an interlaced picture, this was too flickery for computer use. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some VGA-compatible video cards in PCs used interlacing to achieve higher resolution, but the event of SVGA quickly put an end to them (Dell Latitude D830 Battery) .
While many early plasma and liquid crystal displays have exclusively analog connections, all signals in such monitors pass through a completely digital section prior to display.
While many similar connectors (13W3, BNC, etc…) were used on other platforms, the IBM PC and compatible systems standardized on the VGA connector in 1987 (Dell Latitude D620 Battery) .
CRTs remained the standard for computer monitors through the 1990s. The first standalone LCD displays appeared in the early 2000s and over the next few years, they gradually displaced CRTs for most applications. First-generation LCD monitors were only produced in 4:3 aspect ratios, but current models are generally 16:9. The older 4:3 monitors have been largely relegated to point-of-service and some other applications where widescreen is not required (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ150E Battery) .
Digital and analog combination
The first popular external digital monitor connectors, such as DVI-I and the various breakout connectors based on it, included both analog signals compatible with VGA and digital signals compatible with new flat-screen displays in the same connector. Older 4:3 LCD monitors had only VGA inputs, but the newer 16:9 models have added DVI (Dell Studio 1735 Battery) .
Monitors are being made which have only a digital video interface. Some digital display standards, such as HDMI and DisplayPort, also specify integrated audio and data connections. Many of these standards enforce DRM, a system intended to deter copying of entertainment content (Dell Inspiron 300M Battery) .
Configuration and usage
Main article: Multi-monitor
More than one monitor can be attached to the same device. Each display can operate in two basic configurations (Dell Studio 1737 battery) :
The simpler of the two is mirroring (sometimes cloning,) in which at least two displays are showing the same image. It is commonly used for presentations. Hardware with only one video output can be tricked into doing this with an external splitter device, commonly built into many video projectors as a pass through connection (Dell XPS M1530 battery) .
The more sophisticated of the two, extension allows each monitor to display a different image, so as to form a contiguous area of arbitrary shape. This requires software support and extra hardware, and may be locked out on "low end" products by crippleware.
Primitive software is incapable of recognizing multiple displays, so spanning must be used, in which case a very large virtual display is created, and then pieces are split into multiple video outputs for separate monitors (Dell XPS M2010 battery) .
Hardware with only one video output can be made to do this with an expensive external splitter device, this is most often used for very large composite displays made from many smaller monitors placed edge to edge (Dell Vostro 1000 battery) .
Multiple video sources
Multiple devices can be connected to the same monitor using a video switch. In the case of computers, this usually takes the form of a "Keyboard Video Mouse switch" (KVM) switch, which is designed to switch all of the user interface devices for a workstation between different computers at once (HP Pavilion dv9000 battery) .
Main article: Virtual desktop
Screenshot of workspaces layed out by Compiz
Much software and video hardware supports the ability to create additional, virtual pieces of desktop, commonly known as workspaces. Spaces is Apple's implementation of virtual displays (Hp 520 battery) .
Most modern monitors will switch to a power-saving mode if no video-input signal is received. This allows modern operating systems to turn off a monitor after a specified period of inactivity. This also extends the monitor's service life (SONY VGP-BPS13 Battery) .
Some monitors will also switch themselves off after a time period on standby.
Most modern laptops provide a method of screen dimming after periods of inactivity or when the battery is in use. This extends battery life and reduces wear (SONY VAIO VGN-FZ Battery) .
Many monitors have other accessories (or connections for them) integrated. This places standard ports within easy reach and eliminates the need for another separate hub, camera, microphone, or set of speakers (Dell RM791 battery) .
Main article: Glossy display
Some displays, especially newer LCD monitors, replace the traditional anti-glare matte finish with a glossy one. This increases saturation and sharpness but reflections from lights and windows are very visible (Toshiba Portege R200 Battery) .
Narrow viewing angle screens are used in some security conscious applications.
Main article: Autostereoscopy
A directional screen which generates 3D images without headgear (Toshiba Satellite M60 battery) .
These monitors use touching of the screen as an input method. Items can be selected or moved with a finger, and finger gestures may be used to convey commands. The screen will need frequent cleaning due to image degradation from fingerprints.
Tablet screens (Dell Vostro 1400 Battery)
Main article: Graphics tablet/screen hybrid
A combination of a monitor with a graphics tablet. Such devices are typically unresponsive to touch without the use of one or more special tools' pressure. Newer models however are now able to detect touch from any pressure and often have the ability to detect tilt and rotation as well.
Touch and tablet screens are used on LCD displays as a substitute for the light pen, which can only work on CRTs (HP Pavilion DV7 Battery) .
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