Writing interesting stuff for blogs can be a tough ask. I have been mulling over my next blog post for a while now and have come to the conclusion that my “millions of fans” deserve a humdinger of a blog post that will rock their computing worlds, shift their skills foundations and dismantle their preconceptions and preconceived notions of computing. Now I am going to write a load of codswallop.

I have taken the liberty of numbering the paragraphs until the good stuff comes. Feel free to skip to paragraph 10 now.

(1) As I sit here at my desk in my still not so tidy workspace I have come to a crossroad as far as my blogs for MyADSL are concerned. I will try and use this desk as an inspiration for some blogs. When you go to writing classes (so I hear) the gurus always advise the aspirant writers to look to themselves for stories. I still don’t know how the writer of the Jurassic Park book dug for his inspiration, but mysteries are the spice of life for some of us, so let us leave it there.

(2) What do I have here on my desk? I have a sort of old P4 3.0 GHz machine that I am using to write this blog post on. I have my Nokia N70 on a USB leash stuck into the front panel of said P4 and a mixer from Behringer hanging around to the left of my keyboard. It is a UB802 for the sake of being specific. Into it I have a fly lead that connects to the audio out socket of my motherboard. The reason I am doing this is to amplify the sometimes very soft audio from videos I download off the net when I want to view them via my computer’s video out on my TV in the other room.

(3) If I use the desktop speaker earphone jack to boost the audio signal it leads to distortion as I think my desktop speakers are starting to lose their lustre. This is just a practical solution. My keyboard is a wireless Microsoft keyboard and mouse combo of which I have decided to dump the mouse for a Logitech G5 for the sake of precision. The Microsoft mouse is not particularly useless but the G5 is far superior. The Microsoft Wireless Multimedia Keyboard (version 1.1) however is a keeper. It is very sturdy, accurate and enjoyable in terms of the feel of the keys. To the right of my keyboard lies a ton of cables.

(4) The cables include an audio fly lead for my iPod which I used the other day at a braai for some all round auditory pleasure provisioning. There is also a USB cable for said iPod and a small USB adaptor for a portable hard drive as well as the power cable for the mixer.

(5) Next to this bundle of cables sleeps a sturdy old Planet 10/100 switch. I feel the need to be all dramatic about this little companion of mine which has facilitated so many bits of data including pictures of friends and videos on daily basis in-between different computers on my home network. Hundreds of gigabytes of information!

(6) On top of the switch is my Ellies AV unit which I use to broadcast my videos from the PC wirelessly to the TV’s in my house. Behind them is the small and kind of old computer I have installed a big hard drive in for file serving and backup purposes. It is also a work horse that runs 24/7. Naturally there are power cables and plugs everywhere.

(7) I wish I could get rid of cables altogether, but it seems mankind will have to do a little bit more evolving before we get to a cable less future.

(8) Okay, so the top of the desk is covered apart from the papers, electric screwdriver, mail and Xbox 360 game covers lying all around.

(9) There is a toolbox and roving drawers on wheels under the desk. What is in them could make for interesting discussion sometime later but now we have to make a decision as to what is worth discussing in this here post that will do the shattering, dismantling and all round rocking mentioned earlier.

(10)Well I can see the back of the mentioned file server and in it I have put a very nice Antec power supply. Maybe that is a good idea, let us discuss the magic that is the evolution of the computer power supply and what is out there that can rock your socks off.

I guess the global warming thing is a big thing for us all and coupled with South Africa’s energy crisis is no laughing matter, so let’s see if we can get some green power supply goodies crammed in this blog post.

The big rating for this would be the 80 PLUS rating. This is an initiative that aims to improve the energy efficiency of electrical power supply units. More information about the rating system can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_PLUS

Now, we need to hunt down some cool computer power supplies with this rating.
ANTEC weighs in with the TruePower Quattro. Man is this a sexy little green machine, or what! Striped like a racing car and available in amongst others, 850W and 1000W models is ideal for the enthusiast that wants a bit of grunt under the hood without ripping holes in our beautiful sky.

It also sports amongst other things “Heavy duty protection circuitry prevents damage resulting from short circuits (SCP), over voltages (OVP), under voltages (UVP), and over current (OCP)”. Enough said! I want one!

I am looking for a lead here to something else that might be cool. Ah, there it is, it powers up to two PCI-E graphics processors. Nice!

But wait there is more; it can run at full capacity 24/7 at 50 degrees Celsius. Now that is impressive!
The downside with brilliant top of the range PSU (power supply units) is that they can be heavy. This one comes in at 2.6 kg and will, coupled with other hardware make for a heavy case if it is to be used for gaming where you tend to slug the beast around often.

While browsing their power supplies I came unto the EarthWatts PSU. This is billed as the most energy efficient PSU yet. 80 PLUS certification goes without saying and it automatically switches to any power grid in the entire world. Hey! Finally there is true mobility for a desktop computer. It is perfect for the professional who refuses to use a laptop. That was a little joke.

Lets look at what another leading brand has to offer.

Coolermaster has the Real Power Pro series as their top of the range PSUs. With amongst others, 1000W and 1250W models to choose from, power for high end computing is no worry. They also carry the 80 PLUS rating and claims to be the world’s first PSU series to sport six 12v rails for better power distribution to Quad SLI and 2 ways server systems. It carries as yet unreleased connectors for still to come graphics solutions. YEAH!!!

As with Antec the Coolermaster range includes custom built PSUs for a green world. In comes the iGreen Power PSU range. Available in a 500W and 600W choice you can qualify yourself to have pictures of whales and dolphins on your wall should you have them. If you are a Greenpeace member you will have to buy two now that you are aware of them.

By the way, the modular cabling ability found in many PSUs today has been patented by PSU manufacturer ULTRA and they are now suing everybody who dared to use their technology. Funny how they waited for the whole world to do this before they sued?!!?

I have a feeling it will be contested and they could lose out badly. Either that or they will be stinking rich before the year is out.

They do have a couple of nice looking PSUs though, but nothing stands out in terms of the green revolution.

According to the 80 Plus authority they have one device listed as 80 PLUS.

None of the listed manufacturers have a gold rating yet. Would be interesting to see who gets it first.
For a list of companies and devices visit: http://80plus.org/manu/psu_80plus/psu_join.php
Only one company managed to get Silver status and that is a company called NXP started by Philips.
51 of the 546 products listed got bronze status.

494 got the entry-level standard of 80 PLUS.

What have we learned from our little excursion into PSUs and our environment?

We need to insist on more efficient power supplies…

Have fun hunting for that greener PSU!

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