Monday, April 19, 2010

All-In-One PCs Cut Power Consumption

The fact that many court clerks offices and chambers are cramped for space does not come as a surprise to those who suffer in those conditions every day.  The addition of a full sized desktop computer, especially when full sized CRT displays were used did not help the situation. But during the past year a new form factor for standard PCs has been introduced by the manufacturers, the All-In-One computer.  Of course this is not new for Apple iMac users, but for the rest of us, this is a good development.

What is meant by an All-In-One computer?  Simply it means that the parts of the computer; the hard disk, DVD/CD drive, processor, and memory are placed behind the display screen resulting in one compact package.  In addition, many All-In-One computers have touch-screen capability that could potentially help to speed data entry with the proper programming.

But why else am I writing about this?  It is because the All-In-One computer format is also a green machine in that it uses much less electrical power than the standard desktop computer.  The All-In-Ones I looked at used a 65 watt or lower power supply.  In contrast, a survey of currently available desktop PCs showed they used from a low of 220, to a high of 450 watts of power each.  Multiply this by 25, 50, or 100 computers this turns into a significant amount of power and heat.

If you are interested in more detailed information; I found the following review article for this style of machine from last fall on the Computer Shopper website.  It provides a quick overview of the All-In-One machines that were available at the time.

US Federal Courts Update Public Access Policies

The March, 2010 edition of The Third Branch Federal Court newsletter contains an interesting article: Judicial Conference Approves Steps to Improve Public Access.  The article describes several actions to decrease the cost of using their PACER public access system and to make digital audio recordings available. The article also noted that in 2009:
"PACER received more than 360 million requests for electronic access to information from the over 33 million federal cases that have documents online."