Is your computer on 24/7?

Since I managed to score myself something of a man cave a couple of weeks ago, I've had my 2008 (the first of the metal unibody designs, thank-you-very-much) MacBook plugged into a 24-inch monitor. For writing downstairs I've been using the MacBook Air, but generally the MacBook now lives upstairs, in the 'office.'

The machine has spent the last five years being put into standby - or hibernate depending on what version of OS X it had running at the time - when not being used. Now though, it's left on 24/7. I don't even put it into standby. Which got me thinking.

Power Saving

Back when I was a lad, and when the idea of a PC in the home was something rather new, the consensus was that turning a computer on and off too often would damage it. Components warming up and cooling down, and all that malarky. Probably completely unfounded, but they were heady days back then.

While that's obviously not the case now, I wondered whether people do leave their machines on 24/7, or whether they put them to sleep or even turn them off when not in use. It's not as daft a question as it first seems, either.

Take my other computer as a reference. It's an old-ish Core2Duo PC that runs Windows 81 and has three virtual machines running on it. These need to be live 24/7, because one powers this website and takes care of Time Machine backups, one takes care of DNS and DHCP on my network and the other handles DLNA duties for media. If this machine, or one of its VMs gets switched off, literally everything stops working. It needs to be on.

Obviously, this isn't the case with my MacBook, but I know some of you will have a Mac Pro, or perhaps an iMac that it is beneficial to leave on because it does things like share media across the network, or perhaps it needs to be powered on so that some fancy Hazel rules can work their magic. Or maybe I'm talking rubbish and I'm singlehandedly killing the planet by having everything running all the time.

So, the question I have is a simple one; do you turn your machines off, or at least put them to sleep?

Seeing as I've gone all comment-less here, I'm looking for replies on Twitter - if only because it's where everyone seems to be these days.

Oh, and if your machine's always on, tell me why!


  1. I actually rather like it! 

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