I know where you think this is going. You think that I'm going to make a case why home is where your laptop is (No! No! No! Quite the opposite!).
I want you to think of your computer, whether its a desktop, laptop, netbook or even your smartphone, as a house for a minute.
We tend to think of our computing device as one unit, especially when it comes to power. Turn it on, turn it off; let me know when the battery is fading out.
What if we saw our homes in that way?
All the lights and appliances are on at once; or off. It's all the same to the electric bill, right?
Wrong, of course. We've always known that. Even my Dad understood that back in 1974 when he made me and my brother pay a dime towards the electricity bill every time we walked out of a room with the lights blazing.
The less time the lights and appliances are on, then the less racked up on the bill at the end of the month.
Your computing device works the same way. The fewer applications and USB devices that you run at the same time, then the less juice that is depleted.
Look at the toolbar at the bottom of the screen. All those little icons are like bedroom and hall lights twinkling all over your house at all hours. Those are applications that are running while you idle.
Last updated: Aug 20, 2009
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio