At a Glance
Windows already lets you specify how long to wait before turning off the monitor, switching to system standby, and so forth. Local Cooling lets you make it either very easy or very detailed. You can accept one of three levels of across-the-board changes, or you can dole out the increments as finely as you like by inputting your own numbers instead of choosing from a meager picklist. In the program's interface, Local Cooling tells you how much energy your graphics board, CPU, and other components are burning. You can see the power savings realized by some small tweak, such as spinning down your PC's hard disks at fifteen idle minutes instead of thirty.
Nice as the extra adjustability is, Local Cooling's biggest advantage is the way it engages the user. It displays your energy savings in easily understood units: kilowatt hours, trees, or gallons of oil. You realize how much you're saving. If you want to keep score, you can log in to the Local Cooling Web site to compare your conservation to that of other individuals and companies. We really are all in this together.