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Granola helps your computer save power (and the planet)

Granola

Granola will not save the world. It's not exactly trying to, either. All it's trying to do is throttle back your CPU a little bit (only when it doesn't get in your way) and save a tiny amount of power.

This tiny amount of power seems to add up. As the demo screenshot claims, it can get to around $40/year, which is enough "to power 44 electric furnaces, a dryer, and a space heater for an hour."

It's basically a slick wrapper for Windows' power management features and it uses them more judiciously. Specifically, it uses a feature called DVFS -- dynamic voltage and frequency scaling. Intel refers to its implementation as SpeedStep, while AMD calls its Cool'n'Quiet. In essence, it's the processor's ability to slow itself down and reduce voltage when performing less-instense tasks.

The software is free for personal use, and the whole thing is beautifully packaged. The website is slick; the name is not without a trace of self-irony, and even the URL, http://grano.la, is perfect.

The only features that I would suggest would be an opt-in way to send data to Granola HQ and a nice Web console that shows how much total energy all Granola users have saved so far. I think that could be a powerful marketing tool for them. It would also be something nice for the users to look at and feel they're part of.

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Tags: ecology, freeware, green, power, powermanagement

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