A PC The Size of your Phone Jack?
Well, maybe it's a bit bigger than a phone jack, but this "desktop computer" is built to be installed in a wall, with cords for the mouse, the keyboard, the speakers and the monitor running out of it. And at peak use, it only draws about five watts of power.
Absolutely remarkable! The manufacturers of the Jack PC are calling it a "desktop" but it isn't quite what we think of as a computer. For one thing, it doesn't have a hard drive. So how does it work? Basically the Chip PC can either connect to a local network and use the files on a shared server, or it can operate by itself, but the only software it will run is Internet Explorer and you wont be able to save anything.
Planet Green: Buy Green: Desktop Computers
Remarkably, the Jack PC does not even require you to plug it in. Just like your old chorded phone ran on the juice from the phone line, this thing runs on the power from the Ethernet line and nothing more. An Ethernet line only delivers five watts, so the Jack PC is guaranteed to never pull much more power than a digital alarm clock. But with an 800 mhz or 1.2 ghz processor, the device is no slouch either.
More on Energy Efficient Computers7 Downloads That Turn Your PC From Energy Sucker to Energy Sipper ...Extend Your PC's Life With A Tune-Up - Planet GreenSave Energy Effortlessly with SetPower for Personalized PC Power ...Unfortunately, it will be a while before we can clear up the clutter in our own homes. Its reliance on a central computer for storage and software means that the device is best used in offices. But think of the power a large office could save by using these little guys, not to mention the materials that would otherwise go into hulking desktops for every employee.
In time, as low-power flash drives become larger and more powerful, I can see a wall-mounted PC that pulls no more than five watts becoming the norm. It may have to connect to a central storage unit in every house, but the power drain from that would be no more than a television DVR unit.
The Jack PC seems provides both an intelligent technology that can and should be implemented today, as well as a glimpse into what we might all be using in the future.