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Old January 15th, 2011, 11:33 AM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,207
My edit suite is the last part of a long building and has 3 sides exposed to the weather and a flat roof with next to no insulation. Damn cold in the winter. The two PCS in there run continually and provide enough heat to stop the room getting too cold. One runs continuously providing data to an internet mapping system, and has never been switched off . What does happen is the ones running continuously need cleaning out once or twice a year because of the dust they suck in!
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Old January 24th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #17
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Zutphen, The Netherlands
Posts: 3
Do you leave your computer on?

No, I switch computers off, when not in use. Switched-off computers cannot be accessed by hackers or other persons trying to use your computer for all kinds of malpractice, including spyware and viruses!
John from the Netherlands
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Old January 24th, 2011, 12:33 PM   #18
Inner Circle
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 2,054
When I used to leave mine on I'd have it run the SETI screen saver. It would process data collected by the Arecebo Radio Observatory, and look for possible signals that might indicate the presence of extra terrestrial intelligence.

When I was chief photographer at one of the local papers, I all of our photo department's computers running it, and the webmaster at the time set up many of the newsroom computers (all Macs) to do the same. I made a little sticker for one of the computers that read, "This Mac is looking for extraterrestrial life."
Dean Sensui
Exec Producer, Hawaii Goes Fishing
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Old January 24th, 2011, 04:56 PM   #19
Major Player
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Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 238

Years ago, some claimed it better to keep systems running to protect the harddisks, the argument was that the harddisk suffers more wear and tear when spinning up at start than when running. I don't think this is really an issue today and I'm unsure if it ever was.

Unless you have rendering tasks, I see no reason to keep the systems on. Some systems have a problem waking up from sleep, in particular over longer periods. Restarting your system will make sure that swap and caches are cleaned up and kill any misbehaving processes.

BR, Erik
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Old January 25th, 2011, 12:04 AM   #20
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tucson AZ
Posts: 2,209
At one time hard drives would land the heads on a specially prepared/textured area of the disk when powered off but I think today they "unload" the heads, ie park them out of contact with the disk surface, so the wear and tear part is pretty irrelevant. What is still relevant is the effect of power cycling on the electronics, which is where the majority of disk failures originate.

Strange as it may sound, mechanical systems have fewer problems than the electronics that control them

Just a historical comment - in the days when disk drives were the size of refrigerators, it wasn't unheard of for the disk surface lubricant to wick in between the heads and the disk surface, and there were special start up routines that detected this and tried to vibrate the heads to break them loose - and sometimes the result was that the "stiction was great enough that the heads tore off of the suspensions. I've personally seen this happen.
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