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Use Phase Signals to Promote Lifetime Extension for Windows PCs

Stewart Hickey, Colin Fitzpatrick, Maurice O’Connell, and Michael Johnson


This paper proposes a signaling methodology for personal computers. Signaling may be viewed as an ecodesign strategy that can positively influence the consumer to consumer (C2C) market process. A number of parameters are identified that can provide the basis for signal implementation. These include operating time, operating temperature, operating voltage, power cycle counts, hard disk drive (HDD) self-monitoring, and reporting technology (SMART) attributes and operating system (OS) event information. All these parameters are currently attainable or derivable via embedded technologies in modern desktop systems. A case study detailing a technical implementation of how the development of signals can be achieved in personal computers that incorporate Microsoft Windows operating systems is presented. Collation of lifetime temperature data from a system processor is demonstrated as a possible means of characterizing a usage profile for a desktop system. In addition, event log data is utilized for devising signals indicative of OS quality. The provision of lifetime usage data in the form of intuitive signals indicative of both hardware and software quality can in conjunction with consumer education facilitate an optimal remarketing strategy for used systems. This implementation requires no additional hardware.


Publication typeArticle
Published inEnviron. Sci. Technol.
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