Home PC's Rank First in Doing Nothing

Forget about productivity -- a recent study by the NPD Group found that the majority of the time that home PC is running, it's doing... nothing! The study monitored 10,076 computer-owning households and used its PC Meter software to tally the time the computers sat idle following an initial 60 seconds of no activity on the keyboard or mouse.

Fifty-four percent of the time the machines were switched on, they were not being used, and when they were used, the biggest chunk of time (29%) was devoted to "futzing" -- fiddling around with operating systems, organizing files, changing "wallpaper" and screensaver patterns, and altering the speed of the cursor blink. Meanwhile, word processing and business software use took up 16% of the time, and Internet surfing accounted for only 12%. The Sierra Club points out that turning a computer on and leaving it on unused for three hours a day results in about 200 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution every year. (Wall Street Journal 28 Feb 97)

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