Something you don't think about every day, but something that could save you enough change to get a Big Gulp every now and then: You can take a few simple steps to drastically reduce the amount of power consumed by your computer. Especially when you're doing many things at the same time with multiple hard drives and the screen turned on at full brightness!
This article is written specifically for the 24" iMac (late 2008), but applies to pretty much any Mac that uses electricity (read: ALL of them). By following the steps in this article, you can save a bit of power, which translates into saving a small amount of change each month. And who wouldn't like a few extra nickels in this economy?
I recently purchased the APC Back-UPS NS 1250, and one of the most amazing features of the UPS is the ability to see how many watts are being actively consumed by a device plugged into it.
I found the results of my testing to be quite interesting. When I had the iMac running with the screen at full brightness, the computer was using the energy equivalence of an old 100 Watt tungsten (i.e. 'energy sucker') light bulb! I don't typically run the screen this bright, though, because the lighting in my computer room is typically subdued. So I turned the brightness down all the way (a comfortable level for my vision), and looked again. This time, the computer was using about 75 Watts. NICE!
(Big bright chart for visual learners).