hibernation : Java Glossary

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A computer hibernates when it either partially or fully shuts down in order to conserve AC (Alternating Current) power, especially in notebook computers. Conservation of AC power is important both to save money and to reduce greenhouse gases created at the power plants. Clicking the mouse or hitting the shift key wakes it up and it picks up right where it left off. This is much faster than the traditional shutdown reboot. If a computer fails to come out of hibernation, you must reboot it, but then you lose all the work you had in progress. So it is wise to save your work and not rely on hibernation to preserve it for you. Hibernation works quite reliably in  XP and Vista but it was somewhat flaky before that.

Your computer’s power, running 24/7 will cost you about  $23.76 USD a month. If you turned on the hibernation feature and you used your computer four hours a day, that bill would drop to 1/6 as much — $3.96 USD . Not only do you save money, you reduce the greenhouse gas emission from the power plant.

However, hibernation has four drawbacks:

  1. If a computer is in hibernation, it will ignore requests from other computers to share its disks.
  2. If a computer is in hibernation, it will ignore requests from other computers to print on its printers.
  3. If a backup or defrag or get updates job is scheduled to run in the middle of the night, if the computer is hibernating, it won’t do the work and usually you will not even get an error message the next morning.
  4. A computer will often go into hibernation mid way through a long-running batch job such as a defrag. It needs human interaction to stay awake.
I handle (1) and (2) by walking up to the hibernating computer and tapping its shift key just prior to asking it to share its disks or printers to wake it up. I handle (3) by triggering all jobs manually. I handle (4) by setting the hibernate time longer than my longest batch job.

These are all kludges! We need a proper solutions to the problems!

Hibernate: the product
Kyoto Accord

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