Update on Miserware Beta – Power Saving on Linux

It’s well over a week now since I started using the Miserware MicroMiser software. I have it installed on all the Ubuntu PCs we have at home and on two laptops too. I have noticed no adverse effects from running the software. In fact you really do forget it is there. (The Micromiser software is packaged and available for easy install on Debian and it’s many derivatives, Fedora, RHEL, and SLES too so you are not limited to just Ubuntu’s Linux)

When I’m travelling around London (as I did quite a bit this week) I tend to take my 10″ webbook netbook device as it is lightweight and easy to cart around. For comms, I have a 3G dongle that gives me Internet access from virtually anywhere. [Ask Daviey just how handy that was the other day ;-) ]

Now, this is by no means a scientific result and I haven’t had time to actually do a proper comparison with and without the Miserware code, but I reckon I’m getting around 30mins more life from the battery since running the Micromiser software. Before installing the code I was getting between an hour to an hour and a half or so of battery life, so I guess that that would equate to an average improvement of around a third.

Those 3G devices get really hot after being on for an hour! They make a really nice hand warmer in the winter though ;-) My lappy is running Ubuntu 9.04 desktop.

The Beta trial is still active and running and Miserware are very happy to have more subscribers sign-up. So If you would like an invite, leave a comment here and I’ll get on it asap.

One point that came up from a couple of people who were interested in taking part in the trial was to do with some restrictions on what you could say publicly about your observations. I am happy to say that Miserware have updated the license to be a little clearer and allow for more information disclosure. Here’s the text of the mail (with obfuscated email address) I received regarding the changes:

Dear MicroMiser beta participant,

Thank you for your involvement in the MicroMiser beta! The response so far has been tremendous and well beyond our expectations. The information we are getting when you run the mw-feedback script is really helping us improve our products and documentation.

The license you agreed to when registering for the beta said you needed permission from MiserWare to publish data reported by our software. We would like to lift this requirement to some extent by allowing you to share performance and power numbers reported by MicroMiser. More precisely our lawyers told us to say it like this:

“You are hereby authorized to disclose information regarding the performance of the MicroMiser software, provided that such information is provided to you in a MicroMiser software report.”

This includes any information (including energy savings information) provided by MicroMiser in any of its log files and/or information reported in tools such as the mw-feedback script which reports system specific information to MiserWare thereby aiding future development and earning you points in the incentive program.

Several folks have asked about benchmarking against other power management software. With regard to benchmarking, we want to clarify the intent of the license. Our intent was not to preclude benchmarking altogether, but to ensure the measurement methodology is fair to all parties. More precisely, our lawyers told us to paste both permissions together:

“You are hereby authorized to disclose information regarding the performance of the MicroMiser software, (i) provided that such information is provided to you in a MicroMiser software report, or (ii) provided that such information is obtained using techniques approved in writing by MiserWare.”

There is no need for you to sign another license agreement as these clarifications simply give you additional permissions under the original license.

These clarifications are the result of your feedback. Please continue to send your comments to f–db–k at miserware dot com . We promise to keep listening.



So, if you want to help these guys with their Beta, and get on the incentive program too (I’ve just won and received a really cool green iPod Nano) simply leave me a short comment below.

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