What's best for my computer: Hibernate, sleep, or shut down?

Businessman
Yahoo! Green has published a great article summarizing helpful tips for laptop computer power usage.  Here are some highlights:
  • Hibernate, Sleep, or Shut Down:  Doesn’t matter much.  Hibernate uses less power but restarts slower. Sleep uses more power but restarts faster. Shut Down: uses no power (because it’s OFF) but takes the longest to restart.
    • My opinion (not “policy”): if you’re not going to use the laptop for more that 30 minutes or so, might as well shut it down.  You’re less likely to forget about it and leave it Hibernating/Sleeping all night, which will end up using more power in the long run.
  • This article suggests you discharge the battery completely – they suggest every day – and do not laptops plugged in for days at a time. 
  • Use a power strip and make sure it is turned off at the end of each day.
  • Establish a regular and frequent backup procedure.  This is the toughest part for most users, myself included.  But, if your hard drive crashes, you don’t want to lose everything you – or your students – have been working on.  Back up your saved files to a network folder, flash drive, or portable hard drive as frequently as possible. 
What's best for my computer: Hibernate, sleep, or shut down? on Shine

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