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Local Computer Company Goes Green

Past Issues (Oct 07) > Local Computer Company Goes Green

Local Computer Company Goes Green

You may remember reading about Richibucto Computer Services (RCS) in Bread 'n Molasses when the company first opened in 2005. A lot has happened since then. They have grown from being a home-based service business to occupying a space opposite the Habitant Motel. On top of that Andrew Hawkins now employs another full-time technician (and is on the lookout for someone to fill an administrative position) and RCS now offers a wide range of products and services including their new Remote Assistance product that allows them to fix your PC without you having to unplug it and take it anywhere. While Remote Assistance certainly reduces the amount of miles travelled by technicians on service calls and clients bringing machines in, it is not the only step RCS has taken to reduce their impact on the environment.

Early in 2007, RCS decided to do their part for the environment and only offer energy efficient PCs and Laptops. To this end they have launched their own range of energy efficient PCs. The Qb (pronounced: cube) comes with a low energy 230w Power Supply and uses components that are approved under the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) directive, a directive aimed at reducing the amount of Lead, Mercury and Cadmium used in electronic goods. As well as being virtually silent, these small wonders take up considerably less desktop space than traditional systems. Available with Windows XP or Vista the green PCs are proving to be very popular.

"I'm a great believer in everyone doing their bit," explains Andrew. "Just because I can't reverse global warming on my own, doesn't let me off the hook from doing my part or helping others to do theirs."

This decision to offer only energy efficient PCs and laptops nearly cost RCS an order but ended up winning them an ally.

"G L Caissie Ltd of Richibucto, a major plumbing service and supply company were looking for a new system and came to us with a quote from Dell and asked us to match it. With traditional systems and components we could have gotten pretty close, close enough that by the time you added the delivery etc. from the other supplier we would have been a little bit cheaper. But we had made the decision, and we chose to stand by it. It wasn't easy telling a customer that although we could give them what they wanted we weren't going to. We explained our position and graciously declined the invitation to quote. I was pretty surprised when they came back and asked for our pricing on our products, I thought the order had gone elsewhere. We quoted on a laptop and desktop system that met their requirements and although our costs were slightly higher, it’s one of our laptops that you'll see on the sales desk in their stove showroom, not one of Dells. We got the order. In part because of the local service but also because they appreciated what we are trying to do and decided they wanted to do their bit."

Several other local companies have also switched to Qbs, including one who has committed to replace all of their current systems with Qbs over the next three years as part of a Total Systems Management Package signed with RCS. Home users also see the appeal of these virtually silent low energy systems.

"People like the small form factor and can't get over how quiet the systems are. You sometimes find yourself checking the lights or opening the DVD player just to check the power is on."

Available in black or silver, the Qbs represent the first range of PCs to be offered by RCS. They are already working on the next generation, as well as building fully customized systems. And by custom, they mean custom. Current projects include Hummer, a system built into a 1:10 Hummer; Abacus, an old manual adding machine that now houses a fully featured PC; and Woody, a PC built into a small wooden cabinet about the size of a humidor. They also offer a range of vinyl case tattoos for those who want to add a little something to their own PCs.

So next time you’re looking for a new system, think about more than just the price tag. A laptop or energy efficient PC like the Qb costs less to run than a typical desktop machine. You may also want to consider finding out more about Remote Assistance, not only is it less expensive than an onsite visit, but it also saves you the drive to Richibucto, Miramichi, Moncton, or wherever you get your systems repaired.

"Low energy PCs and Remote Assistance certainly help reduce our carbon footprint and the amount of energy we consume, we're hoping they can do the same for you."

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