Prolong You Battery Life (it really works ;-))

My house is completely electrical. One day I left a light on when I went to work.
When I came home I couldn’t unlock my door.
Steven Wright

Some times you are working with a notebook or other mobile device but have no opportunity to recharge the battery (e.g., in a lecture). In these situations you need the battery to last as long as possible.

There are a few things you can do to get an extra half hour (or more) out of your battery:

  • If available, select energy saving mode. Windows and Mac both have them available (Mac by clicking on the battery in the menu bar on top, then choosing “Better Energy Savings”).
  • Turn off the Wireless Network (if possible). Especially on small handheld mobile devices wifi consumes huge amounts of energy. If you need to be connected from time to time, then bundle your online tasks and do them in one quick burst (go online, do them quickly, then go offline immediately).
  • Put the screen as dark as possible. A brightly lit screen takes much more energy than a screen that is one notch over pure black.
  • Never access the DVD drive. It’s unlikely that you need it either way, but if you plan to (e.g., watching a movie on a plane), copy the movie to the hard disk drive and watch it from there (if you can/may). DVD drives consume lots of power.
  • Quit all programs that you do not need at the moment. They access the processor from time to time, even in the background.
  • Work with a small, light-weight program. For example, do notes in a text editor, not with Word and the like.

Tip: You can see the effect of your actions on battery life if you select to display the time remaining (Mac: click on the battery in the menu bar on top, select show => Time). Give it at least ten to twenty seconds to recalculate the time left after you did your changes.