Tips for extending your battery life
Everyone wants longer battery life, within reason there are some tricks to help get the most out of your laptop's battery.
One fact we all have to accept is that laptop battery life degrades over time. While modern Lithium Ion batteries found in laptops today are much more resistant to degradation they do still lose performance after a couple of years.
After 3 years of reasonable use you will be entering the stage of possible total battery failure.
Most laptop batteries will last a little over 2 hours when new. This usually ties in perfectly with a DVD movie. However often the inability to play DVD movie all the way through is the first indication of reduced battery performance. The problem with DVDs is that they involve accessing the DVD rom drive and are quite processor intensive, this means the laptop cannot enter a reduced power state.
If you want to get a bit more juice out of a battery, fully discharged and recharged it several times in a row. It may be a pain, let your laptop run until the system shuts down. Then recharge it and, if you have time, discharge and recharge it a second time.
When watching a movie turn down your LCD screens brightness, this will have quite a big impact on energy usage.
If you know how decrypt the DVD movie and store it on your hard disk drive. This way you won't have to access the DVD ROM drive further reducing the laptop energy usage.
If your lucky enough to have a battery that supports wireless networking then try removing the PCMCIA card or disabling it in the device manager. Wireless networking cards can use quite a bit of energy broadcasting their radio signal.
The Energy Saver control panel on your Mac and the Power control panel in Windows XP allow you to configure your system to power down the screen and hard drive after a period of inactivity.
The last option would be to buy a second battery to change or a large 3rd party laptop battery to massively increase battery life.