> The biggest issue for me when it comes to using a laptop is the
> battery issue.
> I've been trying to figure out the best way to get the most number of
> hours out of a re-charge and was looking for advice.
> I'm just studying programming, doing some word processing and
> occasionally run MAME from a Sandisk Cruzer drive plugged into a USB
> port of my desktop PC.
> One of the laptops I have is an IBM ThinkPad T22, and I was wondering
> if it is possible to use a laptop while keeping the hard drive from
> spinning up. (Or is the main power draw the processor?).
> Thanks a lot.
> Darren Harris
> Staten Island, New York.
There's a program called speedswitch that lets you fine-tune
power save parameters. http://www.diefer.de/speedswitchxp/
I've used it, but never done any controlled experiments to
determine if it helps battery life.
Remember, that if you slow the processor by a half, you'll save
much less than half the total power...but it'll take twice as long
to do stuff. So, you lose. If it's mostly waiting for you
to hit a key, you may gain.
Turning the HD on and off will increase its failure rate.
Ditto for your display backlight.
Got no data on whether that matters over the useful life of
a laptop. Older Thinkpads had a reputation for backlight failures.
You could tell it was on its last leg when the screen had a red tint
until it warmed up.
Don't know if that applies to yours.
Customers want big, bright displays, lots of horsepower, light weight
and long battery life. Manufacturers make tradeoffs to hit the center
of the market. Don't expect that there's anything you can do to
dramatically increase battery life.
You can get more "useful life" by paying attention. If you spend an hour
daydreaming while you type a 10-minute memo, you're
wasting power. Wake it up, type
for 10 minutes, put it to sleep, daydream for 50 minutes.
Best option might be to get a laptop with two battery slots and hot swap
in the third and forth as needed.