Ever been on a long flight, ready to hunker down and get some work done, only to discover that your notebook battery
is plunging toward the red zone an hour after takeoff? So have we. That's why we've gathered these simple tips that will preserve your notebook's juice and boost your productivity.
1. Sleep Is Good
Use the operating system's power-management features (in Windows XP, under Power Options in the Control Panel; or in Vista, under Mobile PC in the Control Panel) to set aggressive targets for when the display will go dark (say, after five minutes of inactivity) and when the machine will slip into sleep mode (no longer than ten minutes of inactivity). And if you can spare the extra time it takes for the machine to resume, set the PC to hibernate, not just sleep, when you close the lid.
2. Don't Be Performance Hungry
Unless you're running high-order mathematical calculations on that long plane ride, chances are you don't need all the processing power your CPU is capable of giving. So in Vista, select the "Power saver" power plan (found in the Control Panel, in the Power Options section) to extend battery life when on DC power, and leave the 3D gaming for when you're near an AC outlet.
3. Dim the Lights
Turn down the brightness of the LCD panel (via the Function-key combo, or in the Control Panel's Display Settings dialog) to the lowest level you can tolerate. The backlight sucks power like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
4. Banish Non-Essential Components
When you aren't actively using the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
, and IR radios, turn them off (via the hard switch, if your PC has it, or in the appropriate utility set), so they don't trickle you dry trying to connect. Also, use USB-attached devices only when absolutely necessary. They aren't getting their power from positive ions in the air, you know.
5. Watch Scheduled Tasks
Be sure that your periodic virus scan is set to a time when you're usually plugged in; running a full-disk virus check keeps the hard drive and CPU fully engaged for the better part of an hour.
6. Lay Off the Multimedia
A little in-flight music is nice while you construct that PowerPoint presentation, but streaming music from your hard drive (or playing a CD) means the disk (or disc) is always spinning.
7. Get More Juice
Let everyone else fight over that free AC outlet. Designed to sit underneath your notebook, the APC Universal Notebook Battery 70 ($149; www.apcc.com) can provide up to six hours of endurance using its lithium polymer technology. It comes with a variety of notebook tips and features selectable output voltages. The unit adds 1.8 pounds to your carry-on, but it's better than having your laptop run out of gas midflight.
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Now that going green is no longer an option, but a necessity, we are progressively looking for new ways to preserve our environment. Although it may seem like a simple concept - it’s actually very difficult to maintain a level of environmental protection without sacrificing some convenience. Recycling does help out significantly, but there are plenty more ways to push towards a cleaner planet without much extra conscious effort.
Since electronic devices have become huge part of our modern lives, it makes this category one of the most important ways to control damage to the environment. You don’t have to live in a solar powered teepee with only an FM radio to go green; it’s a matter of smart purchasing, use, and disposal.
•40% of the energy used for electronics in your home is used while these devices are turned off.
•70 percent of all hazardous waste is electronic equipment.
•15 billion batteries are produced annually worldwide.
•Of the $250 billion spent per year on powering computers worldwide, only about 15% of that power is spent computing-the rest is wasted idling.
•In the US, energy efficient battery chargers could save American consumers more than 1 billion kilowatt hours of power per year, which would save more than $100 million each year, and prevent the release of more than a million tons of greenhouse gasses.
•Making the average PC requires 10 times the weight of the product in chemicals and fossil fuels.
10 Steps To Improve Your Two Way Radio battery Life
A flat battery in a two-way radio can be a frustrating experience. Here are some quick tips to improve the lifetime of your battery.
1 - Go Digital
Digital radios use a technology called Time Division Multiple Access. When you are transmitting with an analogue radio it sends a continuous radio signal. Digital radios with TDMA rapidly switch the transmitter on and off, effectively only transmitting half the time. This can increase battery life by up to 40%.
2 - Be Brief
Reduce the time you spend transmitting by sticking the principles of Accuracy, Brevity, Clarity and Discipline to convey a message quickly. Aside from saving battery life, your colleagues will thank you for not tying up the radio channel and allowing them to speak. A great example of good radio communication practise called AirwaveSpeak can be downloaded from the National Policing Improvement Authority .
3 - Disable GPS
Global Positioning Systems (GPS) consumes lots of battery power. Consider disabling GPS if you don't need it, or reduce the polling frequency. You may consider on-demand positioning, where the radio only activates it's GPS positioning system when polled by a dispatcher.
4 - Reduce Transmission Power
Configure your radio to use the minimum output power necessary to communicate effectively. Some digital technologies automatically adjust transmission power, while others need manual settings by your radio dealer. The lower the transmission power the longer your battery will last.
5 - Use Battery Conditioners
All batteries suffer from a condition called the "memory effect" including Lithium-Ion. This results in the battery no longer charging back to full capacity. To avoid this, use a conditioning battery charger which can detect memory effect and try to correct it. If you don't have a conditioning batter charger, try to fully discharge the battery before recharging it. Regular top-up charges are most likely to result in memory effect.
6 - Switch To Lithium-Ion Batteries
Lithium-Ion batteries are the preferred choice for two-way radios as they suffer less from memory effect, hold the charge for longer, have a better power-to-weight ratio and generate less heat which wastes power. Some older analogue radios may allow the use of modern Lithium-Ion batteries. Check with your radio dealer.
7 - Use Non-Display Radios
Radios which LCD and graphical screens can drain significant power, particularly high resolution colour versions. Unless you need a screen for sending text messages or accessing large numbers of channels opt for a non-display radio for extended battery life. If you must have a screen, make sure the screensaver option is enabled. This will blank the display when it's not required. Consider disabling the screens backlight.
8 - Charge New Batteries Overnight
When you receive a brand new battery, make sure you charge it overnight for around 14 hours. This will give you maximum battery capacity from day one and prolong battery life.
9 - Do Not Continually Charge Batteries
Don't leave the radio connected to the charger for long periods of time as this will reduce the battery life. A classic example is an office based employee leaving a handportable radio constantly in it's charging pod on their desk. You will find this battery degrades quicker than those used out and about.
10 - Replace Old Batteries
Even with careful ownership, batteries don't last forever and can suddenly degrade without warning. Aim to replace all batteries older than 18 months, especially if they are regularly used and recharged.
Hopefully these steps will help you extend your two way radio battery lifetime.