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Some laptop tips for Vista users (okay and others too)

by Tris Hussey on April 23rd, 2007

Since I was not only on the road a lot last week, I was at a conference where access to outlets can be tricky, I’ve got some spiffy new tricks for you.

First trick is for Vista users only (sorry).  Hit windows-x (that’s the funky key with the windows logo on it … alone it opens the Start menu).  That opens the Mobility Center.  If you haven’t played with it, you should because there are some seriously handy things there.

One thing I figured out is to switch to uber power saving mode before you unplug your laptop from the wall.  Coming out of sleep sometimes takes a min and reconnecting to networks might also take a bit.  You don’t want to be wasting power while in High Performance mode.  Yes, Power Saver does reduce performance, but the extra time is worth it.  I have run this puppy on battery in High Performance mode when I really didn’t care how much power I was going to burn and I needed it done fast.

Now for some other tricks.  If you know you’re not going to use WiFi (like on the plane or if there isn’t free WiFi, just disable the WiFi.  The Mobility Center makes this very easy and some machines have nice buttons to do this (my HP does, but it doesn’t work under Vista).  Again, doing this before you unplug will save you power.

Last time is about your screen.  Turn the brightness down as low as you can stand.  Believe it or not, this save a lot of power.

One other tip, that I’ve learned the hard way, is if you connect something like a Blackberry via USB while on battery, you’ll hear a giant sucking sound as your battery drains into the Berry.  You’ve been warned.


POSTED IN: General work pimps

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