Sunday, 9 December 2012

3 Power tips when using laptop and related portable devices

Laptops and other portable devices are meant to be used for convenience and portability. However, there are many times when we have a choice and have no idea about the advantage of one over the other and just use the one we have been using over the years. Here are some suggestions that can help your choice for the better:

1) Keep your laptop always, or whenever possible, plugged into AC power: Most modern day batteries are Lithium ion batteries, compared to Nickel Cadmium batteries of olden days. These are a bit costlier but last longer and do not develop the "Memory Effect" that the olden batteries suffered from. So, instead of charging and discharging always and consuming the chemicals that compose the battery, it is better to let the laptop be plugged in to the main supply whenever possible and save the battery a few more months or may be even years.

2) Hibernate, instead of shut down: The "Hibernate" option saves your current session to hard disk, meaning all open files and applications, and then powers down the laptop, thus, not only saving power but also booting up much more faster than the usual boot up if you had shut it down.

However, do this with caution especially if you have a dual boot system, because if you hibernate, you won't be able to open the partition which houses the operating system you have put to hibernate and it returns an error, saying you need to shut down the other operating system and then try to open this partition. Other than this, you need to shut down only when you need to work with the hardware of your system like changing your RAM or replacing your hard disk.

3) Never move your laptop when powered on: Moving your laptop when it is powered on may lead to physical damage of some critical components of the hard disk which has many moving parts like the platter and the actuator arm. The head of the disk arm is very close to the platter which rotates at a very high speed(of the order of 5400 to 7200 rotations per minute). If the arm accidently touches the surface of the platter at this speed, it may lead to loss of data or even losing the entire hard disk to permanent physical damage.