Look for our free tech tip article and ad on the back page in the Hollywood Neighborhood Association newsletter for the fourth quarter 2012 edition. It came out in a nice green single fold tabloid (11×17) sheet.
October 12, 2012
Do you have a laptop, or iPad, or phone? If you use any electronic device that runs on a rechargeable battery, then this short article will help you save money. There are three easy steps you can do to extend your device’s life. First, about once a month charge the device to 100%, then unplug and use it until the battery is drained. Second, regularly keep the battery charged between about 10 and 90%. The main point to remember is not to charge the battery to 100% everyday, because that greatly reduces the battery’s life. Third, if your battery stops holding its charge, get a new replacement.
By the way, it’s hard to write anything when the audience is mysterious. So please write to me and let me know who you are, and what about computers you would like me to write about that could really help you. I’ll pick out the ones that I could write a short article on, and longer ones I could put on the web.
By Yu Te, who is one of the employee-owners of the MacPCX store, located inside the Hollywood 42nd Street Station.
I already received comments from Lisa, a Hollywood neighbor, who asked if it’s a good idea to plug into the wall and take out the battery on a laptop.
October 23, 2012 “question re: battery life”
I just read your tips in the Hollywood Neighborhood Assn. newsletter. They were very helpful. I’m still confused about something though. When I’m at home and have the laptop plugged in to an outlet — so I don’t need the battery to run it — should I remove the battery from the laptop? Then replace it when I actually need to use it? Does it decrease battery life to keep it constantly in the PC even when it’s plugged in?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
It was a thoughtful question. I had on my techie blinder, and with a narrow vision did not consider that someone might run their laptop with the battery off and plugged into the wall all day. I wrote back it’s not a good idea.
I recommend to leave the battery on, rather than taking the battery off and staying plugged in at home.
Batteries are much cheaper to replace than other components on the computer such as the hard-drive and motherboard. Running on the battery guarantees a clean power supply. Letting the computer shut itself down as the battery draws down is safe.
On the other hand, taking the battery out and running on the plug puts the laptop at risk of suddenly losing power and the damaging the computer’s components. The plug could accidentally be pulled with the computer on, or before the computer could properly power down. With the battery off, if the computer suddenly dies, the sudden power loss stresses the computer’s components, probably damaging a spinning hard-drive, and losing data.
Hope this helps.
I’ll have to clarify for other readers in the next article. Could I reference your first name and the question you asked?
Thanks for writing.
Lisa wrote back to clarify why she’s running with the plug in all day.
Thanks Yu. I *have* to have my laptop plugged in at some point when I use it though, since on days when I work from home my laptop is on 8+ hours continuously.
So should I run the laptop off the battery in the morning until it goes out (about 4 hours) and then plug it in to recharge as I’m working?
Feel free to reference my name and question. As a former marketing person myself, I know that testimonials are some of the best PR ;-)
Finally, my answer to Lisa’s last question.
Yes what you described of charging the battery up, then pulling the plug and drawing down the battery during the day is a good course. I wouldn’t let it draw down to zero every day, though. That should be done once in a while to recalibrate the battery life indicator. 90/10 is a good number to remember. Keep the plug in until 90%, and plug in again at 10%. It’s ok to overcharge the battery once in a while, by forgetting to remove the plug. (I’ve been guilty of that.) Just don’t want to do that on a regular basis.
Thank you on the PR. Again, what I write and intend to mean isn’t always clear, and your questions help a lot! :)
An extra bit of advice for users of desktop computers: from day one, desktops don’t come with batteries and are also at risk of the power suddenly going out and damaging the hard-drive and motherboard. However, an additional purchase of a $36 UPS backup battery can go a long way to also saving the life of the desktop. The link is to a battery on newegg.com. By the way, we don’t get advertising money or kick backs from newegg, so we’re not trying to sell more batteries just for the sake of profit. What we want is to make sure our readers, our customers, and the community get good advice and be able to act on it. :)
Thank you Lisa for emailing. I hope to see more email responses from readers on our web and print articles, and be rewarded with some free advice.