Sunday, June 20, 2010

Why, Oh why can't the laptops do it right?

Right is simple. When the lid is closed, any intelligent laptop ought to power down to save the battery. So, just to see what would happen, I closed the lid, packed laptop into his carry case, and drove over to mother's place, some 15 minutes. Pull laptop out of bag, and damn, his battery is nearly flat, and all he can due until he gets plugged in is whine about low batteries. Damn thing was near full charge when I closed his lid 15 minutes before. In short, laptop had failed to power down, and during the short drive had wasted nearly every electron in the battery.
This has been a laptop problem for years. You cannot trust the little critters to turn off unless you do the Windows shutdown procedure. PITA. There you are in the airport, catching up on a little paperwork while waiting for your flight. Then they announce boarding, and you can't just close the lid and get on the plane. On no. You gotta click on the start menu, click on the shutdown item, wait for windows to actually shut down, and then pack laptop into his bag. If you don't, your battery will be flat by the time the seatbelt warning signs go off. And you can't plug in on the plane.


Evan said...

Sounds like 2 problems;

1) The battery is toast if it can only hold a charge for 15 minutes.

2) There should be a setting under the control panel -> power management to tell windows what to do when the lid is closed. It may be that the setting is set to 'always on'. (my preference is to never have the laptop go into sleep mode unless I tell it to)

Dstarr said...

Well, the battery is a little tired being 7 or 8 years old, but it will hold a charge for weeks if the computer is OFF. Whereas 15 minutes with the screen on, disk running and CPU ticking over at 1 Gig will drain it quite a bit.
And yes I have been all over those power up settings, time to power down this or that on line power and battery power. I probably set them once. But my point is, the damn machine ought to always do the right thing, even for naive users. And the right thing is to save as much battery power as possible after the lid is closed, so you have juice left after your airplane gets to altitude.