When I woke up this morning, the main power circuit in my house had died. This was bad news for my wallet and my productivity, as the power didn't get restored until 2pm and I had a bunch of work to do. I had two laptops — a fully-charged ThinkPad and a half-charged Eee PC — and a wireless broadband card. Would they last until the electrician finished doing strange things in my bathroom?
While it sucks being without power for an extended period, there's an upside: it really makes you focus on what tasks you need to get done and what power management options you have.
I did all the obvious things, like switching to maximum battery life
mode and switching off the wireless networking. I only launched
applications I absolutely needed, and closed them if they clearly
wouldn't be needed again. As the clock ticked down, my PC offered to go
into 'Battery Stretcher' mode, but since its own calculations suggested
I'd only gain a minute, that didn't seem worthwhile.
A couple of hours later, the ThinkPad was drained, and I moved to the Eee. Just as the Eee was starting to flash warnings that it had almost no power left, there was a satisfying beep from the laundry: the power was back. If nothing else, it served as a useful reminder that I often run a bunch of junk that I don't need, that wireless broadband is a lifesaver even when you're at home — and that a half-full Eee can still last longer than my main notebook.