How to prolong lithium-based batteries

Battery University has an interesting article explaining the physics of and experiences with different battery technologies. Especially interesting are the guidelines given to prolong the life of lithium-ion type batteries as used in laptops and other mobile devices.

I have already “worn out” three batteries for my N800, and in my experience complete discharges are in fact, as mentioned in the article, a crucial and noticeable influence. The article mentions heat as a second decisive factor.

Experience Report: Dell Inspiron 1525 Laptop with Linux pre-installed

Well done, Dell and Ubuntu! What I received for my €550 is hands down the best overall Linux experience I’ve ever had on a PC. Finally, this is a package that feels like a no-compromise end-user alternative to the standard Windows offerings. Almost everything works as expected out of the box, from WLAN, multimedia keys, 3D graphical effects, hibernation up to bluetooth and even BIOS updateability. And last but not least, it is not the typical kind of half-hearted approach of “if it works for you, fine - if not, don’t blame us” - Dell offers support for their Linux machines similar to the Windows side of things, but at a lower cost.
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Kubuntu Gutsy on Toshiba Tecra 8000

Tecra 8000 windowsMy Tecra 8000 is an ancient notebook with a 366MHz Pentium II processor, a 6 GB harddrive and an installed maximum of 256 MB RAM. Kubuntu 7.10 installs nicely on it, albeit very slowly.

Overall, I’m quite happy with the result. The systems feels faster than expected and is a perfect fit for its designated purpose, which is browsing the web and emailing. Application startup times are long, but once loaded, even a monster like OpenOffice is quite useable. There was only one major installation problem, namely getting WPA encryption to work with my PCMCIA WLAN card. [More…]

At long last: A HP LP2065 TFT in good working order

HP LP2065About three months ago, I gave away my tried and tested Dell 1702FP because someone else needed it as a replacement for a dead CRT. This Dell was a 17″ 1280×1024 display and had served me flawlessly for almost 5 years with no dead pixels or other defects.

My wishlist for a replacement had the following criteria on it: [More…]