What's the best way to "drive" an old laptop?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by *old-guy*, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. *old-guy* macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #1
    I say "old laptop" because technology may have changed over the years so the answer may be different. What I hope to find out is how I should use my Pismo in order to make the battery retain, or even improve on its power.
    At the moment, my normal routine is to fully charge the battery and then unplug from the mains. I then use the laptop until the power meter goes down to about 10% before plugging it in again, charging up to 100% before starting the cycle all over again.
    The Mac is never switched off. I just close the lid at night and let it go to sleep but I always check that the green light is flashing before putting the laptop aside.
    Any tips for better performance would be appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Steve
     
  2. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #2
    I'd say that sounds pretty good, though I'm no expert on batteries. As far as I know, you want to use it on battery power as often as possible, and not have it plugged in all the time. Also, you don't don't want it to hit absolute 0% (generally long after the computer reports it at 0% and hibernates). For example, if you were going out of town or planning on not using the computer/battery for an extended period of time then you would want a half or full charge because rechargeable batteries slowly drain over time even when not in use. On newer batteries, manufacturer's sometimes recommend running it to 0% (when the computer dies/hibernates/sleeps) and recharging it to full every month or so to calibrate the battery.

    With such an old battery you might want to consider replacing it. fastmac sells a somehwat high-priced battery at $110, but claims a much higher capacity than the original Apple (sony?) battery used. I wouldn't be surprised if you could find an off-branded compatible battery for $50-75 somewhere out there.

    Also, if uses a lot of juice overnight, then consider shutting it down. It might take a while to boot, but then again you don't have to sit and stare at it (like i do) when it is. A good rest/restart always helps.
     
  3. Craigger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #3
    false.

    batteries only have so many charge cycles.
    you want to use it on the power adapter as much as possible and save the battery only for the times you need to use it.
     
  4. madog macrumors 65816

    madog

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Location:
    Korova Milkbar
    #4
    Just read something agreeing with you. Older NiCad batteries needed to be cycled, newer LiIon batteries don't need to. However, from personal experience, or just bad luck, leaving a rechargeable battery plugged in has never boded well for me.
     
  5. *old-guy* thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Blackburn in North West England
    #5
    Thanks for the replies, guys.
    So in actual fact, the best way to use a laptop's battery is not to use it.
    Best way is to use the mains where possible after taking the battery out. Then just use the battery when a power point isn't available.

    BTW, this old battery still shows 4 green lights, 100% power in the battery indicator and lasts 2.5 to 3 hours depending on what I am doing
     
  6. Scottsdale macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2008
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #6
    Actually, whenever I am at my desk, I take the battery out and leave it plugged in. That way you are not using the cycles of battery life. I read that a long time ago and has served me well. But, if you want to recharge/renew the battery, I read you want to unplug it and work on computer's battery until the OS puts it to sleep like totally out of power. Then, plug it in and wait til fully charged before using it. I have four year old batteries running strong with this advice. Best wishes.
     

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