Share this Page URL

Chapter 16. A Movable Feast: Windows XP ... > Better Battery Life Through Power Ma... - Pg. 184

A Movable Feast: Windows XP and Your Notebook Computer 184 Better Battery Life Through Power Management When using batteries to run your notebook computer on an airplane or some other no-power-plug- in-sight location, a worried mind becomes your natural state. That's because the battery can last only so long, so you have a limited amount of time to work or play before your electronic world goes dark. Windows XP can help relieve some of that worry thanks to its power-management features. For example, one of these features enables the system to shut down idle components (such as the hard disk and monitor) to prevent them from gobbling up battery power unnecessarily. Another feature lets you keep an eye peeled on how much power is left in the battery. This section takes you on a tour of these and other Windows XP power-management knickknacks. Using the Power Icon to Monitor Battery Life The first stop on our tour is the taskbar. When you're running under battery power, you'll see the power icon shown in Figure 16.1. This icon gives you several visual clues about the state of the battery. When the battery is fully charged, the icon is blue from top to bottom; as the battery gradually loses its steam, the level of blue in the icon falls. For example, when there is 50 percent of battery life remaining, the icon shows as half blue and half gray. If you move your mouse pointer over the icon, a small banner shows up with the percentage of power remaining. Figure 16.1. The power icon tells you how much juice is left in your battery.