Improving Battery Life on Linux Mint by 50%

1 07 2009


In one my first posts, I noted that my biggest concern with moving 100% to Linux from Windows is the higher consumption in power which leads to degradation in battery life when unplugged.  I use a Lenovo ThinkPad X200 with a 6-cell battery.  A recent business trip reminded me how important longer battery life is.

So I did a little research, experimentation and tweaking to improve my situation.  Below are the steps I took to get up to a 45% reduction in power consumption as measured in Watts (from about 15W to 8.3W) and about 50% more working time on my unplugged computer (from 3 to 4.5 hours). Read the rest of this entry »


No assembly required.

27 06 2009


Just having more fun.

Read the rest of this entry »

Emailing on Linux: sticking to one

26 06 2009

outmalithunI use a lot of web-based email services, such as GMail.  But there’s not a whole to say about my experience with using web-based email on Linux since there really is nothing significantly different (Okay, I found out last night that Google Talk Audio/Video calling doesn’t work on Linux yet, but I wouldn’t consider that significant).  So long as the web browser works.

In the past, I’ve used Microsoft Outlook for work and Apple’s Mail App for personal email.  Both are terrific programs.  Outlook let our company easily schedule group appointments and manage contacts.  Apple Mail was dead simple to use and made attaching photos into emails a joy by showing you the picture you’re sending instead of some barely useful thumbnail with even less helpful filename as the description. Read the rest of this entry »

Skype Barely Ripe

25 06 2009
The better Skype interface

The better Skype interface

I use Skype a lot.  Initially for just keeping in touch with family, but now more frequently with business contacts.  In fact, we use Skype internally as our default company IM client.  I always felt that Skype’s simplicity and straightforward interface was what kept people happy.

And it goes without saying, voice and video calling experiences are terrific.

Read the rest of this entry »

Personal ad idea for Mint 7

24 06 2009

In my previous post, I asked why I had to upgrade to version 7 of Linux Mint.  After going through a major troubleshooting experience with my Thinkpad, I was finally able to think of one new benefit that I didn’t have back in version 6: the ability to suspend and hibernate my notebook properly.


Click image for full-size version

Read the rest of this entry »

Why Did I Upgrade Again?

23 06 2009


I upgraded my Linux Mint 6 system to version 7 a few weeks ago.  Why? You know what, I honestly can’t say.

I pointed out in an earlier post that I did a not-so-simple-but-easy-enough upgrade from version 6 to 7.  Since upgrading, I faced an annoying slow graphics issue with my Thinkpad X200 that grew frustrating enough that I almost gave up on Linux (if you’re experiencing similar problems, check out these helpful hints in the Mint or Ubuntu sites).  My opinion on version 7 may be jaded because of this problem, but I couldn’t see anything really new with version 7.  If nothing else, it just made my notebook feel slower!

That experience made me reflect on my actions: why did I upgrade again? Read the rest of this entry »

Same Solid Web Experience on Linux Mint

22 06 2009


Linux Mint 7 already includes the wonderful web browser Mozilla Firefox. Many of you have probably at least heard about Firefox, if not use it on a regular basis.  And I think it’s safe to assume that most of those who have tried Firefox end up sticking with it.  It’s faster and reputably better protected from viruses and other such bad things from the Internet. Read the rest of this entry »