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 »

Instant Messaging: No Alternative

21 06 2009


I used to use Disgby on my Windows machine and Adium on the Mac.  For those who don’t know, these two applications are both “multi-protocol” instant messengers.  In other words ,they work with a variety of instant messaging services, such as MSN, Yahoo! and Google.  Very useful if you have different business or personal contacts using different IM services.

On Linux, I’ve been using Pidgin.  It’s been great until a few days ago when the Pidgin wouldn’t connect with Yahoo! Messenger.  And I have a couple of key business contacts whom I work with daily that use Yahoo! Needless to say, I was annoyed. Read the rest of this entry »