Re: Accessible battery Management Programs

David <trailerdavid@...>

Which of course seems the easiest. Yet, I am not a fan of doing that.

The technology in modern screens might be a bit vulnerable to this "easy way out".

Whenever you leave your computer unattended for a while, the picture of the screen will be statically staying unaltered. This means that all the tiny lightening dots - what is named pixels - on the screen will be in a static position. Each pixel has a certain lifetime, and the longer you leave it turned on, the faster it will outburn. In the end, your screen will develop "dead" spots, which will render it useless for sighted people.

The text that stays on the screen for such excessive periods of time, might also end up being "burned" into the screen material. That is to say, the shaddow of it will stay on the screen, even when the picture is altered. Nothing that happens for a day or two, but over time, and again something that will disturb the screen appearance for sighted persons.

Lastly, Turning off the screen saver altogether, will do exactly the opposite of what the initial user was looking for. Think of it this way.

The user wanted a way to save battery.

The screen uses power to lighten all pixels needed for showing a picture.

Leaving the screen always on, by turning off the screen saver, will definitely drain the battery. The screen then will use power to keep the current picture frozen.

Choosing a BLANK screen saver, on the other hand, means the screen is forced to show an empty page. That is, it is going to turn each and every pixel off, way across the whole screen. Lights that are turned off, do not consume any power. Light that is turned off, cannot be outburned. It saves battery power, and it saves the screen's lifetime.

Then, what about a standard screen saver?

It typically will show a picture, that every so often changes. Some tend to scroll across the screen, others are more like a live movie showing some kind of nature, acting characters, or a burning fireplace. Even, some make a live camera picture come up, whenever they are not using the screen. For instance, you could have a wireless camera installed in the trees in your garden, and whenever you are not using the computer, it will display a live picture of the birds feeding their chicks out in the nest, realtime.

Sum of it all, the screen saver's main mission is, to have the screen permanently altering. Namely to save the pixels from staying static, namely to prevent the screen from outburning. A screen saver consequently does consume power, and not very little either. Turning it off, still means the screen is showing a picture. Choosing a blank screen saver, will mean the screen goes blank, and is by far the most effecient way to save both battery and screen lifetime.

Hope this clears things up a bit.


On 11/30/2016 9:21 PM, Gene wrote:
I meant to say just turn the screen-saver completely off. 
----- Original Message -----
From: David
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 2:03 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Accessible battery Management Programs

Unless you have something connected to your USB ports, which really draws power - like an external hard disk - I am ready to say the USB ports may not give you much for power saving. Again, if you have something that draws a lot from the ports, learn to disconnect it, whenever you do not need it for a prolonged time.

Turning off Wireless and Bluetooth? Sure, that might give you a few minutes more on run-time, but cannot tell exactly how much. It would depend on how much you use the Wireless, and how good coverage you have, where you are at any given moment. Poor coverage, will demand the computer to resend information over the net, multiple times, and thereby consume some power.

In the old days, we used to turn off the screen, when there was no sighted people around. The screen is a power-consumer, hence if you can have it turned off, or at least lower the light on it, that might lengthen your battery life. On modern computers, it is not all that easy. Old models used to have a slider, to turn up and down the brightness of the screen. Turning it all down, meant the screen in practical terms was turned off. On modern models though, you will typically have to go to the control panel of Windows, and turn it on or off. Someone, on another list, suggested a while ago, that you could connect an empty monitor cable to the External Screen Connector on your laptop. To what extend that would help, in making the computer think it is on an external screen, therefore turning off the internal display - I am not able to tell for sure.

One thing though, that you could do, and which definitely will reduce power-consumption, is to change your hard disk to an SSD. The SSD has no mechanical parts, hence far less power is needed to operate it. Less power, no mechanics, you have a much cooler run of the computer. That in turn, results in the fan spinning far less. Less power consumption for the disk, less power consumption for the fan; it all amounts into quite a boost on your battery life.

I recently did the upgrade on my laptop. Before, with a standard hard disk installed, it would keep just about 2.5 hours on one charge. Now, with the SSD installed, I can run the computer more like 4 hours before it tells me it is hungry for some recharge. Add to it the faster computer I have got from it all, besides the far less noise I experience. And, of course, it is nice to not be cooked just because you happen to have your laptop in your lap.

As for general battery saving, I do suggest that you go to the control panel of Windows. Here, under Power Management, put your screen, disk and other equipment, into idle mode fast as you find it convenient. A screen that stays on for a whole hour, even if there is no activity, certainly will draw a lot of unnecessary power. Shorten the ON-time, to something like 10 or 15 minutes. Also, use a BLANK screen saver. If you do go for any screen saver that shows a picture, they are by definition constructed the way that the screen is being updated every so often. Such updating definitely eats battery power, for absolutely no good reason, since you won't have any enjoyment of the picture scrolling across the screen anyway. Besides, many screen savers do trouble the screen readers.

Hope any of this will bring you a tiny step further.


On 11/30/2016 8:27 PM, Gene wrote:
Those with more technical knowledge may agree or disagree with the following remarks.  These are my guesses but I have no experience to support them. But they may be useful as discussion points.
I don't know if there are any such programs or if they make enough difference to matter.  I don't know how you use your computer but I believe even something like turning off WIFI, which is the equivalent of airplane mode on phones, might save enough time to amount to something.  I'm not sure about this but I believe either disconnecting or turning off USB devices if they can be turned off, would save more power.  Using efficient headphones or amplified external speakers and keeping your play sound levels low would probably save more power.  Taken together, such things might save enough power to amount to something.
If battery life is significantly insufficient, I doubt anything will give you a lot more time.  Those with experience in these matters can tell you.  That's my guess but its just a guess.  My guess is that it probably would be necessary to carry an extra battery. 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Accessible battery Management Programs

Hi Travis,
Yes, I have checked out the battery related configuration settings
present in Windows's own Control Panel, was just wondering if there
were more advanced and feature-rich programs that could perhaps
provide perhaps a slight battery life extension. I was looking mostly
at utilities similar to third-party battery saving apps that one uses
on Smartphones, for laptops.

On 12/1/16, Travis Siegel <tsiegel@...> wrote:
> I'm not sure what kinds of management you'd want to do, since generally,
> most things you can do to the laptop are configurable from the windows
> control panel under screen saver (or something similar).  Generally,
> there's battery status in the system tray, though if you specifically
> need a program to show you battery status, I have one I wrote years ago
> because it wasn't convenient for me to keep going to the system tray
> just to check my battery status, this program just pops up, shows me my
> charge, and time left (I think, it's been a while since I've had a
> windows laptop), then allows me to exit and go back to what I was
> doing.  Unless a utility came with your laptop though, it's probably not
> a good idea to try to mess around with any other battery settings, since
> that has a tendency to break things, and I don't know any programs that
> do that anyway, though I'm sure there are some out there, especially for
> these smart batteries they have these days.
> Anyway, if the windows sleep/screen saver screens don't give you the
> control you want, I don't have any suggestions on what else to try.
> On 11/30/2016 1:35 PM, Bhavya shah wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> I was wondering if there exist battery management, optimization and
>> saving utilities for PCs. If so, could you folks recommend an
>> accessible and free software of that sort?
>> I would appreciate any assistance.
>> Thanks.

Best Regards
Bhavya Shah

Avid Enthusiast and User of the Free NVDA Screen Reader (

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