The Awful Truth: power history of a T61 with Ubuntu 8.04

The screendump above shows a pretty typical power history of my T61 for the two hours and fifteen minutes a full charge lasts. The variation is due to a mixture of writing, watching a an episode of a TV show (that’s the peak around 42 minutes) and talking to a fellow passenger (that’s the trough near the two hour mark). The screen brightness was between the minimum setting and 50 %. Both radio transmitters were switched off, which saves about 3 W. I am also running Powertop and CPU Scaling.

Powertop saves a couple of watts on my machine, while CPU Scaling has no discernable effect. All of which goes to show how bad things still are compared to XP, which gives me three and a half hours with the same kind of usage. This is not limited to Ubuntu or Thinkpad, of course. The one big downside to the success of the Asus Eee, is that it really showcases the Linux battery life problem. This is 2008 – we shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of thing…

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