About a month ago, I got this wild idea to have a kind of battery smackdown … mostly because I own two machines now that predate the turn of the century but still have working batteries.
And because I noticed the other day that the battery on my X60s, which I keep on hand as a small sliver of contemporary computing, seems to be dwindling. Despite its meager three years on the planet.
But there’s no point in it now, because it’s dreadfully obvious that the X60s’s battery is terrifically weaker than the battery, for example, in my Mebius.
That one, the one that is ostensibly 14 years old now, will wind its way down to nothing, trigger the BIOS alarm and cruise to a gentle stop in about … oh, two and a half hours.
That’s right. A 14-year-old battery lasts about two and a half hours. Earth hours. No gimmicks for daylight savings time either, or whatever that’s called in America. (What the heck is that about, anyway? )
Call me lucky, but it’s not just that computer either. The battery in the Fujitsu 133Mhz machine is lasting roughly an hour, even if it doesn’t have the remarkable endurance of its contemporary.
By comparison, the X60s, even though it is a Thinkpad and even though I do prefer this brand and make to just about any other … rolls in at around 45 minutes, and that’s under low stress and with minimal system load.
Okay, now you can critique my experiment from any angle you like. Yes, I know, the power demands in a Pentium MMX laptop running a CF card as a system drive are very low.
And I know a core duo with a 320Gb hard drive needs quite a bit more power to do its thing. Apples and oranges.
I have reputation for (unfairly) pointing out inconsistencies between generations of hardware; there’s even a video on this site somewhere, siphoned from YouTube, showing a lowly MacIntosh starting from a floppy in less time than a year-old Windows-driven machine.
My concern isn’t so much with the hardware discrepancy. It’s for the collective mindset that says these deficiencies are somehow acceptable.
Fourteen years ago we had technology that allowed for perfectly silent computers that started in a matter of seconds and batteries that lasted more than two and a half hours.
Now there seems to be some sort of regression, where computers need five minutes to start, power supplies that outstrip a microwave oven, a half-dozen fans, and batteries that may or may not last the duration of a bus ride to work.
Go ahead and tell me about your netbook now, or your hermetically sealed desktop machine that emits under 10 decibels and betrays my contentions. I will accept your counterpoint as an exception.
But not the rule. For me, the rule says we have lowered our expectations, and don’t think anything of it. It’s my job to remind you of how things were. And suggest how they should be.