Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't Be a Charge-a-Holic

"I can't charge!"
  One thing I cannot stress enough is letting your battery drain. This may just sound like the silliest thing you ever heard, but it is true. You must let your battery drain until it is in red. This applies to all gadets. Computers, cell phones, gaming devices. Why is this important though? Why can't you just charge when it is at 50% battery? Well, I shall explain. Every time you let your battery drain into the red, it is considered empty. When your battery is empty, and you charge it back up to full, this is known as a cycle. Most batteries have an estimated number of cycles which they can go through. For example, my laptop battery, I believe, has an estimate 1000 cycles. After which, I would need to change the battery. By letting your gadgets cycle, you are ensuring you get the most out of your battery. When you don't cycle your gadgets, you are actually shortening the battery's life span. Instead of be able to do 1000 cycles, it may only be able to do 900.
  Once you pass the estimated number of cycles, the battery will start to hold a weaker charge. This means that you will have more time charging, and less time draining your battery. Your battery will start to drain quicker, and it may come to the point where your battery is useless. If your battery were to ever become useless, you would have to charge constantly for the gadget to work. With most gadgets, you can buy replacement batteries. However, they are on the more expensive side. A new macbook battery could run me $100. Not the type of money I want to be spending.
  The one prominent charging method people with cellphones use is the car charger. However, they don't just charge when the phone needs charging. They charge all the time. Constantly, they are just plugging in and charging. I know the mentality behind this. The people charging think their phone could die during the day, so they must keep it charged. I always try and explain to these people that there is no need to be charging in the car if your battery bar is in green. Most, however, don't listen to me and do it anyway. There is not much I can do then. Usually I get a call a few months later from some of the people who don't listen. They then explain to me that their battery is not holding a charge and they don't know why. At that point, I am usually frustrated, yet somewhat humored, by how people took my advice. I then proceed to explain to them that they have killed their battery and they will have to buy a replacement. The price usually does not fly so well.
  So this is a slight warning, and at the same time a bit of advice. Let your battery drain fully and then charge it. Cycling is better for your battery then just charging it when ever you feel is necessary.


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