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Exercise: Not just for humans

We hear over and over again, that exercise is good for us. Physical activity helps keep our bodies fit and brains sharp. I personally am not very good at consistently exercising, but I do exercise my equipment, classic geek that I am!

Well, I’ve got news for you; it’s a good idea to exercise our devices too. I am specifically referring to the batteries of our laptops and gizmos.

It is not a good idea to leave laptops plugged into the power source 24/7. I know a lot of people who use laptops as desktops and therefore never unplug them. This is a no-no. The problem shows up when the unit is unplugged for travel or mobility: The battery will lose power, have a shorter lifespan, and will sometimes render itself useless. The battery is NOT holding its charge, and perhaps never will because it was “overcharged.” It’s best to exercise the battery.

So, how does one exercise laptop, phone, or iPod batteries?
Begin by not leaving devices plugged into power all the time.

Next—and this is important—run the battery all the way down. If it’s a Mac laptop, run the battery all the way down till it goes into a deep sleep (past the warning that you are running on reserve power.) Once it hits the deep sleep, plug it in and let it charge up all the way till it gets to 100%.

Do not unplug it. Do not disturb it while it’s charging. BTW, you can use it as it charges—that’s no problem. Basically we are “teaching” the battery minimum and maximum potential. So, only do this when you know you will be around a power source long enough to give it a full charge. I do this once or twice a month.

As for iPods, phones and other gizmos, do the same thing. Run them down till they shut down because of lack of battery power, and then, charge them all the way up in one swoop.
So, when you exercise your gear you will feel better too! That’s my kind of exercise!

Vicki Schwaid is the owner of The Mac Shack in Nyack. The Mac Shack does on-site service and support for Mac computers and devices. She has been in the computing industry for 25+ years with a fluid understanding of networking, programming & graphic production.