- Everything in I.T. needs power, but it's your laptops that really need power because we have the audacity to pick these things up and walk around with them. So, what I want to do in this episode is talk about power and power management. Now, when I say power and power management, what I'm talking about is this thing is going to run on a battery. So I want to do anything I can to keep this thing happily running on a battery for as long as possible. So, the first thing I want to start talking about is this beasty right here. It's an AC adapter. We've all seen these. These are the guys that we plug our laptops into and it charges the battery, right? Well first of all, you got to be careful with AC adapters. Number one, this is the one place where I tend to buy directly from the manufacturer. For example, if I've got a Dell, I tend to buy Dell AC adapters just because I've had a little bit of bad luck with third party ones, although there are third party ones. Number one, this is the one place you might get a proprietary connection. Now you might have USB's, and all kinds of stuff, but power still uses proprietary connections. And you need to make sure you have the right proprietary connection. Just because it looks right, that doesn't necessarily mean it is. Remember with your AC adapter, you're going to have a particular voltage, and you're going to have a particular amperage. So you certainly have to match those. But not only that, you'll often have a polarity, so it'll be plus/minus, or minus/plus, the center is minus the outside is plus or vice versa. If you don't have the right polarity, you're not going to have the right AC adapter. So, there are lots of folks out there who will get you the right AC adapter, I don't know about you, but I've left these in the back of Ubers and trains and all kinds of stuff. So if I replace them, I'm aware that there are third party people out there, but I tend to stick with the actual manufacturers themselves. Okay. You got a good AC adapter, but you're not getting power to your laptop. The next thing I'm going to be checking is the actual jack. If the jack is bad, well we have episodes that show you how to replace that. The other thing to watch out for, is if you've got a laptop, you're plugging it in, it runs great, the moment you unplug it, its bad? Two things are happening there. Either number one, your battery's dead. And batteries die. Or, your actual charging circuit inside the laptop itself is bad. If it's a bad battery, you can take it to a battery tester who can verify whether it's good or bad. Or you can just buy a new battery. Keep in mind that the vast majority of batteries we use are lithium ion or some derivative of them. And a lithium ion, if you can get one to last for two years, you're doing great. But do keep in mind that they die. And you replace batteries. It's just, welcome to the club. Okay. The other thing I want to talk about is the concept of power management. In particular, I'm talking about the built in functions, there actually built into your CPU, called ACPI. ACPI is about 20 years old but we love it and we use it. Anybody that's ever said oh my computer went to sleep, or if you've ever heard the term hibernate, what you're really talking about is ACPI. So, in order to work with ACPI, you're either going to be working within your bias, or you're going to be working within the operating system. It really depends what you want to do. So first of all, let's go ahead and take a look at a typical bias. If you look at this bias right here, you're going to see it has a lot of power on by keyboard, power on by mouse, you could have it wake up by time of day. All of these types of things. That's the primary function of bias. Keep in mind when your machine's asleep, you don't have an operating system. So waking up is a bias job. Now there's one other thing I want you to take a look at, on that same screen, do you see right here where it says soft off by power button? Let me change that. And you'll see it says instant off, or delay four seconds. Now what we're talking about here, is the actual power button on your system. Now, keep in mind, I'm talking about laptops, but this works exactly the same on a desktop as well. And that means that button that you're pressing it doesn't really turn off the power. That button is not like a light switch, where it actually just cuts off the electricity. It really just talks to the intelligence of your motherboard and your CPU and lets you program what you want it to do. For example, I could press on my button on my laptop here if I press it, boom it turns off the computer. Or I could press it and it waits four seconds, and then it turns off the computer. Or, I could even put the computer into hibernate mode, which we're going to talk about in a moment, by pressing the button. That bias we just saw doesn't have that option, but other bias's will. The one thing you'll see on laptops is what happens when you close it. It's also a soft power function. When I close it, does it actually shut the laptop off? Is it going to just put it into a sleep mode? And you can program this, but again you're going to have to count on the bias for that type of setting.
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