Laptop / Notebook Tips that you may not find anywhere else.
At one time my job took me out on the road in large vehicles where I provide instruction on their operation. I converted from hand written notes to using a laptop computer. Here is the start of some tips using a laptop on the road.
* Learn to use the keyboard accurately.
Using the touch pads, or a mouse is not practical in a moving bumpy vehicle. If you can touch type, you are ahead of the game, followed by Keyboard shortcuts such as those below.
* Use a program like ShortKeys to make your own custom keyboard shortcuts for even faster note taking. Remember ShortKeys can reproduce lines, boxes and other things as well as phrases on the page with a simple shortcut.
* Set power features so that it goes into standby when you close the lid. You don't need it on all the time and it returns to the operational state fast.
* Battery Charging - even the newer Li-on batteries can develop a memory, although some sources say they don't. I learned from personal experience that if you leave the battery in your notebook and use it mostly on AC power, the battery will end up lasting only 5 min or so.
Solution: If this happens, remove the battery for a few hours. Then replace it and run it on the battery until it is completely discharged. Recharge the battery and run your notebook again on battery only a few times until it shuts down. Recharge each time. Then your battery should be back close to its normal cycle.
* Remove The Notebook Battery If Not Used
If you run your notebook mostly on AC power, try fully charging the battery, then remove it. Heat build up often reduces the life of the laptop battery. Run your notebook on AC power with the battery removed, replacing the battery in the machine only when needed. Don't forget to use it once in awhile or it will discharge anyway. Batteries are made to be used and last longer if used on a regular basis, not just trickle charged all the time.
Some sites suggest Li-on batteries should not be stored at full charge but rather partially discharged.
Some good information on batteries is found here.
* Laptop TouchPad
Laptops have that neat little touch pad for moving the pointer around instead of using a mouse. One suggestion I found helpful is to look where you want the pointer to go first, then move the pointer to it.
For example, if you want to go to File>Open - look at the word File, move the pointer to it, when it opens, look at Open and move the pointer to it. That works much better than letting your eyes follow the pointer from where it is to the word File. Try it. (This works for regular mouse action too.)
It is also useful if you are moving the pointer right, start your finger at the left side of the touch pad. If you are moving the pointer left, start your finger at the right side of the pad.
This allows you to move the pointer from one side of the screen to the other, or from top to bottom in one motion without lifting your finger for a second movement. You may have to tweak your mouse settings in Control Panel to help with the distance.
* Customize Your Touchpad Settings
Many users over look the custom settings for the touch pad. There are many things you can do to make that touch sensitive pad do what you want it too much more quickly and easily.
Course you could be like me and learn to use the keyboard shortcuts most of the time :)