Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Laptop Stuffs
I learn something new every day. For instance, that first sentence is a simple sentence.

Everyday I use my laptop, I gain more knowledge. I've got Archlinux installed on it and it's humming along nicely, pulling in around 4 hours of battery life. I've started to find some nifty programs to monitor wifi connection and battery life, as well as getting the ability to perform a suspend and hibernate. Here's what I've learned in my own words:

Battery Stuffs
As far as I know, with an Arch base install (which is what I did), everything you need for your battery to perform is given to you right off the bat, minus monitoring tools. Right now I'm using conky to monitor my battery life.

Battery: ${alignr 24}${battery}
B. time: ${alignr 24}${color #FFFF00}${battery_time}
This shows me the status of my power consumption (charging, charged, etc.), as well as the amount of time left to either charge or to de-charge.
Screen dimming is handled via bios, so there's really not too much to look at, in this respect.

Wifi Stuffs
If you're like me, you're a snob and you don't like to use gnome libs when you don't actually USE gnome. I use an Openbox environment, so if I can use as little other DE environment libs as possible, I will go out of my way to do so. If you're looking at a program similar to network-manager, look at wicd. This little baby runs as a daemon in the background, and it also uses python frontends to display some nice information about your connection. It has a nice little tray icon frontend-- I don't particularly bother with it, but a friend of mine would die without a notification that he's still connected-- that'll sit in your program tray (if you use one). Alternatively, you can use some more conky variables (look for 'wireless' in the page).

Suspend/Hibernate Stuffs
Although I haven't toyed around with hibernate things, I have successfully gotten suspend to work with pm-suspend. At first, I had NO clue this command even existed on my computer. I tried doing a `locate pm-` on my computer and managed to find what that program was a part of pm-utils. The short version: pm-utils provides programs to perform well known actions (such as suspend/hibernate) usually found on laptops. On my machine, suspend resumes when I open the lid of my laptop. This could be different if I changed some config files or something, but I really don't want to mess around with something like that just yet.
I also noticed something called pm-powersave. I'm not quite sure what that does yet, as I haven't tested it out. However, when I issue this command, I'll be sure to keep my eyes glued to my battery monitor to see if my charge times goes up or down. Or neither. Hopefully it goes up. Hopefully.

Oh, and if you're wondering HOW pm-utils even got on my laptop: pm-utils installs along side of hal, now. Certain things that hal does requires pm-utils to do them. Just as something like gnome-power-manager requires hal to do stuff, hal requires other programs to do stuff.
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