Tricks for getting more hours from a MacBook Pro battery

My job often requires me to work for many hours at an unplugged laptop. I’ve picked up a few tricks for making the battery last longer. None of these are particularly brilliant, but they’re very helpful:

  • Turn off WiFi. That’s a big battery suck right there. In practice, I end up turning it on again briefly if I need to check something, then turning it right off again.
  • Likewise, dim the screen as far as I can still read it. That’s one or two ticks up from completely dark.
  • When I’m not typing, I shut the screen off manually. I close the lid if I think it’s going to be a while, and for short periods I have a hot corner set up to shut off the screen when I move the mouse to the bottom right corner.
  • Use Activity Monitor to find which apps are using the most energy and shut them down. For me, that’s Google Chrome and Microsoft Teams.

By taking these four measures, I was able to get about nine hours’ usage out of my MacBook Pro on Monday.

Do you have any tricks for getting more out of a laptop battery? I’m told shutting off Bluetooth helps, but in practice I haven’t found it to matter much. And I’m also told that Chromebooks can easily get 10+ hours of battery life without having to do any tricks at all.

DevonThink maintenance

DevonThink is a great app, but it’s not set-and-forget. You need to do a little maintenance to keep your data safe.

Run Tools, Verify & Repair occasionally to clean out the cruft.

And backup is more important than ever; unlike Evernote or Google Keep, you’re not syncing your data to someone else’s server. Continuously updated backup services, like the very popular and otherwise excellent BackBlaze, can create problems. Arq seems to be OK. More on the DevonThink blog.

Bear parser

The Bear note-taking app has a new parser that downloads web pages, converts them to markdown, and strips out the clutter. It works quite well.

The DevonThink parser is, on the other hand, horrible. Worst part of an otherwise fine program. Unable to process an uncluttered view.

Devon Technologies needs to get to work on this; it’s a solved problem. Safari Reader, Instapaper, Pocket and the Mercury Parser are all great — no comparison to DevonThink at all.

Del.icio.us founder Joshua Schachter tells the story of his pioneering social sharing platform

Did I Make a Mistake Selling Del.icio.us to Yahoo? (New York Magazine)

Much as I loved del.icio.us – and I continue to use del.icio.us clone Pinboard.in – del.icio.us was never going to be Facebook- Google- or even Twitter-big. People like images and design; a bare-bones text-only site was always going to be a niche.

(Oh, yeah, is that so, respond Reddit and Craigslist, sarcastically.)

Unplugged young

Affluent parents, including many in Silicon Valley who work in tech, are limiting or eliminating their kids’ screen time. “It could happen that the children of poorer and middle-class parents will be raised by screens, while the children of Silicon Valley’s elite will be going back to wooden toys and the luxury of human interaction.” (Nellie Bowles/NYTimes)