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Author Topic: Hardware Gurus
Dagonee
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In 34 days, Eve and I will be taking the bar exam, hopefully on our laptops. They are both Dell Latitude D600s. Mine is 3 years old, Eve's one and a half.

What maintenance steps do you suggest to make sure that on June 25, the laptops are working and in the best condition possible? (Utilities, tests, etc.)

Also, what's the best way to make sure our batteries stay in good shape? We each have a second battery that goes in the CD ROM bay. I replaced my main battery because it was only lasting a half hour at most. Should we run the batteries down (or mostly down) and recharge them a couple of times before the exam?

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ricree101
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Defragment your hard drive and scan for viruses and spyware. Also, try not to change anything in the hardware or software within a couple days before the exam. You don't want to accidently mess things up right before you need the laptop [Smile] .

Can't really help you on the battery question. Good luck on the exam.

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Kwea
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Dag, when I worked with RACAL stuff for the military we had to deal with battery "memory" all the time. The only time it was crucial was the FIRST time a battery was charged. It you took it off the charger before it was completely filled (after the initial charge) then that was as much of a charge as that particular battery would ever hold.


It cost us over half a million dollars to replace batteries from the researchers who didn't listen to us.

I would not change anything you are doing before the test, other than usual defrag, spyware sweeps, and virus scans. If you DO change anything, change now, then maintain for at least a week before the test. [Big Grin]


Not that I am a hardware guru, not at all, but that is personal experience speaking. [Big Grin]

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Tstorm
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If you're using an external mouse with the laptop, say a wireless one...charge the batteries. Or have a charged set on standby.

I never fail to experience dead mouse batteries in the middle of something important.

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Mig
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Load a file with the name and address, with directions, of a bar closest to the test center. This should help minimize any period of time between the end of the exam and your first post-exam beer.

And Good Luck.

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Earendil18
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Back-up all of your files.

Now [Smile]

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theamazeeaz
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Have the people who are administering the bar exam really requiring the test takers depend on batteries that could die in two hours?


There's gotta be an outlet somewhere.

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Dagonee
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quote:
Have the people who are administering the bar exam really requiring the test takers depend on batteries that could die in two hours?
We have an outlet w/in 6 feet (so we have to bring extension cords).

The problem is the backup plan for power loss: paper and pen. I don't want to have to face that possibility. [Smile]

I tested them in lecture yesterday, and they had over an hour left after 4.5 hours of use, no power-saving features turned on.

quote:
If you're using an external mouse with the laptop, say a wireless one...charge the batteries. Or have a charged set on standby.
The exam software disables the mouse. [Frown]

Dag, when I worked with RACAL stuff for the military we had to deal with battery "memory" all the time. The only time it was crucial was the FIRST time a battery was charged. It you took it off the charger before it was completely filled (after the initial charge) then that was as much of a charge as that particular battery would ever hold.

quote:
Dag, when I worked with RACAL stuff for the military we had to deal with battery "memory" all the time. The only time it was crucial was the FIRST time a battery was charged. It you took it off the charger before it was completely filled (after the initial charge) then that was as much of a charge as that particular battery would ever hold.
Yeah, that's the kind of thing I worry about.

The batteries came with a half charge according to the power meter on the notebook, but I left it plugged in with both batteries in overnight, so it should be good.

So, backups, anti-virus, spyware, defrag.

Got it. [Smile]

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Phanto
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Good luck, Dagonee! Just as an additional note, you're one of the few people here that I really respect.
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Kwea
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Best of luck. If you did that it shouldn't be an issue.

Batteries like that don't have a "memory" so to speak, but the physical make up of them only allows them to reach a specific point...the same point as the first change-discharge. That is what sets the level.

Also, completely DISCHARGE the battery as well. It "sets" the lowest level.


Memory implies that a chip (or something) is in control of the charging levels, which isn't true. If it was things would be a lot cheaper to fix. Rather than buying all new batteries from RACAL, USAMRIID could have just had the batteries reconditioned, or replace the chip set. [Frown]


Instead it cost a ton of money to replace each and every barre , because we couldn't be sure which had been conditioned properly and which had not, and those batteries were the difference between life and death in a first response biohazard environment. [Smile]

[ June 25, 2006, 12:10 AM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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