Extending PowerBook battery lifeQ. I read in your column...


January 25, 1993

Extending PowerBook battery life

Q. I read in your column about a software program that extends the battery life of portable computers by turning off the screen and internal hard drive when not in use. Unfortunately for me, this was for IBM-compatible portables. I use an Apple PowerBook portable. Is there anything like that for my computer?

A. The Norton Essentials For PowerBook ($129) from Symantec Corp. is a collection of utility programs designed for the PowerBook line of portables. Included in the collection are Battery Saver and Backlight Dimmer.

When those two programs are combined, Symantec claims battery life will increase from two hours to more than four hours.

This is done in the same way as for the PC counterpart. When the programs detect you are not using the PowerBook, the screen's backlighting and the internal hard disk drive are automatically switched off. These are the portable's two most power-hungry components.

When you press any key or use the PowerBook's trackball, everything is powered up and you can continue working from the exact point where you left off.

Other useful utilities include Battery Gauge, which gives you a detailed display of remaining battery time, and Power Cursor, with a selection of larger, more visible cursors.

Symantec Corp.

(408) 253-9600

Dictionary of computer terms

Q. I am looking for a good dictionary of computer terms and phrases. I found two that were really old and contained outdated material. Do you know of a recent computer-terms dictionary?

A. The newest one I have seen is Prentice Hall's "Illustrated Dictionary of Computing" by Jonar C. Nader. As the title implies, this dictionary contains useful photos, diagrams, tables and drawings that help it to more clearly define difficult and abstract entries.

The dictionary includes international standards and terms as defined by the International Organization for Standardization and the International Electrotechnical Commission. Standards authorities such as the American National Standards Institute and the Comite Consultatif Internationale Telegraphique et Telephonique also contributed to the dictionary.

Following the dictionary is a section that deals with the correct usage of computer terminology. General topics include abbreviations, acronyms, capital letters, numbers and word breaks.

The soft-cover, 525-page "Illustrated Dictionary of Computing" sells for $24.95 and is published by Prentice Hall in Englewood Cliffs, N. J. It is available in most bookstores.

(Send questions to: Craig Crossman, Business Monday, 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, Fla. 33132. Please include your phone number.)

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