is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired in 2013), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “How They Got There: Interviews with Digital Designers About Their Careers”and “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
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I never shut down my powerbook. Just close the lid and let it sleep. The amount of power used is minimal. The longest I left it was a week and it lost around 10%.
The bonus is the way you can just open the lid and start immediately – I love it!
I heard it’s not the safest thing to do. The reason being, the hard drive needle doesn’t fully disengage during sleep mode so should the machine wake or get banged around to much, the needle could jam into the drive plate.
Not sure if it’s a theory or actually true.
I travel extensively with my powerbook, and I, too, just put it to sleep. I even regularly put it though the x-ray machine while it’s sleeping with no adverse effects.
Perhaps this is obvious, but turning Airport off, reducing screen brightness to the lowest level you can manage, and shutting the lid while you’re not actually typing or reading the screen will result in significantly longer battery life. I can work for 4-5 hours on a cross country flight.
Kirian, it sounds plausible that leaving it in sleep mode isn’t all that safe, but I’ve been doing it for so many years — with a PowerBook 3400c, a PowerBook G3, a Titanium PowerBook G4 and my current 12″ PowerBook G4 — and haven’t encountered any such problems, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep doing it. I don’t mean that to sound snotty… it’s just that old habits die hard!
>> I don’t mean that to sound snotty… it’s just that old habits die hard!
Not at all, I do it too! I just heard that theory a while back and think about it sometimes when others bring up sleep mode.
I think Kiran’s warning should come with some context, though. The drives commonly used in powerbooks are built to withstand ridiculous levels of G-force. Granted, this protection is most “in place” when the drive heads are parked (about which Kiran is right–only happens when the drive is off), but the shock buffering on the drive itself is quite hearty.
To put it another way, I think any physical force which might damage the powerbook’s drive is probably much greater than that which would damage, say, the screen or the casing.
I regularly ride (and have, since my Powerbook 2400c) with my Powerbook in a padded case in my bicycle Pannier, and have never had a drive problem. YMMV.
I forgot to mention–I cycle-commute with my PowerBook in sleep mode. I can’t remember the last time I turned my latest PB off.
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