Pale Blue Earth Batteries

I have seven trackpads; two are newer, but not state-of-the-art Apple Magic Trackpads that have batteries built-in, are wider, and just plug-in to recharge. And that charge lasts for a reasonable amount of time.

I’d go into how and why I use this configuration, but it’s pretty boring. Well, not for me, but for you. Point being is that I have five other, older trackpads that require two AA batteries apiece, and I go with regular rechargeables. It would be okay to use regular alkalines, which give off more power and don’t require a lot of management, but I kind of like recharging batteries. I also like shredding paper. But that’s another post.

I’d buy all-new Apple Trackpads, but they are pretty expensive. I try to get Trackpads that have cracks on them, since those cracks don’t matter to how they work, it just looks tacky. I just don’t have the will to spend $700 on trackpads.

They blink when charging, and show a solid light when they are done.

Using normal rechargeables isn’t efficient. I have enough logistics to deal with, with all of my peripherals and my super-special keyboard, that when I get to work, I need things to be as simple as possible because it takes time to set everything up, get the bluetooth to recognize everything, etc. Battery issues do not help.

The problem with normal rechargeables is that they don’t put out the same amount of power that the normal alkalines do, and they are very bad at retaining a charge. They get weak very quickly. Charging them takes up to five, six hours. Not always, but that isn’t uncommon. And while you are charging them, you have to have something ready to put into your device, otherwise you are waiting around for your batteries to charge up. So, like I said, logistics. Plus, if the trackpad’s rechargeables are low on energy, they are weaker, so you aren’t using the entire charge and it is tougher to get the Bluetooth to pick them up.

I came across an online ad for a new kind of rechargeable battery, which uses a different kind of material to hold a charge, doesn’t need a charger, has lights on the battery to tell you when they are good-to-go, and charges in under an hour. Among other benefits. So, I had to give this a shot, and they arrived today. We’ll see how good they do.

It’s like with bottled water; more than twenty years ago, when I started to play hockey, I played at this outdoor rink three to four times a week for several years, and always brought tap water with me because, well, water is water, right?

But when I ran out of water, I’d have to go get a bottle from a vending machine. This happened every so often and after a while, this kind of involuntary taste-testing led to my practical understanding that cold, bottled water from a machine is far better than tap water that has been sitting in a bottle. I could actually tell the difference, not over one or two taste-tests, but many, many times.

The same thing is going to happen here; I am very experienced at rechargeable batteries in my computing environment, and how well they do, or don’t work. So I’ll be able to quickly tell if these new ones are a bust or not. The only think I can’t do is determine their overall value over a long period of time. The web site claims that they can recharge (I forget the actual number, but it might be 1,000 charges) a large number of times. Normal rechargeables do stop retaining a charge at some point, too, so I’m not worried about it either way. So long as they last about a year or two, its at least partially worth it. But I’m optimistic I’ll be using them for a very long time.

We’ll see how it goes.

Pale Blue Earth Batteries

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