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This article was written to describe a not very big, but highly functional testing tool which is intended to measure the life time of the accumulator battery of any portable computer (notebook).

The Battery Eater project was started back in the spring of 2002 by Ilya Prokhodtsev, but the first version of the program was released to the public only on December 20, 2002, after all the necessary improvements and perfections had been made.

The first users’ feedback made it clear that the project should be continued. Some corrections were introduced in the next version of the program that appeared soon after the first one. Battery Eater 2003 was officially released by X-bit labs on January 5, 2003. Since then, this program acquired such features as system configuration report, battery charge level indicator, and graph of battery discharge. Moreover, there also appeared a Battery Eater homepage, which you can check out here.

In the new Battery Eater version aka Battery Eater Pro 2.0 the developers introduced a few changes and additional features to their software and modified it for the English-speaking users, upon X-bit's request. Now it offers two new testing modes, enhanced system configuration and testing reports, a new module for benchmarking performance of the computer subsystems, and more test settings.

Why did we decided to use this test? Unlike many other non-commercial projects that often remain raw betas and never develop any further, the Battery Eater tool has been improving and evolving quite actively. The program has been included into many free software catalogues and recognized in notebook reviews on many websites.

So what made Battery Eater so popular? The main purpose of this utility is to carry out a kind of “battery race”. It is most important for a notebook owner to know how long his computer can work from its battery under maximum or minimum workload. That’s not just a pure knowledge or curiosity – portability is the most important characteristic of a notebook at large. It would also be good to know about the battery life before you go shopping for a notebook.

There are a few ways for determining manually the time your notebook batteries can last. Method 1: charge the batteries to the full, disconnect the notebook form the wall outlet and launch the Motherboard Monitor utility having set it up to write into the report file some information (for example, the CPU frequency) once every minute. Thus, after the batteries peter out, you will read the test start and end times in this file; their difference is the time of autonomous work. For the file not to become corrupted in case the power goes down during the actual write operation, you should set the utility up to write into two files of different formats. This method helps to estimate the battery life time under a minimum workload. If you want to estimate the same time under a workload of a certain application, just start this application up when disconnecting the notebook from the external power source.

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