Almost Caught Up, on News, at Least

Phew… We managed to get our report out on MWC and also the ECR (European Congress on Radiology) report for LDM done and are very close to ‘being caught up’, at least on news. It won’t last long as next week we’ll be at the Passenger Terminal Expo and the Electronic Display conference in Nuremberg as well as the Embedded World show that the Display conference runs alongside. At the moment, the shows seem to be coming endlessly. We have experimented this week with two column layouts for parts of the pdf layout, as we try to make the newsletter easier to read on a PC screen. It’s a real challenge to get a design that works well in print and also on screen. We think the latest design is an improvement, but welcome feedback.

Recently, a couple of newsletters that I receive have switched to a single column layout, presumably to make the issues easier to read as a pdf, but I find them unreadable. In the end, I suspect that we will have to find a way to deliver the content electronically that is additional to the pdf and the website for reading. If you haven’t tried the website for a while, it is a good way to access stories since we changed the template towards the end of last year. The website, of course, is also searchable.

On a separate topic, after complaining about the battery life of my ThinkPad last week, I decided to dig around the forums to see if there was a known problem. There was general grumpiness about the battery performance of the T460S, but somebody suggested that it was worth keeping an eye on the power consumption using an Intel app called Power Gadget. I downloaded it and found that often the processor was running close to flat out, even though I wasn’t doing much. So, I got over to the Task Manager. It turned out that there was a networking utility (to control a NAS server we have) that was fully using one of the cores. There was also another Microsoft system process hogging another core. That meant that the CPU was running all the time at close to capacity. No wonder my battery life was so poor!

I took out the utility and that also seemed to eliminate the Microsoft process. I also found that Chrome seems to take a fair amount of power, and more and more for each window (and I often have several instances of Chrome open, and lots of windows). I’m trying to switch to Microsoft Edge which is claimed to use less power, although I don’t find it as easy to use as Chrome. I’m hoping that will change with practice. As a result, I’m back to around five to six hours battery life – still not great, but, just about, tolerable for flights to one side of the US!

On the one hand, that’s really good news, but on the other hand, it reduces the incentive to start working on the accounts department to get the budget for an upgrade to the next 470S, which should be due soon and should reduce power consumption again. I was warned that the 2560 x 1440 display on the T460S that I have is quite inefficient and early on I thought that the resolution was a bit too high for a 14″ display. However, I am a confirmed pixelaholic and, now, it would be hard to go back to FullHD. I don’t like some Windows 10 scaling, so an UltraHD display is (probably) a step too far for now.

Maybe if I convinced the accounts department that she really needed a T460S? It might be worth a try!