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A life of charge

My everyday life has become increasingly battery–oriented of late; and never since the days of yore, when radio–controlled cars were the only kind of cars I could give a rat’s ass about, have I been more acutely aware of how very short–lived they are.

Mobile phone
OK– I’ve been carrying a mobile phone since longer than most people I know, so I’m quite used to this one, but mobiles are generally pretty low–consumption devices anyway. Generally speaking, I send more SMSs than I make phone calls (the latter being the bigger battery hog), so my battery will last days at a time without the phone ever being powered down. This, I like.
Digital Camera
Again, not a real drain on the main vein; there are probably a few hundred photos taken between charges, and those charges could easily be weeks apart, so color me impressed. When you run out of power unexpectedly, though, because you disabled the ‘display’ (read: time and date indicator, along with battery indicator and poorly–estimated shots–left indicator, taking up waaay too much space on a tiny LCD screen) and haven’t been paying your battery levels much attention in its absence… you’re rightly pissed off. Mostly because you find out you have no battery at the beginning of what turns out to be a great night on the town. One that was undoubtedly worthy of a few snaps.
Video Camera
Like the still camera, the video camera isn’t exactly a high–use item, but the fact that you can only get 2 hours of filming done on a full battery is a kick to the ol’ face. Less if you open the little flap with the LCD on it (as people at parties are prone to do unless you tell them not to), and less if you use night vision (as people starring in infamously well–distributed sex tapes are prone to do). Crap.
Seven hours of continuous play really isn’t as long as it sounds. When you’re merrily walking around town or campus it’s a little crippling to be cast into a sad and silent world–of–no–music. Unless you count those buskers on the corner. Which I don’t. What the hell would you do on an international flight?
Understandably, there’s only so–large a battery you can fit into a twelve–inch portable computer; but three hours? Three hours? It’s damned lucky I’m using this around the house most days, but what happens when I go back to uni? Timetabling is telling me I have six hours of straight classes on a Monday… this is not something I’m liking the prospect of. It’d barely survive a flight to Sydney… let alone an international one. Disappointing.

Fuel cell technology needs to make serious leaps and bounds into everyday use… and soon. Carrying around a spare bottle of sweet, sweet ethanol in case of emergency is a lot more appealing than carrying around a spare $200 battery. Particularly when one requires you shut down your device for battery swappage and the other (forseeably) requires a quick and simple refill from a side–port.

Well… you’d hope.