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Stripping the Polymers

In September, 2001, I bought Sting, an HP iPAQ 3635. It served me well for about four years, and then I upgraded to Angrist, an AudioVox 6700 Pocket PC smart phone. It's still gathering dust in a corner of my house.

One of my main gripes about Sting was that it had a great lithium polymer battery that lasted for 7-8 hours for the first year, but then developed a severe case of battery memory. That's when you charge a battery up fully, drain it down a little bit, and then charge it back up again, and its charge capacity and time to depletion drop as it ages. I've had terrible battery memory with nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries, moderate effects with nickel-cadmium (NiCad), mild effects with lithium ion, and pretty severe effects with lithium polymer (I've replaced the battery in Angrist several times already.)

When I called HP tech support, they told me not to let it drain so badly that I couldn't boot without plugging the PocketPC into its charge cradle, because it "strips the polymers from the battery". I'm not sure what that means, but it sounds dire.

Which brings me to the actual subject of my post. When I get a little overloaded, I simply increase my power consumption, where "power" here means caffeine, calories, and morale. Well, you can imagine what happens when I get to 0% on any of the above.

Moral: If you have an advisor who's willing to go past hibernation... don't strip the polymers.


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