Conserve Power

A pen-based environment will often be found on small notebook- or handheld-size computers. Users will appreciate pen-based applications that extend battery life by conserving power. Here are a few power-saving tips:

  • Avoid "disk hits" as much as possible. Hard disks on small systems often turn off after a period of inactivity and powering them up again significantly affects battery life. An application should avoid unnecessarily accessing the disk, since doing so may force the system to repower the drive.

  • Keep code and data files small to minimize the disk swapping Windows must do to clear memory. Restrict the number of dynamic-link library (DLL) files your application requires and consider loading the DLLs early. In this way, Windows reads the DLL files immediately after having loaded the application itself, while the disk is still in motion. Linking to a DLL's import library ensures that the DLL is installed at the same time as the application.

However, this advice applies only to small DLL files and DLLs that the application will most likely use at some point. Large DLL files that stand a good chance of not being required by the application should be loaded explicitly only when needed by calling the InstallRecognizer function or the LoadLibrary function. Although this risks powering up a dormant disk drive, it also prevents unneeded objects from occupying memory.

  • Prefer visual to auditory signals. Besides the negative reasons cited in the "Use Feedback" section, beeps from the speaker also waste battery power.

  • Reduce video power drain by making background colors black.

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