BatteryBar Utility – My Experience

I decided this morning that I would look for a battery meter for my HP Pavilion tx1410us Vista Home Premium SP2 notebook, as the Vista built-in does not show the remaining time, only the percentage of charge remaining.

My requirements were that it be freeware / open source, and that it provide a read out of the estimated time remaining.

I went to Gizmo’s freeware and searched for battery.

The first result was .

The recommendation was:

“So, here’s an excellent dedicated free Battery Meter: BatteryBar !
The free version is pre-configured, but still has most/all information one needs.

Pass the mouse over the little display and you’ll see all data it

keeps track of. Click on it and it changes from % remaining to
hours:minutes remaining, all this in a color bar : green, yellow and
red. When it’s blue, battery is charging.

go to

I followed the link, read the information there, checked what others had to say by searching in Google, and downloaded BatteryBar v3.3.3 Free . I scanned the downloaded file with my anti-virus software, and installed it once it showed clear. (System requirements say XP, Vista and Windows 7 supported, both 32bit and 64bit.)

Once installed it showed up as a toolbar showing the percentage of charge left , then when clicked toggled to show time remaining , just what I was looking for.

Also, when I hover over the toolbar with the mouse, more detailed information is shown such as the capacity, charge rate, and battery wear.

There is a “Pro” version, but this does just what I wanted, so I see no need to upgrade.

XP – My Computer Speed Up

Our office moved to a new building, and in the process of getting all the computers setup for the network and various printers, co-workers noticed that when I open up the My Computer folder on my machine it loads very quickly compared to theirs.

Once our IT people had left, after getting everybody connected to the appropriate network modules and printers, I showed those interested how I had gotten mine to speed
up; here is how I did it.

  • Open Windows Explorer.
  • Select My Computer.
  • Click on Tools, in the menu bar.
  • Select Folder Options from the drop down menu.
  • Select the View tab.
  • Uncheck the box in front of “Automatically search for network folders and printers”.
  • Click OK.

Now the My Computer folders should display more quickly.

Email – Show File Extensions For Safety

Set Windows to show file extensions to make it easier to determine attachment safety. By default Windows is set to hide file extensions and hackers have used this to hide the real extension of an attachment to look legitimate, as most users do not change the defaults.

As an example goodattachment.txt.exe would show as goodattachment.txt, unless Windows is set to show file extensions and, if opened would run the executable file with probable bad results.

Showing file extensions is a simple process:

  • Left click Start.
  • Left click Control Panel.
  • Double click Folder Options.
  • Select the View tab.
  • Un-check the “Hide extensions for known file types.” box.
  • Click OK.
  • Close Control Panel.

Sowing file extensions is one of the first things I do when someone asks me to help them with a computer problem and I explain why they should keep this setting. Not only is this a good precaution for email, it helps me understand what the different files are in the folders on the computer that is having problems, as most leave the file extensions hidden and I can not then determine whether a particular file is a data file, an executable, a zip, etc.

Do yourself and your computer repair/consultant personnel a favor and set Windows to show file extensions.

If you know of any other reasons to show file extensions, please leave me a comment.