One thing that bugged me about owning a laptop was the small tray icon for displaying how much power my battery had left.
Having to hover over it to get an accurate reading is a real pain. And the IBM power gauge isn’t much better; taking up a fair chunk of my taskbar and is visible even when I’m docked.
That’s why I coded up my own power meter for Windows 9x/XP/2003/Vista. It’s a simple meter which has the following features:
- It gradually appears as the power levels drop. The lower the power, the more prominent the meter will be
- When you’re charging the laptop it’ll turn green and slowly disappear/fade as the charge increases
- The meter appears either on the bottom left or bottom right of the screen; it moves to the opposite corner if you move your mouse over it.. or disappears and fades back after your cursor has left the area
- A large message will appear when the laptop switches from mains power to battery (and vice versa)
- Small size! 76k executable & <5Mb memory usage
Downloads (for Windows 9x/XP/2003)
- Version 1.6.1 – Fixes a bug whereby the meter would revert back to the left after switching power mode
- Version 1.6 – Four new features!
- Version 1.5 – Fixes a bug with wide screens
- Version 1.3-1.4 – can’t remember :-D
- Version 1.2 – allows you to change the colours of the meter to suit your desktop! You can look up hexadecimal colour codes using this website.
- Version 1.1 – introduced messages to warn you of critical battery levels and when you switch from one type of power to another. All in an unobtrusive way.. unlike the standard Windows power meter! ;-)
Let me know if you have any bugs to report and I’ll get them fixed ASAP.
Power Meter Plus is free for home use. Businesses must buy a license after an initial trial period of 10 days. The cost of a license is $10 per installation, payable via PayPal (which accepts Credit Cards).
Some people are finding that the power reading they see on the meter differs from the one given by utilities supplied by the maker of their laptop / netbook / notebook PC. At present I’m not sure why this would be the case; Power Meter Plus is simply asking the operating system how much power is left. It’s possible that vendor-supplied utilities have access to more accurate information. If you know any more about this, please get in touch.
Disclaimer : A user of this software acknowledges that he or she is receiving this software on an “as is” basis and the user is not relying on the accuracy or functionality of the software for any purpose. The user further acknowledges that any use of this software will be at the user’s own risk and the copyright owner – Matt Collinge – accepts no responsibility whatsoever arising from the use or application of the software.