Better Visibility/Awareness of Running on Battery

  • I forget to plug in my laptop sometimes.
  • I also depend on having a full battery ready at all times so I can get up and go to a meeting or a temporary work position.
    I think these are common traits of computer users.

Yet, very often, my first indicator that the laptop is running on battery is gnome’s popup that battery is low and will suspend soon! GRR.

So. How do I make it more visible that I’m running on battery?

Yes. There’s a percent indicator in the corner. But I don’t think many people look at it until there’s a problem. It doesn’t flash or anything.

I think some option to make it flash red quickly for a minute when power is disconnected, and then a less annoying slow fade flash as long as power remains disconnected. I was thinking of doing this with the whole top bar.

My first thought was set a different screen brightness when unplugged. But screen brightness can also indicate inactivity too. I also don’t want my screen brightness changing. Anything less than 100% is hard for me to see in some lighting conditions, and when I’m in those conditions I can’t see where the mouse is to adjust it back up. In the past, I was unable to locate the cause of something turning my brightness down at random times, so I have a script that checks the brightness every few seconds and ups it if it’s down.

Also a few years ago I had a battery that was so bad it only lasted a few seconds, so I wrote a nasty script with gnome-notify that would pop up modal warnings the second AC was lost. But I don’t think something that disruptive is a good idea for most people. But if the top-bar was black on AC, red on battery, that would be hard to miss, yet not disruptive, and I wouldn’t have felt the need then to write my own program.

Is this not the right forum for questions like this?

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