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Lithium-ion batteries for computers are expensive but they are good for many cycles of recharging and use. But here is my problem — most of those recharging cycles are still potentially available in the batteries when it comes time to throw away the computer they reside within because the computer has become outdated. I have been getting a new laptop after about two years of use and keep the old one for another couple of years for backup uses. Even after that amount of usage the batteries have not given out, perhaps because it is usually plugged into a wall socket when being used. In any case I now have a six year old Sony which I dropped, it was the backup of the backup. The case was cracked but it still worked okay for another couple of hours, until I turned it off. Then it refused to boot up after several tries so being a backup of a backup computer it just got abandoned. I think it was the hard drive which wasn’t working anymore and one of those cost about $70 which was probably about what this six year old laptop was worth.

Abandoning that old computer was no problem but what still bothers me is that most of the components were in like new condition just out-of-date slow. The screen still looked good, the memory chips were still good but what was most irritating was that the battery was still functional and I didn’t have any way to keep using it. It seems that every manufacturer makes some tiny little chunk of plastic on their particular battery which makes it unusable in every other computer but that particular model of theirs. I checked this with one of my computers batteries with a friends computer battery of a different brand and they were obviously identical, except for a little chunk of plastic used as an incompatability key.

What I have been thinking about was somehow designing a universal adaptor for the vast plethora of batteries that would permit the end user to use the battery for other purposes. A laptop battery would make a terrific flashlight battery for replacing larger sizes C-cell flashlights, or a camping light, or an emergency household light etc.. The little batteries found in cameras could be also used for vest pocket flashlights and other small battery uses. What is needed is a universal adapter which would fit all batteries or a general size and at the other end of this device an adapter which would fit lots of other end use devices. perhaps, even be used for powering other laptops which needed some external power to keep going for another hour.

There are obviously many uses for these old computer batteries — basically anything which batteries are currently used for — but they need a universal adaptor of some very flexable design to link up to the vast aray of current batteries.