Don’t Power Down Your Laptop at the End of the Flight

I ran into a bit of a problem when shutting down my computer on a flight once.

153 / 365 - Fresh Install

(Dramatic reenactment)

I didn’t know what else to do, so I closed the lid.  Royally messing up the updates.

Every time I shutdown after that, the updates froze.  I ended up having to uninstall the updates and reinstall them.

Because of this, I’ve gotten in the habit of never powering down my laptop when flying (or when in the airport lounge anticipating my flight).  I always set it to sleep instead.

I power down my laptop when I’m in a place where I can leave it for a while–home, the office, etc.

Of course, you can turn automatically installing updates off, but I’d rather deal with remembering to not shut down then to leave my computer outdated (and potentially vulnerable to threats).

I’ve even switched to a different computer for in-flight to make things easier.

My home laptop is an intense gaming computer (and has a keyboard that glows with the fires of a thousand hells).

red glow keyboard

I took it on a recent flight where I was in first class.  The flight got cancelled and craziness occurred, and I was in a middle seat in the back of coach trying to work my overpowered laptop.  I had to aim the laptop sideways and recline my seat to see the screen, and eventually, it started burning my lap (ouch!) but I needed to get work done.

So I got this Acer Chromebook and it has been an in-flight dream.  I close to put it to sleep, open to wake it up.

The most I can really do with it is respond to emails and browse the internet, but that’s really all I need in flight.  And since it has an 8.5 hour battery life, I don’t worry as much when I put it to sleep.

I’m also less worried when I travel because (I hate to put it this way), the Chromebooks are more disposable.  So it’ll suck if I drop it.  But only $187 suck.  Not replace-my-gaming laptop suck.

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About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. you wouldn’t have to worry about the Windoze updates if you went into control panel and changed the update setting to “notify you but don’t download or update”. That way you control when Windows actually does the updates, and which updates you want (or don’t).

  2. Treat yourself to an SSD drive – I finally took the plunge on my laptop, can’t believe a windows update can take just seconds now. I used to hibernate to keep things faster (relative to booting/shut downs) on my 4 flights a week, now I really do a shut down knowing how 10 seconds won’t stress me out.

    I agree with the chromebook ideal though – I’ve thought about getting a Surface just for flights.

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