PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the time?

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JonP01

PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the time?

Post by JonP01 »

I currently have a basic Palm Z22 that I use to record the moves in my dedicated computer games. It's much better than using a manual score sheet, plus I get real time tactical analysis (of arguable value at times) and easy uploading to my Chessbase software.

One problem that could well be the bane of PDA devices though, is the battery life when the chess engine is constantly analysing the position (although I guess playing a game against it with permanent brain turned on would chew up the battery just as quickly).

I'm trying to ascertain whether the battery life on my Z22 is about as good as I am likely to get with a PDA, or whether there are PDA's currently at the low end of the market that are even more economical when running analysis functionality with chess engines such as Pocket Fritz, HIARCS, Chess Genius, Tiger, etc.

Currently, I seem to get about 9 hours battery life if I do not use the analysis functions and perhaps 5 hours if I have analysis continuously running. The latter is marginal when you are playing 40 in 2 games that do not have quick play finishes. The Z22 will often run out of charge before the game ends. It seems from some PDA reviews I have read, other PDA devices (whether Palm or Pocket PC), are not really likely to better these figures. Infact they might be significantly worse.

I'm just wondering then if anyone owns a current model low-end or medium level PDA (either Palm or Pocket PC) and runs continuous analysis with one of the top PDA chess engines. I'd basically like to know what sort of battery life you get when the unit is analysing the whole time.

On a related subject, I've noticed that the software I use (Chess Genius) doesn't really have an easy way to toggle the analysis on or off. Of course, as a result it chews through batteries faster than I really need, since it laborious to keep turning analysis on or off (I have written to Richard Lang with a suggestion to make it possible to turn the analysis on or off with a single tap on the screen for future versions).

With HIARCS, I can't even tell what it does, since the demo is too restricted in features and I can't even enable the analysis to begin with. But from the look of it, it looks like it would be just as troublesome to keep turning the analysis on and off as it is with Chess Genius. I'd be happy to get some clarification on this last point though.

As for Pocket Fritz, I be interested to know if the analysis can be turned on and off with the single tap ease with which the PCD desktop chessbase engines can be controlled. I' d like to know how Tiger deals with this problem as well.

Obviously on the software side, if turning the analysis on and off is as easy as a single tap, the question of battery life becomes a bit less of an issue.
Albert Silver
Posts: 3026
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:57 pm
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by Albert Silver »

JonP01 wrote:I'm trying to ascertain whether the battery life on my Z22 is about as good as I am likely to get with a PDA, or whether there are PDA's currently at the low end of the market that are even more economical when running analysis functionality with chess engines such as Pocket Fritz, HIARCS, Chess Genius, Tiger, etc.

Currently, I seem to get about 9 hours battery life if I do not use the analysis functions and perhaps 5 hours if I have analysis continuously running. The latter is marginal when you are playing 40 in 2 games that do not have quick play finishes. The Z22 will often run out of charge before the game ends. It seems from some PDA reviews I have read, other PDA devices (whether Palm or Pocket PC), are not really likely to better these figures. Infact they might be significantly worse.
It really depends on the battery as well. My Pocket PC is not a low-end model (Dell Axim X50v), running at 624 MHz at full speed, and it will adapt (if I let it in the settings) the speed according to necessity, greatly improving battery life.

It originally came with a 1100 mAh battery, and the larger 2200 mAh battery offered by Dell cost a prohibitive $99, but I found a deal at Axim Cases for an aluminum case (completely necessary if you hold it in your pocket as I do) and 2200 mAh battery for $54. I can view at least 8 hours non-stop video on it, and countless more hours with less consuming features (playing over games for example). Another aspect to help improve battery consumption is to reduce the screen's brightness.

Albert
JonP01

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by JonP01 »

Hi Albert,

Thanks for that. One thing I really don't like about low and medium end Palm devices is that not only do you get one choice of battery, but for practical purposes it can't even be replaced. So I am stuck with whatever is in this and any other Palm device which is within my sort of budget.

I take it the "larger" battery in the Dell fits perfectly within the unit so you can't tell it is the higher capacity one?

I saw one of those neat looking HP landscape style machines the other day and was wondering what sort of battery life it might offer. I guess you have made an impprtant point though - look to see what higher amp hour batteries the manufacturers offer.

As for screeen brightness, yes I have found that makes a huge difference. I would not even get to move 40 if the screen was on maximum brightness.

I'm still interested in the software solution side of things - I'd like to know how cumbersome it is to turn the analysis on and off on Chess Tiger and HIARCS. I hate asking, but neither of the demos have the functionality available so that I can evaluate it myself.
Harvey Williamson

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by Harvey Williamson »

JonP01 wrote:I currently have a basic Palm Z22 that I use to record the moves in my dedicated computer games. It's much better than using a manual score sheet, plus I get real time tactical analysis (of arguable value at times) and easy uploading to my Chessbase software.

One problem that could well be the bane of PDA devices though, is the battery life when the chess engine is constantly analysing the position (although I guess playing a game against it with permanent brain turned on would chew up the battery just as quickly).

I'm trying to ascertain whether the battery life on my Z22 is about as good as I am likely to get with a PDA, or whether there are PDA's currently at the low end of the market that are even more economical when running analysis functionality with chess engines such as Pocket Fritz, HIARCS, Chess Genius, Tiger, etc.

Currently, I seem to get about 9 hours battery life if I do not use the analysis functions and perhaps 5 hours if I have analysis continuously running. The latter is marginal when you are playing 40 in 2 games that do not have quick play finishes. The Z22 will often run out of charge before the game ends. It seems from some PDA reviews I have read, other PDA devices (whether Palm or Pocket PC), are not really likely to better these figures. Infact they might be significantly worse.

I'm just wondering then if anyone owns a current model low-end or medium level PDA (either Palm or Pocket PC) and runs continuous analysis with one of the top PDA chess engines. I'd basically like to know what sort of battery life you get when the unit is analysing the whole time.

On a related subject, I've noticed that the software I use (Chess Genius) doesn't really have an easy way to toggle the analysis on or off. Of course, as a result it chews through batteries faster than I really need, since it laborious to keep turning analysis on or off (I have written to Richard Lang with a suggestion to make it possible to turn the analysis on or off with a single tap on the screen for future versions).

With HIARCS, I can't even tell what it does, since the demo is too restricted in features and I can't even enable the analysis to begin with. But from the look of it, it looks like it would be just as troublesome to keep turning the analysis on and off as it is with Chess Genius. I'd be happy to get some clarification on this last point though.

As for Pocket Fritz, I be interested to know if the analysis can be turned on and off with the single tap ease with which the PCD desktop chessbase engines can be controlled. I' d like to know how Tiger deals with this problem as well.

Obviously on the software side, if turning the analysis on and off is as easy as a single tap, the question of battery life becomes a bit less of an issue.
Hi,

Palm Hiarcs already allows switching analysis on and off with one touch on the screen
and has set elo levels which save battery life
Mark used it on a 24 hour plane trip!

If you have any more questions please email hiarcs support and we will be pleased to help!

Best Wishes,

Harvey
JonP01

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by JonP01 »

Hi Harvey,

Can you explain exactly how that works please? I have the demo at the moment. The way I would turn the analysis on and off is to write "w" then select analyse. And "w" again to select watch. Is that what you mean?

Thanks

Jonathan
Harvey Williamson

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by Harvey Williamson »

Harvey Williamson wrote:
JonP01 wrote:I currently have a basic Palm Z22 that I use to record the moves in my dedicated computer games. It's much better than using a manual score sheet, plus I get real time tactical analysis (of arguable value at times) and easy uploading to my Chessbase software.

One problem that could well be the bane of PDA devices though, is the battery life when the chess engine is constantly analysing the position (although I guess playing a game against it with permanent brain turned on would chew up the battery just as quickly).

I'm trying to ascertain whether the battery life on my Z22 is about as good as I am likely to get with a PDA, or whether there are PDA's currently at the low end of the market that are even more economical when running analysis functionality with chess engines such as Pocket Fritz, HIARCS, Chess Genius, Tiger, etc.

Currently, I seem to get about 9 hours battery life if I do not use the analysis functions and perhaps 5 hours if I have analysis continuously running. The latter is marginal when you are playing 40 in 2 games that do not have quick play finishes. The Z22 will often run out of charge before the game ends. It seems from some PDA reviews I have read, other PDA devices (whether Palm or Pocket PC), are not really likely to better these figures. Infact they might be significantly worse.

I'm just wondering then if anyone owns a current model low-end or medium level PDA (either Palm or Pocket PC) and runs continuous analysis with one of the top PDA chess engines. I'd basically like to know what sort of battery life you get when the unit is analysing the whole time.

On a related subject, I've noticed that the software I use (Chess Genius) doesn't really have an easy way to toggle the analysis on or off. Of course, as a result it chews through batteries faster than I really need, since it laborious to keep turning analysis on or off (I have written to Richard Lang with a suggestion to make it possible to turn the analysis on or off with a single tap on the screen for future versions).

With HIARCS, I can't even tell what it does, since the demo is too restricted in features and I can't even enable the analysis to begin with. But from the look of it, it looks like it would be just as troublesome to keep turning the analysis on and off as it is with Chess Genius. I'd be happy to get some clarification on this last point though.

As for Pocket Fritz, I be interested to know if the analysis can be turned on and off with the single tap ease with which the PCD desktop chessbase engines can be controlled. I' d like to know how Tiger deals with this problem as well.

Obviously on the software side, if turning the analysis on and off is as easy as a single tap, the question of battery life becomes a bit less of an issue.
Hi,

Palm Hiarcs already allows switching analysis on and off with one touch on the screen
and has set elo levels which save battery life
Mark used it on a 24 hour plane trip!

If you have any more questions please email hiarcs support and we will be pleased to help!

Best Wishes,

Harvey
http://www.hiarcs.com/phfaq.htm#q9
shortcuts on faq
You tap on the "Your Move" text in the bottom right hand corner of the screen to provide shortcuts to often used functions. It works as follows:
When "Your Move" is displayed, tap on the "Move" text to start Hiarcs thinking, tap on the "Your" text to start Hiarcs analysing.
When "Thinking..." is displayed, tap on the text to make Hiarcs Move Now.
When "Analysis" is displayed, tap on the text to stop analysis and return to play mode.
When "Auto Play" is displayed, tap on the text to stop Auto Play.

Please email support if you have more questions.
Cubeman
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:11 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by Cubeman »

On my full version of Hiarcs Palm 9.6,to toggle between analysis all you have to do is tap the word "Your" where you see the words "Your Move"
These words change to analysis just tap analysis to stop analysis.The troble with Hiarcs is that it only gives about 6 ply max so you don't know if what it is analysing makes sense.
PocketFritz2 gives a good deal more information,also it is the only PDA chess program that I know that can give multiple varations.
JonP01

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by JonP01 »

Hi Alex. Thanks for that. I've just sent a question off to HIARCS support, since the tap procedure does not seem to work (for any of the shortcut functions). I am just trying to clarify if this is a demo limitation or not.

I have to say that I am quite annoyed by how crippled these demo versions are of both Tiger and HIARCS. It makes it very hard to determine if the software is suitable or not for the purposes I intend to use it for.

I don't know that ply depth is too important with HIARCS though. It seems to see things at relatively low depths that other programs need much higher depths to see.

I am thinking of Pcoket Fritz as well, but I don't have a Pocket PC.
Cubeman
Posts: 644
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:11 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by Cubeman »

Hi Jon,the best demo version I have come across is PocketGrandMaster 3.0, it lets you do just about everything that the full version does but has slight limitations to make it annoying to keep on jusy using the demo mode and not pay for the full version.You can set up positions and have it analyze to find the best move,only that after you have played the move that it suggests it lets you play a reply and only then I think it resorts to a weak level.As this is the main point in testing any new engine to see how it compares to what you have already got.
Another good thing about the Pocket PC versions is the faster processors,larger usable screen(no wasted area for graffiti),also you can turn the backlight completly off to save power,you can even turn the whole display off so that nothing is showing and have your chess program running for hours if you don't need to actually be playing it yourself,just push a hardware button to turn back on.I don't know if all PPC's have this option but I know the iPaqs do.
RayRo

Re: PDA battery life when running engine analysis all the ti

Post by RayRo »

With regard to battery-life I don’t think you’ll better the Z22 but the Zire 21 (mono screen) is also good and I’ve read that the Tungsten E2 is good as well.

Using a 1700mAh on a Dell X30 I was able to play mp3’s for over 8 hours with some battery left. These batteries just click in and out so have another one charged and ready. It is physically bigger than that supplied with the machine. I also have battery “extenders” for both Palm and PPC. These are very cheap and use AA’s for power, enough to recharge a PDA from scratch 2 or 3 times depending on your AA’s of course. Using these in conjunction I’d imagine that you could run something all day long and there’s no need to take a mains charger when away.

I use Chess Tiger, Hiarcs and Pocket Fritz 2 more than Genius. Analysis can be switched directly from the board-screen using a single touch in Hiarcs and PF2 and 2 strokes in Tiger. Genius, even on the PPC, requires going into the options to switch to and from analysis.

Game retrieval in Hiarcs is by far the best on a Palm but the PF2 on the PPC is much like using ChessBase. Game retrieval is something I have commented on to Richard Lang as Genius works well on the PPC but is not very helpful on the Palm. Tiger is a little better but you still only see the “Event” field when looking for a game. PPC’s handle pgn files in proper database fashion, much better than the Palms.

As far as computer chess is concerned I MUCH prefer to play against one of my dedicated machines but when it comes to portable units none compare well against a Palm or PPC. And as for strength even my R30 has little chance. A grandmaster in your pocket eh? We’ve never had it so good.

Ray Rogers

Posted by Mike Byrne on December 04, 2003 at 23:32:58:
As one could imagine, chess programs are killers for PDA batteries. In fact I recommend that if you do play chess on the PDA, turn "pondering off". But chess players also know that pondering "on" lets the PDA play better chess as it is contemplating a response on your time.

I have owned 3 PDA's and each one, Palm, Ipaq and DELL, would generally last between 3 and 5 hours going full speed while playing chess and pondering on your move. I think my Palm Vx lasted about three hours, my Axim will last just about 5 hours. But these are maxed out times - there would be almost no battery available at the end. With pondering off you would be able to play for maybe 7 hours on an Axim and still have a some battery life left. That is assuming you are taking the same amount of time as the PDA to make your move.

Recently I purchased some NiMH batteries for my digital camera. I also bought 4 extra NiMH batteries to use in a device call a "battery extender" ($8 on eBay) a little pocket size device that holds 4 AA batteries and plugs into My Dell Axim. These 4 batteries (2100MA) cost about $10 and rechargeable. Total cost $18 (not counting the charger).

I fully charged the PDA, and the 4 batteries - plugged it into the Dell Axim, set the device so that there was no dimming of the screen at all and so that it would not power down until the batteries were dead. I started up Pocket Chess Genius, set up a position, and turned analysis mode on. The unit was set to use full consumption of power until the PDA batteries and the extended batteries ran out. I then left it running, periodically checking the unit to ensure it as still running. I also might add that I set the unit at 590 Mhz - almost 150 faster (and also 150 % more power consuming) than the specified 400 Mhz the unit was designed for.

The results:

After 10 hours, it was still running, still computing with full brightness. I checked the battery in the PDA and it was nearly at zero. At this point I was fully satisfied with the performance and ended the little experiment. The battery extender displays an impressive amount of utility for relatively low cost.