Photo: Ed Yourdon

For a writer there’s nothing worse than your laptop battery punking out when you’re on the road. Except when your backup laptop’s battery punks out, too.

I WAS REALLY AT wit’s end last week, when not just one but both of my laptops died the night before a trip. “I’m going to walk over to Staples to check out laptop prices,” I told my husband, who reminded me that we weren’t exactly in the market for making a big purchase.

He fancies himself something of a handy man, so he logged on to YouTube and entered the search phrase: “laptop battery hack.” He found this video, then bought replacement Lithium batteries and a soldering kit for about $20.00. Thirty minutes later, voila: a laptop battery almost as good as new… and for a price that was a lot more comfortable than the cost of a new laptop.

Community Connection:

There’s another reason why the battery hack trick is good: it keeps dead batteries out of landfills. To get some perspective on where your e-waste goes, check out the photo essay, “Intolerable Beauty: Chris Jordan Photographs American Mass Consumption.”