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battery and X problems

This is barely a laptop problem, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Occasionally my battery runs out of juice without any warning: no
flashing orange light or anything like that; everything just shuts
down.  If this happens in console mode, there's generally no problems
when I find a plug and start things up again.  But if it crashes in X,
I have problems when I try to start X again.  The problem is that text
in the menus is not visible, and the frames around xterm or rxvt are
not visible.  I can startx OK, and the debian menu system is there,
but I can't read any text.  I'm using 2.2r5 with a custom 2.2.19
kernel, xfree86 3.3.6, the svga server, blackbox 0.51.3, and the
Debian menu system on my thinkpad 1200i (type 1161).  When this has
happened before, I uninstalled X, and reinstalled it.  That fixed the
problem, but I always think there's got to be a better way to fix
this.  Does anyone have any thoughts on how to restore my setup to its
normal (excellent) condition?  Thanks.  Also, if there's a good
battery monitor that might give me a bit more warning, I'd like to
learn about it.


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