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Laptop Battery problem

I am running XFCE 4.8 on debian wheezy on my laptop and since about two weeks the xfce Power Manager gets the battery charge percentage wrong, the most critical problem being that the machine shuts off without any previous warning.

I wonder where the problem might be.

Indeed this battery is getting old (3 years now) and less efficient, but I can't explain why suddenly Xfce Power Manager is getting it so wrong given that it was working like a charm (even giving a pretty accurate esteem of remaining time). I imagine Power Manager is relying on some lower level (software, kernel?)features, maybe in the kernel?

Of course I imagine this could also be a hardware problem, as I guess there must be some electronics communicating the battery charge?

I am a little confused by the many, somewhat mixed and not-so-clear sources on the net addressing 'battery calibration' in various ways. Let alone 'battery revitalising' by putting it in the fridge etc. The current focus would be about getting an - at least reliable - estimate, and what's more warning, about battery power left avoiding the machine to abruptly shut off.

Any suggestion etc. appreciated.


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