Original post by: fasat23r23dsdfw4t ,
Battery life is all about two things: screen and hard drive access. Reduce them and your battery life will increase. Turn the brightness down. It's tough to get used to a dim screen at first but you will literally add hours to your battery life. Hard drive access can be reduced by increasing the RAM and managing programs that hit the hard drive a lot. Set your email program to check every hour and your calendar to only sync every hour. Set your backup software (backblaze, carbonite, etc.) to only run when plugged in or at night. Run less programs at startup. My biggest issue is that I like to install all kinds of fun programs and try them out - but many applications leave daemons running that suck down the battery...