Can I display the Power Meter on my laptop all the time?

On my laptop computer with Windows XP, when I'm using the computer on battery power there is an icon in the system tray that shows how much battery capacity is left. This is handy, but this icon goes away when I plug the computer into an A/C outlet. I'd like to be able to have it there then, to make it easy to check on how fully the battery has charged back up. Is this possible or, if not, is there a third party program I can install to do this? I know it's a little thing, but it would be great to be able to do this. Thanks. - Alton P.

The default setting is to display the Power Meter icon when you're using battery power, but you can indeed set XP to add the icon to the taskbar permanently. Here's how:
  1. Click Start | Run.
  2. In the Run box, type PowerCfg.cpl.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Click the Advanced tab.
  5. Check the box to Always Show Icon On The Taskbar.
  6. Click OK.

The icon image will display as a plug when you're on A/C power, and as a battery when you're on battery power. It will indicate whether the battery is charging or is fully charged. You can also configure the Power Meter to display information for multiple batteries, or set it to sound a warning when your battery gets low, from the Power Meter and Alarms tabs, respectively.