And so it Continues…

And so my little portable heater is still warming up my life, a day at a time. Yes, thats, right I’m still a Mac user a full two weeks into my trial Switch. Don’t get me wrong, though – I’m still very reliant on my PC’s, so there’s no way I could Switch over everything; in fact I’m selling my Power Mac G4 tower right now on eBay. If I decide I need two Apple computers in my life, I’ll get a new one. As nice as it is to see some applications on both platforms, there are differences between the platforms; someone even has a “Get used to your new Mac” type book which shows you how a Mac works from a Windows user’s perspective. One thing that I have done is returned my Sony 505JL notebook back to work because I’m “mostly” done with PC notebooks… at least for the time being. I did keep my really old Celeron Sony N505VE, so I must have one small, minute, lingering doubt! And now, the details, and since this goes through a dark valley to climb to a bright peak, please read the whole thing before flaming my mailbox!

Problem: It still feels like a 8.5″ by 11″ molten piece of aluminum. I’ve been spending a good deal of time in the Usage section of the Apple support discussion boards – yes, this notebook comes with a “Support group” if you need one – and from there, I’ve learned that I’m not alone. Almost as important, I’ve learned that some people have the same model pBooks that are not as hot than some people have noted, and some others that are worse off than me; there was one guy that burned himself on the Aluminum section that is just above the F1 and F2 keys. As Apple Geeks are as tenacious as PC Geeks, someone posted that the surface temperature of his pBook hit 122F – that’s pretty freakin’ hot!

For me, the main concern is that with this amount heat being generated will fry something on the inside of the pBook – everyone agrees that the 15″ TiBook ran hot as well, but most think it was not as hot. I’ve got about seven fans in my main PC’s tower because I’ve lost some parts before from heat damage – once bitten, one dozen times shy. Hell, my P4/2.53GHz CPU doesn’t even get above 122F with the magambo fan I have on it! I do have the extended warrantee from AppleCare so I’m protected for another 2 years, 50 weeks, but I’ve already grown so dependent on my notebooks that I would be completely lost for the week it would take to fix it, if it does fry. So I’d rather not have it fry.

After spending the last two weeks on the boards at Apple, I’ve discovered some workaround tips to help minimize the heat and prolong the active battery time. Where I was getting about 2:30 on the battery before, I’m now getting between 4 and 4:30 on the battery – it also helps keep the heat down to a minimum, which is more important to me, actually. These settings should be applied to “Battery Power” – regardless of the setting scheme selected, the pBook will recognize itself between “Plugged in” and “Battery Power” even if the scheme is not selected as Automatic.

    Energy Saver settings, to prolong battery life

  • Check the “Let the hard drive sleep when possible” option
  • Turn the Processor Performance down to Reduced
  • Turn down your screen brightness to as low as you can live with
    To reduce the heat..

  • Use the above setting for energy saver
  • Don’t run on while the AC adapter is charging the pBook
  • Get a stand or “pad” to keep it on, to increase air flow

To save the battery power, that’s fine, that’s a choice to suit a lifestyle. But the heat issue is complete bunk! I’ve been very politically correct on the Apple boards, but this is my fucking site and I’ll Rant if I want to! This is complete bullshit. I paid for a 867MHz processor, but now I’m finding that I can’t run it at full power without burning myself? What the hell is that about? I’ve also spent $150 on CoolPads and IcePads and iCurves and while they do do a bit help, it should not be required equipment! I just don’t understand how Apple let this happen, and the better question, is how will they avoid the class action lawsuit that someone will slap them with, if it continues. If HP can get sued for “what’s the real color depth of the Jornada screen” a couple of years back, there’s no way this will go unchecked.

OK. Enough of that, because there’s a non-heated light at the end of the tunnel. Apple tells you in your manual to calibrate the battery before your first use. I actually read the manual (pretty much a first for me with a notebook – I usually just format the lil guys when I get them out of the box) and I did do this. You charge it to full and let it drain completely, then fully recharge it. Well, there was a posting on the boards yesterday to repeat this process if you have some extreme heat. So last night, I popped in a DVD, turned up the CPU, HD and brightness, and in 2:30, drained the power out. The back of the pBook, after this movie marathon, was too hot to touch – no lie here – because I tried to pick it up. I’m hoping that this heat is only on the outside and so extreme to humans because of the Aluminum – that the Al is sucking the heat out of the pBook, which would be good because you don’t want that much heat on the inside!

Today, while writing the Rant, back on the good energy settings, I can tell you that the heat seems to be a bit less. At least it’s not warming my hand through the palm rests today. It has also only been on for 45 minutes, and it’s about 4 degrees out today, so I’ll keep an eye on it at work. The second calibration might have done the trick – the real test to me will be using it on AC power and checking the heat then. As much as I like the wireless capabilities of this pBook, I will still want to use it at home, in place of my Power Mac, meaning it needs to run under AC power, closed and hooked up to a KVM without melting the desk or warping the battery.

Otherwise, I’ve had no pining for a PC notebook. Especially since I got printing to work yesterday via IP. That was the last thing I could think of, really, from an operational issue, and that’s squared away too, now. Not printing at home, yet, but one day at a time!

If Kosh can be quoted as “And so it begins…” I got dibs on “And so it continues…”

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