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em
01-29-2007, 04:21 AM
Hey All,

Well, settling into life as an intel traitor. ;) Possibly I've one of the machines/software configurations having sleep problems. Last night, after many hours of non-intensive work, I closed the lid and headed off to bed. The temp was about 123F/50C when I shut the lid, forgetting that I had iRooster set to wake me--worked anyway, which is a change from the MDD, which was a bit sketchy when it came to the iRooster/sleep combo (gotta love the irony there). Love the temp monitor, incidentally . . . thinking about installing the fan control whatnot per unclemac's recommendation.

On that note, I was hoping (for aesthetic reasons) to avoid a riser or cooling pad. I have a glass-top desk which is SERIOUSLY cool to the touch and near an outside wall . . . well all of my walls are exterior . . . and I keep the place at 64-66F (18-19C-ish). Yeah, as you've probably figured, it's had little effect on the MB temps, or if it has had an impact, then this would have been a pretty hot-running unit I suspect. So, looks like I'm (possibly) in the market for a hardware solution? My inclination is to shy away from USB-powered anything; this is, in theory, a portable . . . why get something DESIGNED to drain power? By the way, should I be worried that from 100% charge, with the "better battery life" setting selected I'm only getting a hair over 3 hours? The tech specs advertise "up to" 5 hours; mine's not even close to that. Since it's only a few days old, should I bring it in for a new one?

So, back to my sleep issue. The iRooster alarm went off, even though both book and owner were asleep (well, actually owner was trying to get the cats into the bathroom--only doored room in the place--so that she could find some way to get the bat out of the loft, a way that DIDN'T involve evisceration, the plan the girls seemed to favor. Anyway.). But, when I lifted the lid to turn off the alarm, no visual presentation. The keyboard lit up--which looked tres groovy--and would respond . . . the space bar, for instance, snoozed the alarm, and hitting any other key would result in that error "bonk" that apple loves so. But nothing would wake the machine (well, wake the display). I even tried an abbreviated power button hit, which sometimes worked on my MDD/Studio (it was set up as a put-to-sleep option and seemed to work in reverse as well). No luck with the book; had to do a hard restart.

The firmware is up-to-date so far as I can tell. That is, I ran a search at Apple on MBP + FIRMWARE and got three hits. One obviously didn't apply, though I now can't remember why I thought this. And, when I started the flashing process, the other two informed me that they were not needed. The rest of the software, also, is up to date.

Suggestions? I'm thinking that I probably ought to be especially proactive while I'm in my 14-day window, since in theory I can cut my losses (to the tune of a 10% "restocking fee" if it looks like I've got a lemon. One final question: is there any advantage to buying the extended care right now, as opposed to simply making sure that I purchase it before the initial year runs out?

As always: many thanks!
-em

unclemac
01-29-2007, 08:20 AM
Howdy em,

Well, let's see:

You know my feelings on the heat issue. I would crank up the fans a bit with third party software first, then look for a stand if you think it is still too hot.

I have had a wake from sleep problem like you describe a few times too, so I suspect it falls under the heading of "it just does that".....as opposed to something specific with your MBP. Since your firmware is up to date, there is nothing else to be done AFAIK. What I do, outside of the times battery life is an issue, is just sleep the monitor and let the OS and drive stay awake. Sleep on every platform is always a bit of chanllenge; when it works great it is like magic, and when it doesn't......no fun.

I am not aware of any benefit of buying Apple Care early, except that some folks imply they get better service even during the initial one year period. I don't think it should be that way, and have never experienced any "discrimination" for not having Apple Care with the local certified Apple repair shop myself.

Good luck with the bat. :rolleyes:

em
01-29-2007, 10:06 AM
unclemac,

Good: you've confirmed (sort of) what I wanted to hear, viz., that I don't need to rush in and demand a new machine. What about the battery, though? Not as adverse about making that sort of demand, and three hours at 100% (in battery conservation mode, no less) seems totally unsatisfactory--not even CLOSE to the advertised six hours.

After three hours, bat has been liberated (thought it was after only a half, but it was just hiding).

Hey, so what's the deal with DiskWarrior and booting into pre-intel volumes. The latter, does not surprise me--should have realized that that wouldn't work BEFORE trying it. Still, didn't take me long to figure out. The DiskWarrior's not so good though--guess I'll check on updates. The important matter, though, is that I've kept my primary boot volume from the MDD I just sold, expecting that I'd be able to retrieve my data from it via booting into it (e.g., the contacts file from my address book . . . can't just drag it over . . . not even sure that I can FIND it). Is there a way for me to bless (or whatever) a legacy volume?

--em

unclemac
01-29-2007, 02:31 PM
Forgot to mention that.....yeah, I get about 3 hours too, as does a coworker with the same model. A classic example of exagerated sales specs...

On a brighter note - sorta - a friend's Dell that is nearly identical (same Core 2 Duo CPU @ 1.83, etc.) gets less running time. More like 2.5.

em
01-29-2007, 09:57 PM
Under 3 hours battery time? CRAZY! My HP tablet gets 5+, even with intensive tablet use, over 6 in dim-screen mode . . . with both batteries I get over 10 hours! 2.5 is what I get from my 8-year-old clamshell battery. Advertising hype rots.

Just got back from a trek to the Apple store (followed by an hour+ on the phone, 43+ of which was on HOLD!!!). After my last post I noticed what appeared to be a bend in the frame around the clasp. Seems that my sense that the lid was warped was, in some ways, a perceptual glitch . . . indeed it was warped, but not in the way I initially thought. I could FEEL it more accurately than I could see it. But, once I got clear on where--exactly--the damage was, I couldn't NOT see it. Same thing happened at the Apple store: the counter person (decidedly a non-Genius) denied being able to see it at all, then felt it . . . despite his best efforts to be contrary, he had to acknowledge that there was funkiness about. The genius noticed/acknowledged straight away that something was up (and agreed that a mere 3 hours of charge was sufficient justification for a replacement battery). He composed a "case" and instructed me to call 1-800-MY-APPLE (rather than the usual AppleCare number).

MY-APPLE, in turn, chastised me for calling them rather than AppleCare. Moreover, they hadn't a clue what my "case number" meant. I had to endure their song and dance about how the retail side of Apple just "doesn't 'get' it," which is exactly what the retail folks said when I reported to them per the corporate people without an appointment. Thought I was going to lose my mind listening to their in-bitching. By the time I'd made it up to the third level of supervisor, my machine was declared DOA. "Maybe," he opined, I won't have to pay the restocking fee when/if swapping this out for a nonDOA unit. "Maybe?" He's declared the SN DOA and "MAYBE" they'll replace it without penalizing me? Apple can be damned maddening . . . I hate that I love the product so, because the customer service (as a general rule) sucks.

:mad:

So tomorrow I talk to the sales team. The folks I spoke with tonight could not address my issues--strictly a sales matter. So, IF they have a comparable refurbished unit, then I'll get a replacement. But, if they don't, then (he seemed to think) I'll have to wait for one to come available (while they have my money and I have nothing) or take a refund, MINUS the restocking fee (=10% of the sale price). NEVER, ever will I go refurbished again . . . talk about second class treatment . . . the leper and her lowly refurb MBP . . . have her take a seat at the back of the bus and we'll get to her when we can . . . maybe . . . I'm beginning to think that there might be something to the claim that those who've already shelled out for AppleCare get better service during the "complementary" year than do their bastard, non-paying counterparts.

Blah. Have to go to bed now . . . between the bat and Apple I'm tuckered. Any ideas on the non-intel volume?

-em

Boyd 9
01-30-2007, 07:22 AM
em

Sorry to hear about your problems with apple.

Knock on wood, we've purchased several refurb's from Apple, and had no problems with them. Also, tho, we purchased the extended Apple care plan too. Came in handy when one of the laptops lost the right arrow key, and they replaced the whole keyboard, no problems, and no hassle (this was well into the second year we owned the machine).

Also have a refurbed 40gb ipod, and a refurbed intel MBP, not sure if same model as you have...... I can barely pry it out of my wife's fingers, she loves it so much.

I don't know if this will help, but long time ago, remember reading at OWC website, that the replacement laptop batteries they sell weren't truly 'up to snuff' until they'd been completely drained and deeply recharged (i.e., at least overnight) 5 times.

Not coincidentally, wife was just complaining that her battery ran low on a 3 hour flight recently..... have not had time to do the 'battery training' thing yet.... but if it helps, I'll be sure to let you know.

Good luck with your machine...... I see no reason to pay a 10% restocking fee on a refurbed item..... hold your ground on that one, if you can.

kaye
01-30-2007, 08:30 AM
PB battery training:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=86284 k

em
01-30-2007, 08:52 AM
Hmm. Well, glad to hear that my refurb experience is the exception, not the rule. I should be hearing from the Apple Sales Team within the next few hours, so we'll see. Since this is a DOA model, I'm going to see if they'll either (a) ship the replacement before I return the DOA or (b) ship the replacement to the store, so that I can do a real-time swap. I just don't want to go three or four days without (now that I'm down to this one mac).

As for the battery, yeah, I did all of that when I first got it (though I didn't know about the safe sleep image--just saved in advance). In fact, I've done it twice, thinking that a good, thorough drain couldn't hurt. More over, I didn't just rely on the 3-hour estimate by the OS; I actually timed the life of the battery under conditions of light use (i.e., Word, Safari, Mail, Address book open . . . I use Word to spell check things that don't have a spell check, like what I'm writing now, so it got little use; for the most part, we're talking about web surfing . . . sure enough, I got under 3 hours from a full charge after a full bleed). So . . .

Still no word on booting into a pre-intel formatted volume?

unclemac
01-30-2007, 10:52 AM
Sorry to hear of your troubles.

Sorry to be the one to recommend a refurb. :( Still think they are a good deal, but obviously we can longer say that nobody has had a problem with one.

As for the battery life issue, sitting at mine right now, if I unplug it (fully charged) it estimates 3:10 of run time, and that has been pretty consistant since I got it. The highest I have ever seen is about 3:30. I just accepted it as the cost of higher performance laptop.....compared to old ibooks that did get an actual run time of 4-5 hours. As I mentioned, a very similar Dell Dell (http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en&oc=bncwe3h&s=bsd) that I laid hands on for a friend gets less than 3 hours, so I was actually happy to get about 30 min. more than him.

As for booting to the FW drive.....not possible. You should be able to mount the drive and get data, but not boot to it. It is rumored that 10.5 will give us a universal OS that will be bootable on both X86 and PPC hardware, but until then, it is not possible.

Hang in there with Apple support, and don't give an inch. They are just people afterall, no magic there. Sometimes you get good ones, sometime you don't. When I don't get a good one (with any company) I move on to the next one...til I get a good one. At least you are chatting with "Sandy" or "Jim" in India. That adds a whole other level of frustration.

em
01-30-2007, 05:40 PM
Ugh. Apple (basically) told me to piss off. And, so I shall. They'll give me a refund but did not make any other offers and did not even invite me to "upgrade" to a nonrefurb machine, which I was fully prepared to do. Seems whenever I purchase a machine from them I'm reminded how little (as an individual) I matter. Sigh. I hate that I so love the product and routinely am so disappointed in the service.

The truth of the matter is that my macs are--always have been--toys. That is, I'm not a filmmaker, illustrator, whatever. I'm an educator. So, I need word, a browser, email . . . in short, I don't need a MBP (and I didn't need a MDD with a hard RAID) . . . sure is fun, though. Well, used to be fun. That's sort of been sapped out of the game.

So, with a heavy heart, I'll stick to my (free, functional) work PC, rather than remain the brunt of Apple's disregard and suspicion, e.g., they would not send out the replacement unit (if they had one) until I provided the tracking number to the returned DOA machine, and they verified that it was indeed en route! . . . between my iTunes, .mac, and AppleStore accounts and most recent purchase they've got SEVERAL credit card numbers on file, cards that have been on file and in use for years . . . and, if my intention were to defraud them, why suppose that I wouldn't just give them the tracking number to a sack of potatoes? How is a tracking number any sort of assurance?

I'm just beside myself with disappointment . . . this is beyond the pale, a let down even from the unlofty standards of Apple customer service.

Thus, for the first time in over ten years I will not be a mac owner . . .

I'm bummed.
:(

TZ
01-30-2007, 06:26 PM
Right now I am running Visa RC1 and thinking, "Do I want to pay Apple $129 every 18-24 months, and still have to update iWork/iLife on top of that every year or two?"

I don't think even M$ could have sold the bill of goods we bought from 10.0 up thru 10.3, especially given their condition. And no one thinks of waiting for a year for Apple, but normal to wait for SP1 or 2 from MS.

OEM Vista for $129-249 doesn't sound that bad if it holds, works etc.

I've always heard but never used or known if Quicken, etc on Windows really were better or not. I know Lexmark says their Windows drivers have less features on the Mac OS X side though.

But a lot to learn and I need some books. but I can run OS X and Windows.
Sometimes Apple seems to do "right" by their customers, sometimes they seem like an even bigger evil empire putting out great, and "not so great" products. (I feel like I've been paying to beta test for 6 yrs. My brother is horrified over how little faith I have in doing OS X updates, but I had to get away from all the spyware and virii on Windows... so we've traded places.... I think he should look at swiching back to Windows Vista! ;)

In a year, laptops may really have low heat, thanks to all the new Intel K 45nm technology.... but that is "over the hill" where the grass always looks "greener."

Laptops in general have terrible failure rates. And short-lived drives, and just more problems. My PB 145B though seemed indestructible. The MacMini is one of the most reliable, and it is lowest cost. In fact, the new Apple "iTV" is basically a scaled down iTV box in many ways.

I wish there was a way to put it in front of SJ and say, "You like your 17" MBP... try mine and I'll borrow yours until it is fixed." Maybe his are hand-built though :(

unclemac
01-30-2007, 06:59 PM
Well, that's too bad all in all.

I don't disagree with your reasoning though. Apple is just a company, despite what so many say. They make great products.....and they make bad products. They have great support, and they have nightmare support.

Overall, at work we had the best luck with support from HP. When a monitor failed, they sent a replacement before we had to ship the bad one back. Nice. But even with them, we had one new laptop that was not stable, and was finally diagnosed as needing a new mother board. Got sent back to them three times, each time doing without a replacement for between one and two weeks, before it was fixed and solid. And each time we had to escalate it, as the first two times all they did was check the BIOS and reinstall Winders, even after we specifcally told them that we had done extensive testing and knew it was not a software problem.

Welcome to the world of tech. :mad:

FWIW, Apple had the lowest return rate of any laptop manufacturer according to comsumer reports last year. About 10%. That seems terrible to me. But everybody else was worse. Gateway was on the bottom with something like 27%! More than one out of four gets returned? Crazy.

I agree with TZ that laptops in general are fragile and finicky. But if you need it, you need it. Sound like you don't. Lucky you.

If you dive into Vista, keep us posted on your likes and dislikes. Despite the forum name, you can post whatever you like. :) And like TZ said, even though laptops (don't forget that your MBP was essentially the same guts as current HPs and Dells) are faster than ever, hardware has been on a real terror of change an improvement, there is no end in sight. Check back in 5 months or a year, and things may be different.

Let's just hope it is better.

:rolleyes:

yeungfeng
01-30-2007, 11:08 PM
Sad and too often told story, via corprate America. They care, sort of, sometimes, if they have to.
I've had similar experiences with Quickbooks Pro 2006, and it seems that there isn't any way to get some sort of resolution or satifaction. There isn't any recourse. So far if anyone asks me I'd get an older version that is stable and skip the fancy extras.
One of the reasons I prefer to deal with owner run businesses. Like Gurus, if you need to talk to one who's in charge, you can, and Laurie . . . :D and Rick (he always calls her the boss) care about the reputation of the business, where as Apple and much of coprate America, care, sort of, sometimes, if they have to.

em
01-31-2007, 06:06 AM
Hmm. Interesting associations folks are making (e.g., vista, hardware comparisons, company rep and the like).

Vista is a ways off, I suspect (at least for me). Reviews are mixed, at best, and bad in the ways that matter to my employer (the largest in the country, and so, understandably, a bit twitchy with this sort of move, i.e., changing the OSs of all its computers). Vista's major promise, as I recall, was a marked increase in security; yet right out of the gate some fairly devastating security gaps were detected (probably by a bored 12 year old with a Linux box). ;) Add to this the hardware compatibility issues (hardware requirements in general--like three times the ram the average PC home user has, a considerably more robust graphics card than the same, and so forth), and it doesn't strike me as much of a success story.

If I were a serious PC fan (in the way that I'm a serious mac fan, sans their support, of course), I'd be especially disappointed that MSs solution to the problem of a gargantuan OS on a nongargantuan system is to cut out exactly the bells and whistles that create product fans (bells and whistles blatantly cribbed from the mac os, incidentally). So, all of the highfalutin graphics effects on the desktop with open windows--I've not seen it but read some pretty detailed descriptions that make it sound like the flagship effect of Vista, certainly its most stunning visual--are CUT from the home version, or in any case will be turned off to make the OS runable on a system that is otherwise satisfactorily spec-ed.

For instance, I could make due on a PPC (G4) iBook with 512MB of RAM. All I do (for the most part these days) is surf, email, light iLife stuff, and word . . . once in a great while I'll fire up Acrobat or PS, again for light work. Notice that the system I describe can run 10.4, no worries; every reason to suppose that it'll run 10.5, no? Let's say that 10.5 is much fatter than 10.4 (which is not generally the case, right?) . . . so I have to up the RAM and maybe I'd do well to get a larger HDD. These are not outrageous upgrades for a machine that is probably a few years old. Now suppose that I'm a PC user. The analogy, as I understand it, is that virtually everything about the machine needs something . . . all new drivers for everything (often not built into the OS), much firmware flashing, and it's possible--likely, if were talking about a PC laptop that is a few years old--that the machine simply CAN'T be sufficiently upgraded, won't run Vista. So, I'd have to move into a machine that is WAY more robust than my needs dictate . . . the OS, rather than my lifestyle, is determining my hardware purchases. This seems to me to reverse the natural order of things.

Now, I am a mac lover for a reason--it's not purely a nonrational thing, like, say, my fondness for the grande caramel macchiato--and some of the reasons are a response to the poor fit between the non-super user and WIN. I fire up a PC every day. I use it every day. On one of the best of those days I'm only marginally competent. The learning curve is simply too much for the payoff . . . for instance, I use my Treo as a wireless modem. On my mac (sob) I plugged it in, installed the modem script, the OS recognized the treo, and BOOM . . . a few clicks later and I'm on the net. For my PC, I have to unlock this, Admin privileges that, FOUR pages of instructions, reboot, THEN (maybe) on the net.

I'm not bashing for bashing's sake. I'm more impressed with this little HP tablet than I think I've ever been with a PC. And, truth be told, the Dell XPS that I had briefly while waiting for the tablet was none too shabby (though I'm hard pressed to think of that huge hunk of gear as "portable"). I guess that what I'm saying is that I think OS X allows for low speed but bona fide users; with a win machine, you're either a su or a wayfarer. With macs, there is much to be a fan of--just not their inclination to value the individual consumer (they don't).

So, y'all, nothing in any of my rants was intended to dis Apple hardware or even to compare it to PC stuff. I'm a true believer already. No doubts regarding the quality of the product. And that I ended up with a DOA unit did NOT inspire me to downgrade my assessment of the hardware quality. I did, however, downgrade my already low evaluation of Apple's customer service investment and (possibly) my assessment of their oversight--this unit never should have been reintroduced to the pool of salable products. Add to this that I had to listen to every rep slam the others (tech against sales, retail against corporate, clerk against genius--a real mess), and there is, I think, some cause for concern. Still, has no bearing on the general quality of the product.

Like all junkies, the real question is whether I can kick the habit. I haven't even boxed this one up and already I miss it. :( Plus, I upgraded my phone from the 650 to the 700 for the express purpose of playing with it and the MB together. And I've got a boatload of MBP 15" add-ons (e.g., the speck shell, iSkin, trackpad film, and so forth) . . . might wear a black armband today . . .

TZ
02-02-2007, 08:47 AM
MacBook: Shuts down intermittently If your MacBook shuts down randomly during use, a downloadable firmware update is now available that resolves this issue.

The MacBook SMC Firmware Update v1.1 (http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/macbooksmcfirmwareupdate11.html) improves the MacBook's internal monitoring system and addresses issues with unexpected shutdowns. This update is recommended for all MacBook systems, including those that received warranty repair.


My comments about OS X and Vista were spurred in part by comparing the costs of OS X over the last years and the updates: $600-700 for 10.0 thru 10.5, with 5-10 updates per release to deal with. Throw in $70-140 x 3 for iLife and iWork and a QT Pro or two for another $300+ and you are spending a full grand ($1000) for Apple's operating system OS X. I've lived through a full 50 updates to OS X over the last 6 yrs already!

More than five times there have been significant enough changes, sometimes within the same release cycle like Tiger, to require things like updating SoftRAID, or reformatting a drive or compatibility issues.

I like to see software that takes advantage of and exploits the benefits of a new OS, rather than retaining backward compatibility.

Vista Ultimate for $380 could be cheaper in the long run.
____________________

Sleep issues are suppose to be better on MacIntel and in Vista. Which makes running Vista on Mac an "interesting" proposition.

Only the 64-bit version of Vista has or will have support for EFI 2.0 (Apple currently uses EFI 1.1).

Vista's 64-bit will have more security and signed drivers and other enhancements, and better memory management.

No IT department would deploy Vista. They would do a phase-in, and have to insure that it networks as well as wait for the 1st service pack of course, which is understandable. The OEM 64-bit Business Edition is $149 which isn't bad at all.

But it is an odd OS, and OS's main effect, and software in general, has, since day #1 @ Big Blue is.... to sell hardware! Always has been and will be.

And $500 over 5 yrs, or included with the system. I really expect (for once) to have a system that actually WILL last 5 yrs :) (Like my SE/30 did.)
______________________
There isn't yet, outside of the oft-touted "more secure" marketing, a compelling reason for Vista.... but feedback comments on some sites (Newegg, Amazon) sound like those folks that like (or don't detest as much) working on their computer all day... thanks to the GUI of Aero.... folks, you need to use Aqua and Cocoa aka Tiger, for awhile ;)

I hate to see a sad ending - I like it when there is a silver lining or sunshine and the vendor "does right" by the customer (if it is vendor's role, responsibility).

I really really wanted an Apple ColorSync monitor for years but couldn't afford one, and saw I could get one from Apple's refur'd Specials store for $499. Well, it spent its short life going back and forth and finally just gave it to someone (and spent $950 on 15" LCD - ouch! double-ouch!! ) Ended up buynig a 2nd 15" when the price came down a little more - compared to ACD 23" $990 today.

em
02-02-2007, 10:38 AM
Ah. A poster after my own heart--that a length I can respect! :p

This might have a happy(-er) ending after all . . . several hours laters (and a longish letter--and you people know that when I say "long" I ain't mess 'round) . . . they're sending out another machine. Might arrive today. I'm hoping that it all works out since I own virtually ever MBP 15" add-on out there and really don't relish returning them.

--em

ricks
02-02-2007, 01:25 PM
Not to abuse anyone's sensibilities here, but I thought I would toss in that I bought a refurb MacBookPro a couple weeks ago. It has been perfectomundo. I had to have one for testing all the Express34 stuff. It has taken everything I throw at it and just ticked along.

I had never bought a refurb before. Around here we buy a lot of hardware, and for the business, when it was just Laurie and I running things, we couldn't hardly spend money as fast as we brought it in up till about a year ago. At least it felt that way with all the new model Macs coming out that were ending up in our shop for testing. Now that we have a few employees we no longer have that sad problem.:rolleyes: I had to sell off some of the accumulated hardware around here to pay for a MacBookPro for testing. The refurb looked like a proper choice at 1/3 off. (didn't have to sell off quite so many goodies) So far so good.

As Kaye posted earlier in this thread, you need to train a battery to get realistic run times. the one I have is now cycling along where I plug it in almost as an after thought. Pretty neat. I don't really know what its maximum time is, too busy to keep track. I look and see one of these days.

I will say that Port Multiplier Technology and Express34 were made for each other. 200 MB/sec of storage throughput is REMARKABLE on a portable. Wow.

RIck