Posts tagged with macbook - page 4

Heat, fan, power and battery monitoring on the Mac

Screenshot of coconutBattery in actioncoconutBattery

coconutBattery lets you see how much of a charge your battery currently has, how much it can still hold and how this compares to when it was manufactured. It’ll also show you how many times you battery has been charged.


SlimBatteryMonitor is a replacement for the Apple battery indicator in the menu bar with something more compact.


CoreDuoTemp shows the temperature of your CPU along with it’s current operating frequency. Available in both Widget and Desktop application formats.

Fan Control

Not content with just reporting information Fan Control hands over the base RPM speed and the upper and lower temperature thresholds so you can tweak it to your working conditions.


smcFanControl is alternative fan control program that provides user-defined cooling speeds and an in-menu temperature readout.

MiniBatteryStatus Widget

MiniBatteryStatus shows you battery status in a compact form on your Dashboard.

iStat nano

The iStat nano widget has added a battery section to it’s list of information.

Temperature Monitor

Temperature Monitor provides comprehensive temperature monitoring including drives and support for non-portable systems, graphs and remote monitoring.


Supplementing Boot Camp 1.1

This article is now out of date. Check Apple’s Boot Camp page for up-to-date information.

Boot Camp, for those that don’t already know, is a set of tools and drivers for getting Windows XP up on your Mac. The various components are:

  • BIOS compatibility module for the EFI firmware (supplied as part of the Firmware update on older Mac’s)
  • Boot Camp Assistant – Mac OS X app you download providing partitioning and the XP drivers/tools
  • Drivers for various parts of the hardware normally OEM brand bar the iSight driver
  • AppleTime.exe to adjust the system clock because OS X stores GMT whilst XP stores local time
  • AppleKeys to provide the much needed Fn-key compatibility for brightness/delete etc.
  • Brightness to provide OS X-like screen brightness adjustment
  • Control Panel extension to choose the start-up disk

Which is all well and good but there are still a couple of drivers missing – notably for the infra-red/remote, back-lit keyboard on MacBook/Pro and some of the hardware monitoring etc.

Back-lit keyboard for MacBook & MacBook Pro

Loosing the back-lit keyboard can be more than an annoyance if you often have to work in darkened conditions. There are two tools available you can try, both sit in the system tray and let you configure the lighting parameters whilst also displaying the movement sensors details.

As the sensor information is used under Mac OS X to park the hard drive before impact I wonder if that means the hard drive is currently more vulnerable under Windows until Apple provide a driver.

Updated ATI drivers for MacBook

Until Apple loosens up and provides their tools separately from the OEM drivers we’re stuck with the big downloads but all is not lost.

Whilst most of ATI’s Mobility drivers seem to be locked the latest Mobile Catalyst drivers (5.8 at time of writing) work just great with no third-party hacks/workarounds required to make them operational.

Hibernation on systems with > 1GB of RAM

If you receive the dreaded ‘Insufficient System Resources Exist to Complete the API.’ when trying to hibernate head over to the Microsoft Knowledge Base to grab the hot fix that is now available to download.

Until Apple extend their keyboard tools to emulate these check out Thom Sannon’s AppleKeys.

File-system access

Until either Apple add NTFS write support or provide a HFS+ driver for Windows then either using FAT32 partitioned iPods or flash memory is about as good as the file transfer gets short of using online upload/download tools.

I certainly wouldn’t recommend running Windows XP on a FAT32 drive unless you don’t care about security, compression, encryption and sub-block allocation (a space saving technique).

Until somebody takes the HFS+ file-system code from Apple’s Darwin project and transplants in into a Windows file-system module the only option is Mediafour’s MacDrive which at $49.95 seems a little too expensive even given the current state of the US dollar.


MacBook Pro whine fix in 3 hours

It’s been an odd couple of weeks for my MacBook Pro 15″.

First of all I find that my battery is one affected by a recall and so Apple send me a new battery complete with incorrect instructions on how to return.

Then I find that the whine that my machine emanated from under the left of the keyboard when on battery power gets semi-acknowledged in a knowledge base article.

Quick turnaround on service

Unable to live with my MacBook Pro for more than a day or two now that it’s my primary machine for work and home and being that this issue is more an annoyance than a show stopper I tried the following:

  1. Locate my nearest Apple Authorized Service Center
  2. Call Apple support, explain the problem and reference the KB article
  3. Obtain the case ID from Apple and tell them I want it repaired at the aforementioned service center
  4. Head to the service center, demonstrate problem to engineer and provide him with case ID, KB article and my phone number
  5. Wait for engineer to call back confirming that parts have been requested against the case ID (in this case a new logic board)
  6. Continue using my machine until I get a call from engineer that parts are in
  7. Arrange to drop-off machine to engineer when he will be able to work on it and then drop it off
  8. Get call from engineer that machine is ready and collect it!

Total time MacBook Pro out of my hands … 3 hours.

The afterglow of replacement logic board

The annoying whine is gone and the case has yet to get too hot to touch!

They also supply new 10.4.6 CD’s (v1.3) with a note that if I need to reinstall Mac OS X I will need to use these as the original ones supplied with my machine will not contain necessary support for this logic board revision.

There are a few odd issues though…

  • It now reports its serial number as SystemSerialNumb. Hope that doesn’t cause a problem with any shareware applications.
  • Windows XP required quite some time to boot the first time after the replacement board and the fans whirred right up whilst doing so.
  • The iSight camera driver reported “unprogrammed” in device manager. A quick uninstall and detect sorted that out.


Keeping an eye on the MacBook/Pro temperature

As most people know these things run quite warm but at last two applications are available for getting hold of those elusive CPU temperature figures.

When in Mac OS X grab a copy of the free CoreDuoTemp.

In Windows the excellent (but not free) Everest 3.0 will reveal each core’s temperature individually as well as more detail about your machine than you ever cared to know.