OS X Updates Damaging PowerBooks Lower RAM Slot (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 14:44
Category: PowerBook

Engadget has an interesting article on Mac OS X updates disabling or even permanently damaging the lower RAM slot in PowerBooks. It goes like this: after you update to Mac OS 10.3.9, 10.4.0, and 10.4.1 the PowerBooks’ lower RAM slot spontaneously goes bad.

The current operating assumption is that the update actually makes the firmware controller or possibly the chipset get all wonky, which, in turn, may disable the lower memory slot (permanently).

It’s a pretty serious claim and the lawyers are already working themselves into a lather over it.
I haven’t experienced any such problem with my PowerBook G4 1.5GHz and I have two 1GB SO-DIMMs installed, but I’d be interested in hearing from people who have. Sound off in the comments if your lower RAM slot has gone bonky after an OS update.
UPDATE (2006-0131):
Apple has addressed the RAM slot issue with the PowerBook G4 Memory Slot Repair Extension Program.


New PowerBooks Contracted to Quanta and Asustek

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 13:45
Category: PowerBook

According to EMSnow Apple’s new Intel-based PowerBooks will be manufactured by Quanta and Asustek.

Apple computer will adopt Intel processor next year. According to the understanding, the ODM order of new Apple notebook has been obtained by Quanta and Asustek.
It will help increasing the total production of first quarter next year for both companies. However, Quanta and Asustek both make no comments on this. Apple computer stated it would exhibit its desktop and notebook with Intel processor at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, USA from 9th to 13th January next year.

Quanta and Asustek are the main ODM notebook partners of Apple. Quanta is responsible to high level model, Power Book and Asustek is in charge of entry level model, i-Book. This working module for Intel ODM will maintain for next year. Asustek will work on the consumer type of products and Quanta will be in charge of high-level model M1.


Ask PowerPage: iPod Video Battery Life (Updated)

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, December 29th, 2005, 09:00
Category: iPod

ipod-low-battery.jpgDear PowerPage:
Are you seeing/hearing complaints about battery life in the new 5G iPod’s? I’ve recently upgraded from a 3G and the expected 15 hours playback just doesn’t seem to be happening no matter what I do (current configuration: backlight set to 5 seconds, only playing music, and no photos/slideshow).
I think I’m getting in the neighborhood of eight hours play time on a “fully” charged battery.
I haven’t performed a test (welcome your suggestions) but I’m seeing battery life issues similar to my 3G. I have thought about letting it charge overnight (to fully charged status), turning it on as I leave for work, and check it when I return to see if its still playing (I actually tried this today while at home 12/28 and the iPod went to sleep instead of continuing to play). Typically that’s a 12-13 hour window. If Apple is basing their 15 hour battery life claim on use without the backlight, shuffle, or the click-wheel, that’s borderline fraud.
I regularly use the iPod while riding my bicycle indoors on a stationary trainer for an hour to 1.5 hours at a time. As of this Sunday at 3pm (12/11), the iPod had been charging for at least 18 hours. I selected the same playlist I always do of 150 songs, the shuffle setting was already active, backlight timer set to 5 seconds, and after approximately 75 minutes of playing time, the battery status had decreased approximately 15-20% (a visual estimation). There was a noticeable gap from the little + nub to the point where the battery still showed “juice.” During such use, I do not skip songs and just let it play as it sits in a jersey pocket on my lower back.
In using it while at work, I haven’t tracked the use/charging as closely, but I think it needs to be charged about every other day if I use it for 2-3 hours while working, put it to sleep, then use it again the following day for another 2-3 hours. The battery icon will be red by the time that second session ends. During these sessions, I will skip multiple songs at a time, pause randomly, and typically set it to shuffle the entire music library.
I have even seen the battery meter immediately start to reduce after pulling it off of an overnight charge, turning it on, playing 3-6 songs (again, randomly), but then activating the backlight (by just touching the wheel) to see what song is being played. I’ve also seen the + nub empty completely upon activating the backlight in such situations, and then refill as it turns off.
Did you find it odd that nowhere in the quick setup guide did it tell you how long to charge the iPod? All it tells you to do is to plug it in. I had to search on the Apple Web site and found instructions stating that a 3-hour charge brings the battery up to 80%, and 5 hours would fully charge it. So, I let mine charge initially for 5 hours, the icon on the display said charged and displayed the plug icon, so I started using it. And it ticks me off to no end that it only supports USB transfers – what a crock!
Jason Kazee
Lexington, KY
I have a iPod video 60GB, but haven’t ever got around to timing the battery run time. Any PowerPage readers out there with a 5G iPod video care to share your experiences with battery life? Post your results in the comments below. -Ed