Mac programmer Amit Singh, who in February figured out how to access and manipulate the motion sensor in Apple’s laptops, has published an explanation of the ambient light sensor also found in the company’s latest portables. The ambient light sensor detects the amount of light in a room and brightens the laptop’s keyboard as needed.
In addition to my post on Monday, Antonio Rodriguez has also posted a blog entry about how to attach a MacBook Pro to Verizon’s EVDO network using a Treo 700p:
As of 6/10/2006, Verizon has a couple of plans that provide unlimited data on top of some allotment of minutes. Go and sign up for this, but make sure that you also sign up for a $15/month “feature” to let you do this in the first place called something like “Broadband Tethered Access.” Just check that a) it is $15/month incremental for nothing other than the privilege of using your Treo as a modem, and b) that when you log into your account and check your service, you see a line item that reads like so: “BBA CONNECT UNL.” Without this enabled, you will not be able to authenticate. In my case, I asked for it at the store (didn’t get it), and twice on the phone (didn’t get it). The trick was getting to the data support people and using the magic words “BBA CONNECT UNL” which seemed to turn some lightbulb on.
Also, you do not need to install the Verizon Access connect software that they put out for the Mac. I am not sure whether this software is good or bad- in fact I’ve only ever used it on my Thinkpad where the first thing it did was flash my otherwise very Mac-friendly 5220 so that it only worked just ok after that- but I prefer to keep as much of that third-party crap off of my computer, particularly when it comes to OS services like networking (and given that the MBP seems to have a few hiccups of it’s own in this area, why add insult to injury?).
As you know there is no AC adapter for the MacBook Pro that can be used on airplanes (because of the 75 watt limit) and there are no AC adapters for 12 volt use (i.e. in automobiles).
The 60 watt MacBook AC adapter will charge both the MacBook Pro 15 and 17-inch but at a slower rate. The 60 watt AC adapter gives off no more heat than usual (on either the charger or the MBP) when charging a MacBook Pro. We believe that this may be a temporary solution for the lack of an airline charger.
We’re looking for others to test this setup who have more knowledge about the correct voltages and battery charging requirements. Please post in the comments if you have any ideas.
Contributed by: Rob Graner
I just want to know if you heard about the repeat kernel panics problem when using the Airport connexion on some MacBook Pro? By looking at this thread on Apple support site, it seems this isn’t an isolate case. A lot of people have the same issue but no word from Apple… All the details are here.
Contributed by: Eric L.
I reported last week that my MacBook Pro battery was suffering from the 33 percent battery bug. That’s where the MacBook Pro completely shuts down (without warning) when the battery gets down to less than 33 percent capacity.
I received my replacement battery from Apple last night and it’s from a completely new serial number range.
My bad battery SN began with: 6N606
My replacement SN begins with: KF619
I’m curious to hear what other people’s battery serial numbers are (post them in the comments) and if newly shipping MBP batteries are also from the “KF” serial number range.
If you’re a new MacBook or MBP owner (or if you’ve received a new battery) keep in mind that there’s a special procedure to calibrate new notebook batteries.
1. Fully charge the new battery until the LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the battery meter in the menu bar reads 100 percent.
2. Allow the battery to “rest” in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You can use computer during this period as long as the adapter is plugged in.
3. Disconnect the power adapter and run the battery all the way down (while using it.) Save and close everything before the final warning.
4. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.
5. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.
If you’re looking for a good way to monitor your MacBook or MBP battery, check out coconutBattery v2.2 a freeware utility that displays the current and maximum charge of your battery, current and original battery capacity and the number of battery loadcycles (how often you charged the battery).
These are some badass looking sleeves for the MacBook and MacBook Pro. If you’re looking for something other than boring black – check them out! Click through for the link.
Fabrix today launched its new collection of laptop cases built specially for Apple’s MacBook and MacBook Pro (MBP). Each laptop case is cushioned with internal quilted padding that provides the laptop with protection against scratches and light bumps.
A YouTube “knutmo” has posted a video of his kitten playing with his MacBook Pro while he works the remote control for Front Row. It’s pretty funny. I just hope that the cat has SoftPaws on.
My cats really liked the Marine Aquarium screen saver from Serene Screen, which I eventually had to turn it off…
Rejoice, fellow 15" MacBook Pro owners, for the enterprising hackers over in the OSx86 Project forum have put together an installer package that enables the fancy two-finger right-click for 15" MacBook Pros. This is a standard feature of the MacBook and 17" MacBook Pro, but the early-adopting 15" MacBook Pro owners were left out in the cold with this most essential and highly-requested of features.
I usually keep two 20" screens side by side on my desk, so I can code on one and test on the other. I find I can work much faster if I can just make a change in Eclipse, and by the time I turn my head to the other screen, the tests have already run. My new laptop, however, has a 15" screen, which feels a bit cramped when I’m working away from the office. I’ve been using the fancy Desktop Manager by Richard Wareham, which is a very nice utility to let you keep several virtual desktops, and change between them easily.
Of course, if you’re using something like Emacs or Butler, all your keys will be taken already, so you’ll need to use some sort of Command-Ctrl-Shift-4 keystroke for the actual desktop switching.
Turns out, the laptop has a built-in motion sensor. Nominally, it’s there to protect the internal hard drive. The basic idea is this: If the accelerometer suddenly notices that the gravitational pull of earth is no longer present, the most likely explanation is that the laptop, sensor and all, is currently accelerating at 9.81 m/s² towards said earth. In that case, it will (wisely) try to turn the hard drive off in preparation for impact.
An article on ARS Technica disputes the claim that MacBook Pros run cooler by reducing the amount of thermal grease that Apple applies to the chips in the machine:
James Duncan Davidson of O’Reilly’s MacDevCenter recently explored the issue, disassembling his own MacBook Pro, removing and reapplying paste, measuring the effects, and laboriously documenting all the details as he went. In the end, after of all the effort, he got a (drumroll, please) 2 degree temperature reduction! Now, you will be quick to point out that many others have gotten signficantly better results and you’d be right. Davidson has some ideas on that. It seems that in reassembling his computer, he accidentally disconnected the heat pipe sensor. The computer responded to this by running ALL FANS! ALL THE TIME! ALL NUDE! (okay, maybe not actually nude) and making the MacBook Pro delightfully cool. It was only after getting annoyed by the fan noise that he discovered the sensor problem. Upon hooking it up, he got the noise under control and saw the temperature climb up to near the original levels. Bummer!
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