Dealing with Macbook Pro Temperature Issues in OS X Lion

Jul 27th, 2011 by Jared Schwager , ,

If you’ve just installed OS X Lion, the latest operating system from Apple, then you’ll notice a variety of new features. Amongst these are Launchpad, AirDrop, and of course, a bizarre sensation in your fingers if you’re a MacBook Pro owner, as your machine begins to heat up to temperatures reminiscent of CPU use only associated with complex programs or gaming.

Why does this happen? Well, it’s nothing new to Macbook Pro owners. After all – Lion’s only been out for a little while, and a Macbook Pro will heat up considerably regardless. However, even when running nothing at all, a fresh install of Lion when just booted up while heat up to noticeable levels.

This is because Apple haven’t made it obvious to you that your Macbook Pro is actually re-indexing every single file for Spotlight, whether it’s your work project files or your www.o2.co.uk bookmark. If you check your processes, you’ll notice one called “mdworker” and another called “mds” that are, in fact, Spotlight working away to figure out where everything is sitting on your hard drive.

It should finish after an hour or so, but if your Macbook Pro runs hot regardless, here’s a couple of tips. One: buy a cooling pad. From experience, it seems cumbersome as a concept, but it’s comfortable, it keeps your legs cool, and it keeps the MacBook well air-conditioned.

The other tip is to resist messing with your fans, and accept this simple fact – your Macbook Pro’s innards aren’t going to cook themselves if you’re below 100 degrees C. Games will run at 70/80 degrees C, and this isn’t anything to worry about. Idle with no programs running, you’d ideally want to see it sitting at 40 degrees C.

The problem with installing plugins like smcfancontrol (though I strongly recommend it) is that you may become slightly paranoid. “Seventy? Why aren’t my legs falling off? This case is metal!”

Don’t fret. Computer parts are less sensitive than the skin on your thighs, and you’d be hard pressed to push it so hard that it melts the inside of the computer. So allow Lion to settle in, use a cooling pad (if you want, but don’t swaddle the thing in a duvet if you don’t – be smart), and enjoy a cooler MacBook Pro in a little while. The things we do for Steve Jobs.

How to reset a frozen Kindle 3

Jan 3rd, 2011 by Jared Schwager , ,

The Kindle 3 is a great device although there have been some reports of freezing or crashing issues in certain versions of the firmware. If your Kindle 3 has become frozen and you’re at wit’s end here’s a quick guide on how to get your Kindle back up and running:

  1. Plug in your Kindle and charge it for at least 2 minutes (to ensure the battery isn’t dead)
  2. Unplug your charging cable
  3. Slide the power switch to the right and hold it there for 15 seconds
  4. Release the power switch
  5. The Kindle will now reset (keep in mind the screen may go blank for up to 30 seconds during this process)

In addition to resetting your Kindle you might want to consider updating to the latest Kindle 3 firmware release.

If these steps did not solve the issue you may refer to Amazon’s Kindle troubleshooting page.

AppFresh, keeping OS X apps up-to-date

Feb 25th, 2008 by Jared Schwager , , ,

One of the great features of Ubuntu and other Linux distributions is the ability to include third party application updates alongside regular operating system level software updates. Both Windows and Mac OS X are somewhat lacking in this area, with Windows as the higher-lacking of the two.

AppFresh logo Fortunately on the OS X side, software developer metaquark has released an application by the name of AppFresh which aims to fill the gap of the need for a central application updater.

Currently, AppFresh is available as a Development Preview, so it is recommended that you back up all of your applications before using AppFresh if you intend to use the built-in update installer. If you’d rather stay on the safe side, AppFresh can still be used to check for and download updates excluding the automatic update installer process.

AppFresh also includes integration of iusethis.com. This allows AppFresh to also check for updates to applications that are not natively supported but are listed in the iusethis database. It also allows you to easily add new apps to your iusethis profile without having to search for each app beforehand.

Another interesting feature is the ability to take a “snapshot” of an application, which captures the current version of the application along with the application data and preferences. It’s basically Time Machine for your apps.

More information can be found at the AppFresh website.

Fix broken application icons in Leopard stacks

Jan 17th, 2008 by Jared Schwager , , ,

Broken Camino icon For the most part, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard has been received very well by users compared to its rival, Windows Vista. Though this is all fine and dandy, Leopard is not without its flaws.

I’ve noticed that every time I install a new application, the icon does not show up in my Applications stack. So, in order to fix the broken application icon, we have this temporary solution:

Open up Terminal (found in the Utilities folder), type killall Dock (make sure “D” is capitalized) and press enter. This will restart your dock and fix the application icon. You will need to do this every time you install an application and find the application icon broken.

Stop… review time!

Jan 10th, 2008 by Jared Schwager , ,

If you’re reading this, I appreciate the fact that you’re actually reading my blog as I haven’t updated it in a loooong time. Unfortunately, with my new work schedule at my new job and keeping up with school I just don’t have the time I used to.

Also, in my free time I’ve been writing hardware reviews over at my friend’s site, Tech Gear. Go ahead and check out my Antec notebook coolers review and my new Antec A/V Cooler review. I’ll continue to write reviews regularly over there, so if you miss me enough, you can hop over to Tech Gear and see what I’m up to until I post here again, which may or may not happen in the near future.

In other news, I finally got a MacBook and have been enjoying playing around with it. You’ll probably see many more Mac OS X tips and tricks on here than before. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still be doing Windows articles, just not as many. I’ll try my best to balance out all the Windows, OS X, and Linux articles I write.

That’s all for now!

And sorry to those of you who have been getting errors on my site. I completely forgot to re-activate all my plugins after updating WordPress.