Hugsies Blog!

February 16, 2012

Good to be back on the Mac

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Hugsie @ 10:11 pm

Back online, sitting in the living room catching up on TV shows recorded on my DVR.  It’s good to be back in here rather than in front of a desk in a shitty desk chair that’s falling appart. Most of my friends are Mac haters and for good reason, they are tech heads. Apple is over priced and their tech support is expensive. They do this since most “hip” people are rich, or spoiled brats who have daddy’s credit card to use.  I saved up for 9 months to buy this Macbook Pro back in 2010. So buying Apple Care would have taken another 2 months which I just couldn’t afford. You now how your phone company nickels and dimes you on every little thing? Apple dosen’t just nickel and dime you, they $50 and $100 bill you for every little thing.

My main issue has been with the power adapter. I’m now on my 4th one and things are going okay for now. For only $30 i got my Mac back online. This time i decided to just wipe the harddrive and reinstall the OS. I still have a PC/Windows mentality and i’ve had my Mac for over a year now, so it’s time to do a clean install of the OS.  My MBP came shipped with Snow Leopard, and then i upgraded to Lion over that about 9 months ago.

The issues with the power adapter started when using Snow Leopard, but seems to have gotten worse with Lion. After installing a fresh copy of Lion after zapping the entire harddrive, it’s a much better system.  GEE who would have though an old concept from a WINDOWS tech user (not just an end user) would not only apply to a mac, but actually WORK?

Macs also suffer from bittrot.  They also suffer from poorly made apps that fuck things up.  They also suffer from incompatibilities after a significant OS update (Snow Leopard to Lion).  I used to use an app called Insomniac all the time too keep my mac from going into sleep mode when i closed the lid.  A lot of the times i wanted my mac to keep doing what it’s doing and not lose connection to the internet, nor stop what it’s doing. Be it downlaods or idling online SecondLife.

When I got Lion, Insomniac just didn’t work; it flat out didn’t do jack shit.  I closed the lid and it still went into sleep mode as if the app wasn’t running. So I tried NoSleep, and that did work extremely well however on Lion it didn’t remain installed after rebooting. For some reason NoSleep uses some kina Windows-like installer wizard. So i had to keep reinstalling it every time i wanted to keep my mac awake.

Now I believe that these apps must have done something with power management on this machine that eventually fucks over the power adapter. The power adapter i just had only lasted about 3 weeks. And i think it’s due to reinstalling NoSleep umpteen times, as well as the weirdness with Lion, and the fact i did an in-place upgrade over Snow Leopard. To windows users, that can mean serious issues and conflicts.

This is still only theory on my part. Even calling Apple support they were largly clueless and could only guess that there’s somrthing physically wrong with my mac’s power management unit that’s causing it yoo burn out power adapters. The mac it self has been working fine.  Actually better now since i did a clean fresh install of Lion.

So assuming it’s bitrot that i just cleared away doing a clean fresh install of OS X Lion, and I’ll avoid using apps like NoSleep and see how long this power adapter will last me. If not this little knockoff power adapter was only $30 and has a 3 year warranty, which is THREE TIMES LONGER than the coverage i had for this $2000 laptop.

February 5, 2012

My history with a Mac

In 2010 i saved up for over nine months to buy a Macbook Pro. A good machine that can play games with a real GPU and dedicated ram for video. Once I got it, everything was kosher. Then the wiring on the magsafe connector started to fray and I had to hold the wire oddly for it to charge my MBP. Short time later (not a pun) those frayed wires shorted out and the power adapter was toast.

Fortunately at the time I was still under the 12 month warranty (had it for about 8 months) I called Apple they arranged a replacement and i got it the next day after returning the old one.  Cool eh?  Unfortunately it’s not like the coverage for my new power adapter was extended another 12 months.

So time passes to last December. I like to keep my MBP powered by the adapter at almost all times, so I was moving from one AC outlet to another and as got settled into my new spot, pluged it in and attached the magsafe to my mac and sat down on a chair with my MPB on my lap, it turned OFF.  poof! This time it turned out the PMU that was having issues, and doing a simple reset of it fixed everything. YAY!  Later on it eventually died on me too, and so I just bought a new one off Amazon.com and it came in 2 days.

A month later, I went to bed charging my mac after it had shut down from letting the battery drain out playing iTunes.  Pluged it in, saw the LED on the magsafe go amber color, and went to bed.  Woke up the next morning and saw no lights from the LED.  WTF?  I assume it was unplugged from the wall or something. It wasn’t, but it was blinking green every 8-20 seconds but never staying green, it would go off.  Booting the MBP showed it had a full charge! So something b0rked after the charge, and now it stopped charging.

So now i have two power adapters that are DEAD.. and about 20% battery power left. I did not get service contract with apple, I could barely afford the $2000+ price tag for the laptop as it was, and another $375 was out of the question. Afterall i am a tech my self, and i know how to deal with computers, but Macs are almost a different breed of computers, even though they are more PC now than they ever had been.

So after all of this bullshit, it’s clear that the initial problem I had with the first power adapter some how messed with the computer it self causing the other two power adapters to eventually fail.  This time this new power adapter failed in about three weeks! So there’s something wrong with my mac.  But what? the power management hardware? The battery?  If it’s the battery i can easily buy a new one and install it. I know the battery isn’t removable but I know how this computer is built and it’s not like the battery is welded into the chassis.  They are made to be replaced. But i don’t know if that will fix the issue of my power adapters fucking up

I’ve called Apple and there’s not much they can do since i don’t have any coverage and money is VERY tight for me.  There is no apple store in my town, but we do have an authorized apple service but they charge $60 an hour to just LOOK at it.  It’s possible if I go outta town to an Apple store they might look at it for free, but even then they still need to fix it, and i have no idea how much that would cost. If it’s more than the what the service contract would have been (apple care) then I’m fucked.

So any fellow techies heads who are mac inclined give me a heads up as to what FUCK is going on here? What I can do on my end and fix it?  What parts I may need, and can I swap out the battery? Is the PMU something that’s even replaceable/serviceable?  If I take it to an apple store would they just end up swapping out the mobo anyway?

Since it’s a power management unit problem, could it be an issue with OS X Lion, and apps like NoSleep, and Insomniac fucking with the PMU that ultimately makes my power adapters fail?  Both these apps don’t work properly since I switched to Lion. Insomniac just doesn’t work at all.  NoSleep does work but once you reboot it just disappears and you have to re-install it over again.  Both apps are said to work with Lion, but they don’t.. and there hasn’t’ been any updates to them to fix these problems.  I might as well Gazelle my Mac and say FUCK Macs!

Help!

February 3, 2012

Fucking Macbook MAGSAFE bullshit!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Hugsie @ 8:48 am

Sigh..  here i am again.

So ok, few week ago i went a head and just ordered a new power adapter.  Once i got it i snapped it in and everything was back to normal. So last night i was running on batteries and running iTunes playing a video pod cast.  I left the mashine running until the batteries died on thier own and the machine just shut down.  Ok fine no big deal right?

So i snap the magsafe on (my 3rd fucking power adapter) and i saw it go green, then amber when it started charging.  Great so I went to bed.  So i wake up the next morning, and  noticed there WAS no light on from the magsafe. I thought maybe the power strip i have it on switched off or got unplugged.  But no it’s in, and then i unplugged the magsafe, snapped it back in, saw it turn green then off.  Normally it stays on and green if it dosen’t need to charge.

So I wake up the mac and it comes on from sleep mode, since it did power it self off last night when it was to low on power. Once it came on it did show the battery was charged, but the LED light on the magsafe is NOT behaving properly.

Every 8 second it flashes a green light and goes out. I’ve tried different AC power cords and 2 diffrent outlets and still it just blinks green and off every 8-20 seconds.

I’ve had noting but problems with these apple power adapters and im at my wits end with this bullshit. The computer it self is fine but I cant fucking afford to buy a new $80 power adapter every MONTH. I’ll try calling apple and see if they can figure this out.  There’s already been a class action lawsuit on magsafe adapters (the old T connectors) but it looks like they hadn’t learned anything from it.

December 31, 2011

MagSafe isn’t!

Filed under: Mac Stuff — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 6:14 pm

Last Monday something went wrong with my Mac. When plugging in the magsafe connector, the machine just went black. I had just unplugged it from one wall, onto another outlet wall because i wanted to move. Hell it’s a portable computer, i should be able to PLUG IT IN SOMEWHERE ELSE when i want to.

So it took less than 5 seconds to unplug it, move it over to another AC outlet, and as I sat down putting my MBP on my lap, it turned it self off.  As if something shorted out and it turned off as a precaution. Maybe I bumped the magnetic connector or something. Now with the 1st power adapter I had, it went bad on me when the wires inside were fraying near the magsafe connector, and wasn’t able to keep a consistant connection. I had to bend and pull the cable to make it power my mac, then it just died a couple months later.

Anyway, so now the newer power adapter, that i’ve had for about 9 months, doesn’t seem to work anymore.  It no longer powers nor charges my MBP, as if the power brick is dead like the 1st one was. I was looking at about $30-$90 to replace the power adapter, since I didn’t bother with an extended Apple service contract, and it’s over a year old from when I bough it. This is the SECOND TIME in the past 15 months this fucking thing has broken on me.  Hell the old Xbox 360s lasted at least 2 years before they RRoDed on me… SIX TIMES for the past 6½ years.  I digress…

So I ignored my Mac for nearly a week. Preoccupied with Skyrim and Fallout DLC. So I power up my Mac just on batteries since I knew it worked; I just didn’t wanna waste battery power till i get a new power adapter. The Mac behaves weird. It boots much slower, the keyboard doesn’t light up even though it on screen icon shows it’s going brighter and darker. The fans were on full blast the moment I hit the power button.  Once it got to the desktop, I noticed that on the status bar for the battery has a big X on it, and clicking it stated “NO BATTERY PRESENT.”  So what the hell is powering it then, magic power from the spirit of Steve Jobs?

So something got damaged. My guess is whatever governs power between external power, batter and when it should charge.  Turns out this is called the PMU (Power Management Unit) that deals with AC and Battery power and recharging the battery, as well as the fans  It’s likely my power adapter works just fine, it’s just this PMU is having PMS.

So.. after Googling this issue, and learning about the existence of the PMU; I found out how you reset it!  I had my doubts a simple keyboard keystroke with it TURNED OFF would matter.  It first said with it off, to plug the magsafe power in, and I wasn’t even sure if it was broken or not, since it doesn’t light up when it’s plugged in. So with Job’s faith, I pressed shift-control-option with the power button, and let go of all of them simultaniously. Then power back on as normal, and hallelujah it powered back on as normal!  The green light lit up on the magsafe connector, then it turned orange as it does when it charges.  It went to my desktop and everything seems to be… normal!  YAY!  Macs are so.. WEIRD. Well not so much Mac’s but I’ve only owned 2 laptops in my entire life (the 1st one being a netbook) and never really had to deal with PMUs.

And to think they wanted me to pay about $350 for an Apple service contract, when I could have bought another laptop for that? BTW this is my 300th post on my WordPress blog.  Yay!

Now if I can just get NoSleep, or Insomniac to work properly on OS X Lion. Arg! No sleep works well, but when you reboot it’s no longer installed, it just isn’t THERE anymore. It doesn’t install in the traditional .dmg way; it uses an actual installer app like windows. Where as Insomniac just doesn’t work at all.

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