Charles Moore's Mailbag

Disabling Deep Sleep on MacBooks, 'Other Red' a Scam?, Mixed RAM Can Reduce Performance, and More

Charles Moore - 2006.11.13 - Tip Jar

Avoiding Deep Sleep on the MacBook Pro

From Chris

Hi Charles,

I recently bought myself a Core 2 Duo 15" MacBook Pro. I'm very happy with it, and it's been a great computer to me so far (hasn't gotten really hot at all, really comfortable). I had a question about it you may be able to answer.

Is there any way to make it so that it doesn't go into deep sleep when I close the lid? I sometimes like to just close the lid and let it play music in that state. There are also some moments where I don't need to move the computer very far, so I need to close the lid for just a second.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Chris

Hi Chris,

I have no experience with that myself, but you can find some info on that topic at these sites:

You should also be aware that the machine doesn't cool as efficiently with the lid closed, so keep an eye out for signs of excessive heat buildup.

Charles

'Other Red' May Be a Scam

From Monk

Please check this story (and the associated comments - especially the associated comments) out in regards to Other Red. Hard to make a decision, but the shady history plus riding the coattails of the other campaign makes one leery.

Monk

Hi Monk,

Did you intend to include a Web address reference with this note?

I think I know the article you're referring to.

Personally, in my journalistic contacts with Jack Campbell over the past half decade or so, I found him reliable, and I do like his products.

If you haven't already, checking out these sites may help you make an evaluation.

Best,
Charles

Editor's note: If Bono were as interested in attacking HIV/AIDS in Africa as he seems to be, it makes no sense that Product (Red) would exclude anyone, let alone be exclusive to "worldwide iconic brands". A garish red iPod, American Express card, or Motorola RAZR - in my opinion, the whole of Product (Red) seems to be about bringing attention to HIV/AIDS in Africa and getting free publicity from major brands.

I can't speak to the quality of MacMice products (never having used them) or the validity of Other Red as a legitimate charity, but at the very least Other Red products cost no more than non-red versions - and at best, 10% of their retail price goes to help AIDS orphans in Kenya. dk

Mixing RAM Speeds Can Reduce Performance

From Otto Schlosser

Hi, Charles.

Read your column mentioning the question of mixing RAM speeds. I had an interesting experience with this last week. I have a Sawtooth G4 (upgraded to 1 GHz) with 1.25 GB of PC100 RAM. I checked the individual specs of the installed DIMMs and noted that three of the four were listed at 2-2-2 latency, while the fourth was listed at 3-2-2. The system worked fine, so I never worried about it. Last week, I took that DIMM out to upgrade another machine, reducing the total in the G4 to 1 GB. It's running slightly but noticeably faster now. Perhaps the latency is worth considering after all.

ojs

Hi Otto,

I think it is definitely worth considering, and one has to weigh the economic advantages of mixing cheap or scrounged mixed-bag RAM with a possible performance slowdown.

Charles

Other Disk Utility Programs

From Rudy Fiorillo

Dear Mr. Moore,

I have read your article re DiskWarrior 3 (DiskWarrior 3: The One Disk Utility Every Mac User Should Have). I currently own a copy of it - and I agree it is great. You mention that if there is only one utility program to have, it should be DiskWarrior. My question is what would you recommend as a second or third utility program. I'm a bit paranoid - sometimes one disk program can do things the other one can't etc. - suggestions?

Thanks. R.

Hi Rudy,

I'm a bit of a "belt and suspenders" fella myself. ;-)

For regular system maintenance, I use OnyX, which is capable and free and has a nice interface. What's not to like? However, there are a vast selection of contenders in this category.

For a much broader spectrum of disk diagnostic, management, and repair capabilities than DiskWarrior offers, the tool in my arsenal is Drive Genius. You can read my review, Charles Moore Reviews Drive Genius 1.1.5 Disk/System Diagnostic, Repair, and Management Tools Suite, at Applelinks.

Charles

Lombard Cooling Question

From Travis Patocka

Mr. Moore,

I am sorry to bother you, but you guys are the authority on all things Mac. I just have one quick question or two and have not been able to get an answer from anyone. I recently purchased a Lombard 333 MHz, and everything appears to be working except for possibly one item.

Is the exhaust/cooling fan supposed to be on as soon as the laptop is powered on? Will it only come on when the laptop reaches a certain temperature? I haven't been able to use the laptop to the point where it comes on, so I am a bit concerned. To be honest, the laptop hasn't gotten warm from extended use.

Maybe you could ask around amongst your colleagues, as I don't want to do any unnecessary damage to my Lombard.

Thanks for your time and keep up the good work!

- Travis

Hi Travis,

I think perhaps you've been misled by all the chatter about fans in G4 PowerBooks and Macintel notebooks.

I owned my WallStreet for nearly three years before the fan ever came on, and I don't think it has come on since I replaced the processor about three years ago.

The fan in my 700 MHz G3 iBook stayed resolutely silent until I installed OS X 10.4 when it was about two-and-a-half years old - and then only in the hottest days of the summer.

Same deal with my 500 MHz Pismo. No fan activity until the 550 MHz G4 upgrade was installed, and the fan went silent again after I replaced the processor heatsink with Daystar's copper one.

With G3 PowerBooks, lack of fan activity is perfectly normal under most circumstances. The fan, as you surmise, is thermostatically activated when a certain temperature threshold is reached. Not to worry. If it doesn't feel hot, it isn't in any danger.

Charles

Netscape 7 and Mac OS 9

From Matt Hill

It might be a little late to mention, but Netscape 7.0 does run on OS 9. I have been a Mac user since 1991 and have never upgraded to OS X. I feel that OS X is fine for those new to the Mac and those that have been around for a couple of years, but in my case, it's just too different. The change from 68k to PPC wasn't bad - almost anything that worked on 68k worked on PPC. But with the switch to OS X, it was pretty much, "let's start over, say good-bye to all your old software and hardware." That's why for Internet use I switched to Windows. I can still use all my Mac stuff the for getting things done, the same way I have for years. And I can use Windows for the Internet, which is painfully slow on older Macs.

Windows is a little less restrictive on what OS it runs. I was able to install Windows 98SE on a brand new computer. Just try installing System 7.6 on a brand new Mac. It's kind of funny that most new programs will run on Win98, while almost nothing new will run on OS 9. Sometimes I wish Apple was a little less forward thinking.

Matt

Hi Matt,

Yes, I use Netscape 7 as my browser of choice in OS 9.x. But Windows for the Internet?! You must be a glutton for punishment what with all the malware. ;-)

There are still things I like about OS 9, especially its speed on older machines, but the compromises it demands, especially on the Internet, make me no longer regard it as a serious contender for a production system.

As for software backwards compatibility, very few classic applications are not supported by Classic Mode in OS X. Even the ancient copy of Microsoft Word 5.1 I bought way back in 1993 runs fine in Classic Mode under OS X 10.4.8.

Charles

Final Vinyl for Ripping LPs

Responding to Reflections on the iPod Revolution on Its 5th Birthday, John Helms writes:

Hi Charles,

I have used the Griffin iMic with its free utility "Final Vinyl" for ripping LPs. It doesn't have that many features, but it does what it is supposed to do. It might be worth a try.

John

Good suggestion John. I have an iMic.

Charles

WallStreet and CardBus USB

From Mat Schulte in response to PowerBook WallStreet CardBus Question:

Hi Charles!

I thought I'd add my two cents for the benefit of the reader inquiring about USB PC card use with the WallStreet.

I use a USB 2.0 card (I believe I got it from Other World Computing) on mine (288 MHz, 10.3.9 via XPostFacto) and it works great, except:

  • when running OS 9, the option "allow processor cycling" must not be checked in the Energy Saver control panel or the computer will freeze as soon as said processor cycling kicks in
  • if a USB hard drive or flash card is mounted when the WallStreet goes to sleep, I get the "drive not put away properly" warning when you wake it back up, implying potential data loss. I have also had the occasional freeze from this scenario (OS X or OS 9).
  • some USB keyboards (for example, the ones from old CRT iMacs) will also cause the system to freeze if left plugged into the card when the WallStreet goes to sleep (OS X or OS 9).

Other than those issues, the USB card was probably the best possible upgrade for the old PowerBook in terms of value for the money.

Cheers,
Mat Schulte

Hi Mat,

Thanks for the tips

We have a Macally USB card in our WallStreet, which these days is used mostly for mouse compatibility, but it works fine with digital cameras, any keyboard I've ever tried with it, and so forth.

Charles

Finding the Green Email Client

From G. Bruce Thompson

Charles

Do you have an archived copy of this app? If so, could you send it to me?

Thanks!

Bruce

Hi Bruce,

If I do, it's somewhere in a pile of floppies or Zip disks that I haven't looked at for years. I'll post this to the Mailbag in hope that someone in readerlland may know of a download site.

In the meantime, you might find some of the email clients listed in Moore's Omnibus Guide To Mac Email Clients - 2006 Edition on Applelinks

Charles

From G. Bruce Thompson

Charles

Thanks! I currently use GyazMail 1.3 It's much better than GNUMail 1.2. Now if I could just get him to add "remove attachments" from the mail box, it would be great.

Let me know if anyone has Green!

Thanks!

Bruce

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Charles Moore has been a freelance journalist since 1987 and began writing for Mac websites in May 1998. His The Road Warrior column was a regular feature on MacOpinion, he is news editor at Applelinks.com and a columnist at MacPrices.net. If you find his articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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