Charles Moore's Mailbag

Odd MacBook Sleep Behavior, Pismo Resurrection and Upgrades, End Nigh for Classic Eudora? and More

Charles Moore - 2009.05.27 - Tip Jar

Unexpected MacBook Sleep Behavior

From Rich:

Charles -

First of all, my thanks to Chris and DG for their responses to my problems with Western Digital (WD) drives (Mailbag 29 April); that explained a lot.

Nextly, have you noticed that your new MacBook has different sleep behavior than your PowerPC 'Books?

I ask because my Nvidia MacBook takes much longer to go to sleep than my G4 iBook; although the screen will go dark immediately, it seems to take around twenty seconds before the power light on the front of the case begins to pulse. I have also observed sometimes that the machine will be making some sort of noise, either fan or hard drive (I haven't tried to figure out which), and if so, said noise will also continue for 20-25 seconds after sleep mode is invoked. Doesn't seem to matter whether I use the sleep command in the Apple menu or if I just close the lid. Either way, I'm assuming that it's not completely safe to move the machine until the power light begins pulsing and any internal noise has ceased.

Any comments?

As for the machine itself, I'm finding that I like it more and more in preference to the iBook. It's certainly faster by leaps and bounds. I've gotten used to the glossy screen, and the screen itself seems much brighter than the iBook's - I seem to keep the intensity setting much lower on the new 'Book than on the old one (how do you like your LED-lit screen?). Likewise, after my initial reservations, the chiclet keyboard seems to be 'better' than the iBook's - perhaps just because there's a bit of space between the keys.

Thanks -
Rich

Hi Rich,

My main impression regarding sleep behavior on the MacBook is how much quicker it wakes up than my older 'Books, but after reading your email I paid attention to the little power light, and sure enough there is a several-second lag after the screen goes dark before the light begins pulsing. The system putting stuff in order?

The hard drive in my machine is almost inaudibly quiet, and the fan has only cut in (briefly) three times during the three months I've thus far owned it, so I don't have a frame of reference as to whether the fan stops when the laptop goes to sleep, as it does with my G4 PowerBook.

I would advise against any vigorous handling of the machine until the hard drive stops, although fan activity wouldn't be a problem. I've been known to carry my 'Books around with them running, but I don't recommend it as a practise.

I'm very happy with the LED backlit glossy display, although it's been a bit of an adjustment moving down from the 17" screen in the PowerBook. I'm not a big fan of the chiclet keyboard, but I'll agree with you unreservedly that it's better than the iBook keyboards, which were mediocre.

Charles

Pismo Resurrection and Upgrades

From Scott, following up on FireWire Sleep Issues and a Dead Pismo:

The Pismo is working now. I discovered the little reset button on the back under the port cover. It started right up and runs fine. It apparently hasn't been started since January 2003, according to documents on the hard drive. Wow! (laugh). No wonder it's in such beautiful condition.


The back side of the Pismo PowerBook with the port cover open.

I bought a new high capacity battery for it, which hasn't arrived yet. I think I'll just remove the PRAM battery and run it without that. It doesn't appear to need it at all, and they're kinda expensive. I don't want to leave it in there and risk having it leak or something. I ordered a new Seagate 120 GB 5400 rpm hard drive for it, then I read your article saying ATA100 drives won't work on the Pismo's ATA66 controller.

I'm gonna try it anyway, since the hard drive is already paid for and on its way here.

Just as I was about to order a pair of 512 MB sticks of RAM and an AirPort card for the Pismo, my friend in Nashville told me she's mailing me her Titanium PowerBook, which supposedly needs a motherboard. The Titanium has a pair of 512 MB sticks of RAM and an AirPort Card in it, so I'll just transfer them to the Pismo until I can get the Titanium running.

What do you think a 1 GHz Titanium with a possibly bad motherboard is worth? I don't know what to offer her for it. I told her I was about to spend $75 on the RAM and AirPort Card. I think the motherboard will probably cost $100, won't it? Hopefully it won't need a motherboard though. I've always wanted a Titanium PowerBook too. I'm gonna start my own little PowerBook collection here! (laugh) She already replaced the Titanium with an Aluminum, so she won't be wanting the Titanium back.

Scott

Hi Scott,

I'm kicking myself that I didn't mention the reset button in my previous reply. It's proved useful to me on a number of occasions.

Glad you got the Pismo percolating. They really are sublimely pleasurable machines. It should perform very nicely with a gig of RAM.

I'll be interested to hear how the hard drive works for you. The ATA compatibility problem was always a bit ambiguous. I've never had any PRAM battery trouble with any of my Pismos.

A bad mobo is a quite likely possibility with a TiBook, and personally I wouldn't spend any serious money attempting to repair one. Indeed, when I fried the power manager unit in one of my Pismos last year, I determined that it made more sense to just buy a whole 'nother stripped-down Pismo from Wegener than to go to the trouble of repairing the damaged machine, which is now a parts mule, and it's replacement has served me splendidly for nearly a year now. It's such a buyers' market in older Mac laptops that one can be choosy.

My preference would definitely be for a 12" PowerBook over a TiBook for roughly the same price, and often cheaper for the 12-incher, which is a much more robust machine. TiBooks are prone to logic board and RAM slot failures and broken lid hinges (Wegener offer a $199 hinge repair).

Wegener's price for 1 GB Tis is $699.99, which is a reference-framer for you. The value of your friend's machine is heavily dependent on whether you can determine if the motherboard is fried or not. If it is the mobo, then the computer isn't worth very much.

Charles

Eudora 6.2.4 Running on OS X 10.5.7: Is the End Nigh?

From Alex:

Mr. Moore,

Just read your April 2008 post: Why Eudora Fans Are 'Doggedly Faithful'.

I am running 6.2.4 on my current-generation iMac, which is running 10.5.7.

I just ran an OS X software update, and the first two times I tried to run Eudora, it crashed. It's now running okay as I write you this email.

I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Like you, I have used Eudora since the late 90s and have a dozen years of emails archived - well over a gigabyte of data that I never want to lose access to.

I have tried other programs, including Mac's Mail program, and always go back to Eudora, for many of the reasons you cite, but also out of simple habit - I know the program instinctively.

I live in mild terror that someday it will no longer work, e.g., after I run an OS X software update, as I did just now.

Can you offer any advice on how to prepare for this eventuality? Is there another program that's currently supported that you feel offers similar features - in particular the separate mailboxes?

Thanks for any advice you can give!

Regards,
Alex

Hi Alex,

My inference is that Eudora 6.2.4's days are numbered as a usable email client. I've already crossed this bridge, as 6.2.4 refuses to work on my new Unibody MacBook, at least over my rural dialup connection (it works sluggishly on my G4 PowerBook running Leopard). The application starts up on the MacBook, so I can use it to access archived messages, but it refuses to send or receive.

As for alternative suggestions, I've at least provisionally settled on using Thunderbird for now and am finding it better than I had anticipated based on previous casual use. The main advantages of Thunderbird, in my estimation, are that it is Open Source and also the basis for the Eudora 8 email client, which I still hope will eventually come closer to living up to its name as a replacement for Classic Eudora than it has thus far (I haven't yet tried the just-released beta 6 build, which is based on Thunderbird 3). One cool thing is that you can run in either T-bird or Eudora 8.x using the same user profile folder.

Speaking of which, T-bird does store mail in separate mailbox folders quite similarly to Classic Eudora inside a folder called "Mail", which lives in the Profiles folder.

I miss Eudora's forgiving and tractable flexibility, but T-bird is a decent email client once you get used to it.

Charles

Update to my previous email.

I have found MailForge and have paid $20 to register the trial copy I downloaded.

I assume you know about it (formerly Odysseus). Have you written about it? If so, can you direct me to whatever you've written?

Best,
Alex

Hi Alex,

I checked out several builds of Odysseus, although haven't tried it since the name change and the latest build releases.

I was not able to give it a really thorough test, because like Classic Eudora running in Leopard, Odysseus wasn't a happy camper on my dialup setup.

Here are a couple of my articles on Odysseus,

I've been checking in on the user forums, and the impression I get is that MailForge is still pretty rough around the edges, although is gradually improving, and it's probably going to become the most satisfactory successor to Classic Eudora.

Charles

G4 Upgrades for Lombard, G4 iMacs Still Around?

From Eric:

Hi Charles,

I know once upon a time (last year) there were G4 upgrades for Lombards and iMac G4s. Now I can't seem to see what happened to them: did they completely vanish? I have a Lombard I really want to upgrade to a G4, and a 700 MHz iMac G4 I want to upgrade. It's sad when my new Acer Aspire One beats both of them, but I don't have the heart to get rid of my perfectly good, working Macs!

Do you have any idea where to find these still? It's sad they were discontinued, but there has to be a way to find them still! Thanks for the help,

Eric

Hi Eric,

Daystar, which was the only vendor I'm aware of that offered a G4 upgrade for the Lombard, discontinued all of its PowerBook processor upgrade products last year.

To the best of my knowledge, there are no processor upgrades available any longer for the iMac G4, although FastMac still makes a 550 MHz G4 upgrade for the slot-load G3 iMac.

Searching on eBay or Craigslist and such is the only suggestion I can think of.

Charles

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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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