Category Archives: Macintosh

MacBook — it’s been nice knowing you?

My 7 year old 13″ Macbook, which is on it’ second battery, will no longer take a charge.  Not – at – all. Totally dependent on power chord now.

If I weren’t in the middle of a bathroom remodel and still need to buy an expensive shower door and a new crapper, I would be on my way for the replacement about…right…now.

Maybe in a couple of months. For now, the Chromebook, iPod Touch will let me get by.

More MacBook flickering screen

So as you longtime readers know, when I originally got a MacBook the screen had a nasty flicker/noise problem. I took it back the next day, and the Apple store replaced it. This MacBook that I’m typing on now has worked pretty well.

However, for that last couple of month’s I’ve notice a minor screen flickering when it is running on battery power. Sometimes it is quite noticeable. Like right now. It isn’t the same problem that the first MacBook had. That was kind of a screen static/noise thing.  This is more like the brightness level goes up and down slightly.

This is a a bummer, because I like Apple products a lot. I would like to say after several years of using this computer I am “delighted” with it. But this screen thing — errrr — well, it makes me un-delighted. It makes me question whether I’d replace this computer with another MacBook. Not sure what else I’d get, but after having 2 apple monitor crap out on me with extreme prejudice in my computer-using past I just don’t have confidence that Apple can do monitors right.

Frankly, I’m not sure this problem is even the monitor. I suspect there is some kind of power management issue, since it only happens on battery power. Still, it sucks.

On the other hand, the Dell laptop my wife had a few years ago lasted only two years before it took it’s final dump and had to be replaced.

Oh well. This is pretty high up on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, so I guess I’ll stop complaining.

MacBook WiFi problem/solution

Last year my MacBook started having very, very slow WiFi connectivity. So slow, in fact, I almost abandoned the thing. My wife’s MacBook was fine. But my WiFi connection just crawled. Then I read about some MacBook Pros, the new ones with the metal case, having a similar problem.

I was sitting right next to our WiFi router getting super slow connectivity. So I decided to remove the transparent plastic case I’d bought for the machine. It sure did look cool.

As soon as I removed the case (which is made specifically for MacBooks and costs about $30), my WiFi connection improved by about 1000%. In fact, it became normal. No more problem.

So if you have a plastic case on your MacBook, and your WiFi sucks, take the case off.  Amazingly, 2 millimeters of plastic is enough to ruin your signal.

Disk Warrior

Yes, another Mac software post.

Last night before going to see Beowulf with my friend Matt down at Northpark Mall, I stopped by the Apple Store. I got one of the good folks there — a fellow skateboarder — to show me the new Leopard OS. Pretty slick. Amazingly slick no less. It will be a bummer to go back to my Gateway PC at work tomorrow after seeing the beauty that is Leopard.

Did I buy it? No. Right now I feel like my current OS (10.4.10) is working just fine. All my software runs, and I don’t have any crashes really. So I will wait until I really need an upgrade to get Leopard or whatever replaces it.

Of course, about half of the demo was on one of those giant Apple studio monitors, which make everything look like magic. Too bad they’re too big to have in your lap. I’m really enjoying just doing my web stuff from my chair in the Chill Zone with my MacBook. I spend enough time sitting at a desk.

I did, however, purchase DiskWarrior, by Alsoft. It is a utility for repairing damage files, optimizing you hard drive, etc, etc. My brother-in-law does tech support for them, so I figure I can get help if I need it. I ran the program this morning, and it found a few things to clean up that cleared up a little hard drive space on my MacBook.

I also backed up all my files to my external hard drive this morning. I’m using iBackup, which works pretty well. I’d really like to find a “smart backup” utility that only backs up the files that have changed — for a faster backup. I’ll have to look into that.

Beowulf was pretty cool. I liked it a lot.

Importing problem with iPhoto and Canon SD750

I just noticed that someone found this blog using the following search string:
iphoto powershot sd750 trouble importing

If that person is still reading, I recently had a problem importing AVI videos from my camera into iPhoto too.  Every time I tried to import the videos, the iPhoto application would crash. Found the following item on the might have found a solution: i deleted AviImporter-r7 (Intel).component from /library/quicktime and uninstalled flip4mac. i dont know which of the two caused the problem, but now i can import videos from my camera into iphoto. 
It turned out that AviImporter was the culprit in my case. I deleted all the AviImporter stuff from the library, and the problem was solved. Movies imported just fine again.

I also noticed that I’m still getting a lot of hits from the search string “macbook flickering screen” or similar searches. Amazing that there are STILL bad Macbooks being sold out there. It has been several months since I got mine and posted about the problem on this blog. To those people, I can only say take/send the thing back — there are good ones out there.