tmatt95
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A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:15 pm

Whilst surfing Digg today, I came across this article about a Macbook catching fire which was posted a day ago. The poster thinks that it was the battery (but more importantly, according to the poster, the laptop was NOT one of the ones recalled.)
This post is a heads up to everyone on the forum who has a Macbook. Be careful with your Macbook. The people who this affected nearly had their house burnt down!!!

Below is a link to the article:
http://mactalk.com.au/forums/showthread.php?t=28926

(images are included in the article)

Regards,

Matt
 
TedTAce
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:26 pm

This thread is Libelous and Fraudlent. Macs are PERFECT!!


Signed,

Klaus
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ba757
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:41 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 1):
This thread is Libelous and Fraudlent. Macs are PERFECT!!


Signed,

Klaus

 Big grin
 
aloges
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:49 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 1):
This thread is Libelous and Fraudlent. Macs are PERFECT!!


Signed,

Klaus

And you're asking for civility in the forum...  sarcastic  Is De-escalation Possible? (by TedTAce Mar 11 2007 in Non Aviation)
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
TedTAce
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 9:58 pm

Quoting Aloges (Reply 3):
And you're asking for civility in the forum...

It's called a Joke, and I'll bet a $1 that Klaus laughs.
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Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:40 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 4):
It's called a Joke, and I'll bet a $1 that Klaus laughs.

 yawn  $1 lost for you, I'm afraid. Particular minus points for lack of imagination.

I see the guy is australian - maybe MacBooks just aren't supposed to be operated upside down!


But seriously - I can understand that computer manufacturers don't want to spook their customers by describing accurately and exhaustively what potential problems can occur with Li-Ion batteries if not handled properly.

But I would always advise any laptop owner (regardless of make) to be cautious about their batteries:

- If the battery starts to exhibit sudden and substantial deviations from its normal behaviour, don't hesitate to contact support. Especially Li-Ion batteries contain a relatively large charge in a very small space and have some unhealthy failure modes. A slow degradation of battery capacity is unfortunately to be expected (although depending on usage patterns it can be slowed down), but it shouldn't happen suddenly or erratically.

- Do not keep the charger connected unless necessary, especially not unattended.

- Do not use and especially do not charge the computer while it's sitting on a soft, flammable surface which blocks ventilation (carpet, cushion etc.) if it can be helped. A hard, smooth surface is generally better suited.

- Try to keep paper and other flammables away from the computer if possible. The same is true for batteries by themselves (such as replacement ones).

The MacBook in the forum post could in fact be affected by Sony's recent battery production issues at its age; The owner said he checked the serial number, but there could have been a mistake.

As said above, current Li-Ion technology is nothing to be trifled with, so be cautious!
 
Pope
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:43 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
I see the guy is australian - maybe MacBooks just aren't supposed to be operated upside down!

Quote of the year!
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
TedTAce
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:02 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
$1 lost for you, I'm afraid. Particular minus points for lack of imagination.

 Sad
Aloges, the check is in the mail.
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N231YE
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:18 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):

I don't know about Macs, but I can remove the battery from my Tablet PC and operate it only on AC power.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
As said above, current Li-Ion technology is nothing to be trifled with, so be cautious!

Maybe Apple, being the innovative company it is, should develop a computer that uses ultra-capacitors!
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:29 pm

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 7):
Aloges, the check is in the mail.

Sorry; Maybe you should make more of an effort to be actually funny next time...!  mischievous 

Quoting N231YE (Reply 8):
I don't know about Macs, but I can remove the battery from my Tablet PC and operate it only on AC power.

That should work as well, it's just not the point - as long as the battery is healthy, it can stay in the computer; If it's not, have it checked out.

Quoting N231YE (Reply 8):
Maybe Apple, being the innovative company it is, should develop a computer that uses ultra-capacitors!

The problem is not in the computer, the problem is in the capacitors...!
 
N231YE
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:57 pm

Quoting Klaus (Reply 9):
The problem is not in the computer, the problem is in the capacitors...!

The problem is not the computer or capacitors; it exists between the chair and keyboard...!
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:01 am

Quoting N231YE (Reply 10):
The problem is not the computer or capacitors; it exists between the chair and keyboard...!

The problem of power supply? How'd that work?  eyebrow 
 
N231YE
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:04 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 11):
The problem of power supply? How'd that work?  

Tough crowd  banghead 
 
aloges
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:11 am

Quoting N231YE (Reply 8):
Maybe Apple, being the innovative company it is, should develop a computer that uses ultra-capacitors!

Or fuel cells, so that we can all run around with little hydrogen tanks and leave them baking in the car during summer...  Wink On a side note: I read a "news"bit on suggested flash memory-based HDDs, which Apple supposedly was looking at to replace magnetic discs. That would mean a pretty solid drop in energy consumption of notebooks, somewhat alleviating the battery problem.

Quoting N231YE (Reply 10):
The problem is not the computer or capacitors; it exists between the chair and keyboard...!

 rotfl 
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:06 am

Quoting N231YE (Reply 12):
Tough crowd



Quoting Aloges (Reply 13):
Or fuel cells, so that we can all run around with little hydrogen tanks and leave them baking in the car during summer...

Now that looks like a really neat idea...!  silly 

Quoting Aloges (Reply 13):
On a side note: I read a "news"bit on suggested flash memory-based HDDs, which Apple supposedly was looking at to replace magnetic discs. That would mean a pretty solid drop in energy consumption of notebooks, somewhat alleviating the battery problem.

As far as I'm aware Sony already has a flash-based sub-notebook; And with the smaller screen the harddisk would indeed make up a bigger chunk of the total power consumption.

OLED displays together with flash memory instead of a harddisk would be a huge step forward in power saving! (A colour LCD panel simply blocks out more than two thirds of the expensively generated backlight, even if every pixel on the screen is switched to white; An OLED display would only consume power according to the amount of light visible to the user, so bright text on a black background could save a lot of power again on an OLED, while it's pretty much irrelevant on an LCD.)
 
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ManuCH
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:21 am

What about a nuclear powered notebook?  Smile OK, if it catches on fire it might be worse than just a Li-Ion battery though ...
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
TedTAce
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:37 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 15):
What about a nuclear powered notebook? OK, if it catches on fire it might be worse than just a Li-Ion battery though ...

How about this?
http://www.memagazine.org/backissues...97/features/turbdime/turbdime.html
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ManuCH
Crew
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:51 am

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 16):
How about this?
http://www.memagazine.org/backissues....html

How cool is that?? I want a gas turbine in my notebook  Silly I can already hear it whining...
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
tmatt95
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:00 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 17):
How cool is that?? I want a gas turbine in my notebook Silly I can already hear it whining...

I want a laptop that can be powered by potatoes, like the potato powered clocks

Matt

[Edited 2007-03-12 22:00:31]
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:29 am

Quoting Tmatt95 (Reply 18):
I want a laptop that can be powered by potatoes, like the potato powered clocks

Not a problem - provided you're ready to carry one or two sacks of potatoes with you...! Big grin
 
TSS
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:45 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 17):
I want a gas turbine in my notebook   I can already hear it whining...

I can cut you a real good deal on a Mac II with a fan that sounds a lot like a 727 at idle. Those 8Mhz chips don't cool themselves, you know.  Wink
Able to kill active threads stone dead with a single post!
 
N231YE
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:49 am

Quoting Klaus (Reply 14):
OLED displays together with flash memory instead of a harddisk would be a huge step forward in power saving! (A colour LCD panel simply blocks out more than two thirds of the expensively generated backlight, even if every pixel on the screen is switched to white; An OLED display would only consume power according to the amount of light visible to the user, so bright text on a black background could save a lot of power again on an OLED, while it's pretty much irrelevant on an LCD.)

Texas Instruments (maker of DLP) is currently working on this, as I recall reading this.

Quoting Tmatt95 (Reply 18):
I want a laptop that can be powered by potatoes, like the potato powered clocks

You could always try lemons, and as a positive side effect, they will protect your Mac from getting Scurvy!
 
regupilot
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:06 am

The problems of the capacitors its not limited to Apple. Dell had the same issue with thousands of their Optiplex computers. Same with Abit, MSI and Asys boards. They would not cause fire, but they would stop working. I gues that since there is more room in a PC than in a Laptop, the exploding capacitor wouldn't harm as much.

Quoting Pope (Reply 6):
Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
I see the guy is australian - maybe MacBooks just aren't supposed to be operated upside down!

Quote of the year!

Agreed!
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:30 am

Quoting N231YE (Reply 21):
You could always try lemons, and as a positive side effect, they will protect your Mac from getting Scurvy!

And they smell better, too!   

Quoting ReguPilot (Reply 22):
The problems of the capacitors its not limited to Apple.

I'm not sure Apple ever used some of those defective (counterfeit) capacitors which had plagued the industry a while ago; This apparently was another case of Li-Ion battery cells giving out...

[Edited 2007-03-13 00:31:46]
 
WSOY
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:01 pm

I think eveyone has their stomach full now, but how about this notice?


Apple has initiated a worldwide battery exchange program for certain rechargeable batteries that were sold for use with 15-inch MacBook Pro computer systems from February 2006 through May 2006.

We recently discovered that some 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries supplied to Apple do not meet our high standards for battery performance. To give our users the best experience possible, we will replace these batteries for customers free of charge.

Note: The affected batteries do not pose a safety risk. You may continue to use your current battery until a replacement arrives.

Identifying your battery
The affected batteries have model number A1175 and a 12-digit serial number that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC. To view the model and serial numbers located on the bottom of the battery, you must remove the battery from the computer. The battery serial number is located above the barcode. See photos below. Only batteries within the noted serial number ranges need to be exchanged



Source




I guess the moral of the story is: stop using a battery that has an "X" apperaring over its icon and remove it from the machine, immediately

[Edited 2007-03-13 12:02:31]
"Nukkuessa tulee nälkä" (Nipsu)
 
ConcordeMach2
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:00 am

hmmmm mine has had that X appear ocasionally. Uh oh better not catch fire!
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:14 am

Quoting ConcordeMach2 (Reply 25):
hmmmm mine has had that X appear ocasionally. Uh oh better not catch fire!

I would indeed investigate what's up with it, but it doesn't need to have a dangerous fault.

The power / communication contacts in the battery compartment and/or on the battery may have become dirty or corroded, for instance. Checking them out and carefully cleaning them would be a first step. (Take care to touch first a grounded surface and then one of the metal surfaces within the 'book before touching the battery contacts in the battery compartment; Some of the contacts carry digital signals for charge control and battery recognition and may not respond well to static discharge.)

I'd also run the hardware test application from the system disk; Any battery-related faults may become apparent there. Licensed Apple technicians also have in-depth hardware testing tools which might tell them more.

If it's time to replace the battery, I wouldn't hesitate to do that. Unfortunately with chemical battery technology today, they just don't last forever. And as nicely efficient as Li-Ion batteries are, they are also more critical than earlier ones were.
 
WSOY
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Sat Mar 17, 2007 7:44 pm

Quoting ConcordeMach2 (Reply 25):
hmmmm mine has had that X appear ocasionally. Uh oh better not catch fire!

Better discard that battery at once. My experience is that there's excessive heat buildup well before the final countdown.
"Nukkuessa tulee nälkä" (Nipsu)
 
Klaus
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RE: A Serious Warning For Macbook Users

Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:36 am

Quoting WSOY (Reply 27):
Better discard that battery at once. My experience is that there's excessive heat buildup well before the final countdown.

You continue to give false and potentially expensive mis-advice. Since you apparently don't own or use a Macintosh, please at least inform yourself before telling other people what to do!

Quoting ConcordeMach2 (Reply 25):
hmmmm mine has had that X appear ocasionally. Uh oh better not catch fire!

The red X has nothing to do with a fire hazard on its own. It means that the system doesn't recognize the battery properly, that the communication with the memory and charge monitoring circuits built into the battery pack may be malfunctioning (which can happen after a deep discharge, among other things).

Apple's support site has this article on how to deal with this kind of situation:
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=304301

You didn't specify what the circumstances were, but unless the battery actually exhibits suspicious behaviour I would follow the manufacturer's advice and make any tests appropriate under the circumstances.

Only if the battery has recently started to get unusually hot while charging or discharging I would see immediate cause for concern, but you didn't say anything about that. So what is the state and behaviour of your battery in general?

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